Thomas Pycroft

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Thomas Pycroft
Born(1807-12-04)4 December 1807
Hampstead, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Died29 January 1892(1892-01-29) (aged 84)
Occupationcivil servant

Sir Thomas Pycroft KCSI (4 December 1807 29 January 1892) was a British administrator and civil servant who served as a member of the Madras Legislative Council from 1862 to 1867.


Early life

Thomas Pycroft was born in the parish of St John, Hampstead, Middlesex to barrister Thomas Pycroft and his wife Mary Pycroft on 4 December 1807. He was the elder brother of British writer James Pycroft. He was schooled privately and at Bath Grammar School and graduated M.A. from Trinity College, Oxford in 1829. [1] On completion of his education, he was offered a "writership" by the President of the Board of Control of the British East India Company.


Pycroft arrived in Madras in August 1829 and served, initially, as a writer and then, in the revenue and judicial departments in South Arcot from 1829 to 1839 when he returned to the United Kingdom. In 1843, Pycroft came back to India after a three-year hiatus and was transferred to the Madras secretariat.

Pycroft was initially appointed Sub-Secretary and then, promoted to Secretary of the Revenue Department in 1845. The very same year, he was appointed acting Tamil translator to the Madras government. Pycroft became Chief Secretary in 1855 and served from 1855 till 1862 when he nominated to the Madras Legislative Council. Pycroft served as a member of the council for five terms from 1862 to 1867.

Death and family

Pycroft died at Folkestone on 29 January 1892 at the age of 84. His eldest son, Henry Thomas Pycroft (1842–1909), [2] was the father of Auckland ornithologist Arthur Pycroft (1875–1971). [3]


In the 1866 Birthday Honours, Pycroft was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India. In Madras, the street in which he lived was named Pycroft's Road in his honour.

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  1. Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). "Pycroft, (Sir) Thomas"  . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886 . Oxford: Parker and Co via Wikisource.
  2. "Deaths". The New Zealand Herald . Vol. XLVI, no. 13998. 2 March 1909. p. 1. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  3. "The Pycroft Collection of Rare Books". Art+Object. 11 October 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 21 January 2021.