PRENDERGAST, Thomas. Madras 22.4.1806 — Cheltenham, Gloucestershire 14.11.1886. Sir. British Civil Servant and Linguist in India. Son of General Sir Jeffrey Pr. (1769–1856), of Indian army, and his wife Elizabeth. After studies at Haileybury in 1825-26 joined the Madras Civil Service, finally Magistrate and Collector of Ganjam (Buckl.) or Rajahmundry (Boase), retired in 1859 and returned to the U.K. In the end became blind. Married Caroline Lucy Dalrymple (1809–1839) and Theresa Drummond, with the first two sons (General Sir Harry Pr. of Indian army) and one daughter.
Prendergast developed his own system of teaching languages and applied it to Dravidian languages (beside several European). Himself he knew Tamil and Telugu.
Publications: The Mastery System of Languages or the Art of speaking Foreign Languages idiomatically. 1864; other works on the same.
Sources: G.C.B[oase], D.N.B. 46, 1896, 301; Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia (from Boase) with photo; exact birth date and family details in ancestry.com.