STRANGE, Thomas A. L.

STRANGE, Thomas Andrew Lumsden. London (?) 30.11.1756 — London 16.7.1841. Sir. British Civil Servant and Lawyer in India. Son of Sir Robert Str. (1721–1792), the eminent engraver, and Isabella Lumsden. Educated at Westminster School and Oxford (Christ Church, M.A. 1782). Called to the bar from Lincoln’s Inn in 1785. From 1789 Chief justice of Nova Scotia. From 1798 Recorder of Madras, also President of the Court of Mayor and Alderman, now also knighted. From 1800 Chief Justice of the new Supreme Court in Madras. Retired in 1817 and returned to England. D.C.L. 1818 Oxford. Married twice, with Janet Anstruther (d. 1799) and Louisa Burroughs, among his children were —> Thomas W. L. Str. and Alexander Strange (1818–1876), an officer working in the Trigonometrical Survey of India.

Strange never learnt any Oriental languages, but he made a serious attempt to explain Indian law and consulted numerous traditinoal lawyers in English or with the help of an interpreter, in addition to the books of Jones, Colebrooke, etc. His Notes was important explaining the land ownership in Madras region, while Elements was an attempt of a general survey; both were published be Strange himself. He studied the local differences of Indian laws and compared them to those of other countries.

Publications: Notes of Cases adjudged in the Madras Supreme Court. 1-2. 1816; Elements of Hindoo Law, referable to British judicature in India. 1-2. L. 1825; Hindu Law, principally with reference to such portions of it as concern the administration of justice in the King’s court in India. 2nd ed. 1-2. L. 1830, 3rd ed. Madras 1859.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; C.T[rotter], D.N.B. 55, 1898, 27f.; JRAS 7, 1843, Annual Report for 1841, viif.; Wikipedia with portrait by Benjamin West

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