The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Thomas Rodger Rodger ( 1856 – 1930)

Thomas Rodger Rodger, son of the early St Andrews photographer, Thomas Rodger, was born on September 4, 1856. At some stage between 1832 and 1835 the family changed the spelling of their surname from Roger to Rodger.

He attended Madras College, St Andrews. He was awarded a copy of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ on 25 June 1873 by the College for his oil painting.

Thomas R Rodger married Jessie Peddie, an Edinburgh girl, on December 10, 1880 and in 1881 was living at 13 Grove Street, Edinburgh St Cuthbert's parish. Thomas and Jessie went over to India in about 1884, where he took a great many photographs with a colleague, Guy Lawrie.

They came back from India in 1886 and lived in Kilburn, West London. He continued in photography for the rest of his life, possibly doing work for Queen Victoria.

In Edinburgh Thomas R Rodger was described in the Edinburgh trade directories as Portrait Painter & Photographer. He offered Enlargements in oil, water colours &c. He was based at 97 George Street, trading under the name of  T Roger & Sons (1879-81) and T R Rodger in 1882. Some of his cartes de visite refer to “St Margaret’s Studio”. It is not clear whether this was at 97 George Street or elsewhere in Edinburgh. Thomas R Rodger also produced cartes de visite from a studio in Kirkcaldy, Fife at Townsend Place "Near the Burgh School".

Around 1882-83, he appears to have moved to Inverness. When his father died in 1883 Thomas Rodger was living at 33 Huntly Street, Inverness and was probably practising photography, because his father's estate includes a promissory note, indicating that father had lent son £1,000 on October 3, 1882. He died on 6 September 1930.