Thomas Graham

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Thomas Graham (1860–1940)[1] was a well-known South African judge and politician, and an amateur performer.

Also referred to as Tom Graham by D.C. Boonzaier (1923).


Born Thomas Lynedoch Graham in Grahamstown 5 May 1860, he studied at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown and Clare College, Cambridge, and became a barrister in 1885, returning to South Africa in 1889, he became an advocate of the Supreme Court of Cape Colony and later becoming a judge and holding several political positions over the years.

A keen sportsman, excelling in tennis and cricket, winning the South African Doubles Lawn Tennis Championship in 1891 and representing the Western Province Cricket Club as a fast bowler.

He was knighted in the 1920 and passed away on 7 May 1940.

For more on his life and career, see the Wikipedia entry on him at

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

On 24 December 1888 a "smoking concert" was held in the Exhibition Theatre, Cape Town, in honour of the English team that had arrived in South Africa to participate in two cricket matches against a South African team. (These were later designated full test matches, the first to be played between the two countries.)[2] On this occasion Tom Graham, listed as a local celebrity, sang a song as part of the second half of the programme, which also included items by other celebrities.


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

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