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Drummond, Thomas

Drummond, Thomas (1797–1840). Civil servant. Drummond was born in Edinburgh and attended university there. He joined the Royal Engineers and began work on the Ordnance Survey, where his invention of the ‘Drummond light’ (a brilliant limelight) greatly facilitated progress. In 1831 he was recruited by Brougham to provide the statistical data for the Great Reform Bill. In 1835 he moved to become under-secretary at Dublin, where he aimed at the impartial administration of law and order and began the establishment of an efficient police force. His supporters claimed a significant reduction in agrarian crime. Drummond gave great offence to ultra-protestants with his reminder to landlords that they had duties as well as rights. He was subsequently involved in planning a state railway system for Ireland which never materialized. Drummond wore himself out by work and died in harness.

J. A. Cannon

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