Born in rural Scotland in 1773, Andrew was transported to New South Wales aged 18 on an uncertain stealing charge and became one of the richest and most successful men in colonial Australia. As a police Chief Constable, he gained prominence through his honesty, leadership, and industry, and was appointed to official posts by Governors Hunter, King, Bligh, and Macquarie.
He built a vast business empire despite opposition from the all-powerful NSW Corps and John Macarthur. Thompson was the first ex-convict to be made a Chief Magistrate. He became a friend of Governor Macquarie, to whom he bequeathed part of his estate. Loved by the Hawkesbury settlers and honoured by Governors, Andrew Thompson gained more fame and fortune in New South Wales than he could have hoped for in his native land.