Thomas Robert ‘Tommy’ Dewar was born in 1864 in Perth, Scotland. His was a relatively privileged background, due to the success of his father’s distillery, John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. He earned his education in Perth, as well as in Edinburgh and, after an unsuccessful attempt at farming, entered the family business.
After his father’s death, ‘Tommy’ worked with his brother at the head of the firm, investing his charisma and business acumen to great effect and making Dewar’s a global success. Visiting 26 countries, over the course of two years, the Dewar’s brand was put on the map as one of the premiere Scotch Whiskies. Dewar himself meanwhile kept a journal of his travels which were consolidated and published in the book titled, Ramble Round the Globe, published by Chatto and Windus in 1894.
With his travelling days behind him, Dewar entered political life; being elected as the Conservative member for Tower Hamlets in 1900. He successfully bred racehorses and sponsored prizes for association football and cycling as well as taking a keen interest in the burgeoning automotive industry and inaugurating the Dewar Trophy.
Dewar was knighted in 1902, created a Baronet, of Homestall Manor in the Parish of East Grinstead in the County of East Sussex, in 1917 and raised to the peerage as Baron Dewar, of Homestall in the County of Sussex in 1919. He died in 1930, when the baronetcy and barony became extinct.