Troward was a divisional Judge in British-administered India. His avocation was the study of comparative religion. Influences on his thinking, as well as his later writing, included the teachings of Christ, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
After his retirement from the judiciary in 1896, Troward set out to apply logic and a judicial weighing of evidence in the study of matters of cause and effect. The philosopher William James characterized Troward's Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science as "far and away the ablest statement of philosophy I have met, beautiful in its sustained clearness of thought and style, a really classic statement."
According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) archivist Nell Wing, early AA members were strongly encouraged to read Thomas Troward's Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science. In the opening of the 2006 film The Secret (2006 film), introductory remarks credit Troward's philosophy with inspiring the movie and its production.
Troward was a past president of the International New Thought Alliance.