Thomas Busby was born in Oxfordshire, around 1804 the son of John Busby (1761-1819) and Ann nee Smith (1769-1847). On 11 August 1822 he married Mary Pretty at Yeovil; they were to have ten children - Walter (1823-1892), Susan (1826-1879), Marianne (1828-1875), William (b1830), Silas (1832-1878), Gaius (1834-1878), Lois (1836-1916), Dorcas (1839-1863), Emma (1842-1871) and James Thomas born in 1858 and died 5 January 1849 aged 7 months.
Thomas was a member of the Yeovil Freemasonry Lodge of Brotherly Love and was initiated on 7 September 1830.
Initially Thomas was a glove manufacturer in partnership with Brett McTier but, according to the edition of 27 July 1839 of Perry's Bankrupt Gazette, the partnership was dissolved on 25 March of that year.
In the late 1830s Thomas was a member of the Yeovil Vestry and in Robson's Directory of 1839 he was listed as a glove manufacturer of Park Street and he was also listed in the Somerset Gazette Directory of 1840 and Pigot's Directory of 1842. The 1841 census listed him living there with Mary and seven of their children. Thomas listed his occupation as glove manufacturer.
In the 1846 Poll Book, Thomas was listed simply as living in Yeovil, but was listed by virtue of his owning freehold houses and gardens in both South Street and Middle Street. He was, however, an influential Yeovilian since in March 1846 he was appointed Overseer at the Annual Vestry, together with John Swatridge, George Wellington and John Newman Berkeley. Thomas was also a Trustee of the Yeovil Old True Blue Benefit Society and was Vice President in the early 1840s and President by 1848.
In the 1851 census they were living in Kingston with four of their children. Thomas listed his occupation as 'Glover Fellman'.
During the 1850s Thomas and Mary moved to Islington, Middlesex, but Thomas died there at the beginning of 1857 aged 52. In the 1861 census, Mary was living in St James Street, Islington, London with two of the children and two grandchildren. She was described as a widow, aged 56, and a proprietor of houses. Mary died in 1884 leaving her estate to her grandson Thomas Patten, who had been orphaned when his mother Susan died in 1879.
Thomas Busby's signature against the Vestry minutes of 8 September 1836.
Will of Thomas Busby, 1857
This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas Busby of No 22 Saint James Street Islington in the County of Middlesex I give bequeath and devise and by virtue and in exercise of all and every powers or power me in anywise enabling in that behalf appoint unto and to the use of my dear wife Mary Busby all and singular my Real and Personal Estate of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever situate for her own absolute use and benefit I desire my said Wife will cause my youngest child Emma Busby to receive the best education in her power to afford her and I hereby revoke all other wills by me at any time heretofore made and appoint my said wife and my son Silas Busby Executrix and Executor of this my will In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of January one thousand eight hundred and fifty seven - Thomas Busby - Signed by the Testator and by him declared to be his last Will and Testament in our presence who in his presence and at his request in the presence of each other have hereunto set out names as witnesses - Joseph Hasalgrave Ind. of St. Peters Islington - Elizabeth Harmer 22 St Jas. St.
Proved at London 9th March 1857 before the Worshipful Thomas Spinks Doctor at Law and Surrogate by the oaths of Mary Busby Widow the Relict and Silas Busby the Son the Exors to whom adm[inistrati]on was granted having been first sworn duly to administer.
Transcribed by Bob Osborn
The notice of Thomas Busby's appointment as Overseer in the 28 March 1846 edition of the Western Flying Post.
.... and the following year Thomas was robbed of a quantity of gloves. This snippet is from the Western Flying Post's edition of 5 June 1847.