"For more than 60 years no one would live in the house. Ghostly noises were traced to a hidden well. The ghost of Margaret Chinnery (above) has been seen along the Lime Walk that she planted"
He was described as a "Merchant of (No.20) Cumberland Street",
probably in the timber and coal trade.
He acquired Gilwell House by Epping Forest in 1824. Osborne Hall became Gilwell Hall, and then Gilwell Park. When Old London Bridge was replaced in 1831 he bought the parapet and re-erected it at the back of the house round the Buffalo lawn.
When sold in 1845 the estate, valued at £7,000, had 72 acres, lodge, gardeners cottage, grounds laid out by Humphrey Repton. The accommodation included 7 bedrooms, 4 dressing rooms, water closets, drawing room, library, billiard room, breakfast room, gentleman's morning room, offices, servant's quarters etc etc. Outside were carriage yard, coach house, stabling for six horses, loose boxes, lawn, garden, plantation, shrubbery, kitchen garden, grapery etc. etc.
The estate was sold to the Scouts Association in 1919 and is to this day the national headquarters of the Scouts.
His austere granite table tomb at the east end of Waltham Abbey tells us that he also had a house at 14 Montague Place, Russell Square, London.
The partnership with his brother Henry spanned the years 1809 -1923.
He worked with Thomas Starling Benson of London and South Wales, (Vinegar, copper, insurance, shipping, coal etc.) and with Peter Paterson of Whitby/Quebec/London, (timber merchant, ship builder and shipping agent).
Thomas had a substantial shareholding in Swansea Harbour Board.
In 1825 a "Thomas Usborne of London" loaned £8,000 (£¼ m. now) to Thomas Rogers as a mortgage @ 4% pa. on his 700 acre Kingston Manor Estate, near Lewes in Sussex.
His will is available at the Public
Records Office online wills: documentsonline.pro.gov.uk.
Probate 11/2020, dated June 17th 1845.
He left an estate worth £60,000 (£4.8m today) to be divided between
his seven grand-children. Each Usborne grand-child inherited £2,000 (£82,000 today) with additional income from a trust fund.
The residue of his estate was to be divided half to his son T.H.Usborne and a quarter each to his two daughters Elizabeth Julia Breedon and Emma Jane Simonds.
The trustees of the will, who were to realise his assets and carry out his wishes, were T.H.Usborne and his son-in-law Henry Breedon. Unfortunately Henry died before Thomas Usborne and no trustee was appointed to replace him.
In 1857 there was still a considerable amount of property unrealised and Elizabeth J. Breedon and her four grown up children issued a Bill of Complaint against T.H.Usborne, asking that he should be made to appoint another trustee and settle up the estate. In the same year T.H.Usborne himself issued a Bill of Complaint against his son T.S Usborne asking to be allowed to appoint a trustee himself since It had been found impracticable to find a person to be a trustee who would be acceptable both to him and the other persons interested in the estate.
The Estate was finally placed in Chancery and wound up under its supervision.