Thomas Usborne                          
Born May 30th 1840 at Limerick, Ireland 
Died June 8th.1915 at Writtle.
First Marriage December 3rd.1863 at Writtle
to Frances Alice, daughter of J.A.Hardcastle
of Queens Gate Terrace, London.
Second Marriage August 7th.1912
at Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, London
to Florence Rose, daughter of Isaac Symmonds
of Clapham Surrey. Florence had a daughter Phillys Teffry by her previous marriage.
Alice died April 8th.1911 at Writtle aged 56.
Thomas died June 8th 1915 at Writtle. 
Florence Rose died in 1958 at a great age (90+?).
Both are buried at Writtle. 

The House, Writtle
Demolished in 1922


Frances Alice
His first wife  

Thomas was educated at Harrow (1855-1859) and Trinity College, Cambridge.
He became a stock-broker, Director of Writtle Brewery, Chairman of Anglo-Egyptian Bank,
Conservative Member of Parliament for Chelmsford (1892-1902), Master of Foxhounds of the Essex Union Hunt, Justice of the peace etc. etc. etc.
Thomas inherited money, made money and married money. Alice was the daughter of J.A.Hardcastle MP who owned Writtle Brewery. They lived in an enormous house adjacent to the Brewery known simply as "The House, Writtle". Nearby they owned three farms of 500 acres. They kept numerous carriages and many horses. The 1891 census records 13 indoor servants (governess, coachman, cook, lady's maid, 2 nurse maids, 2 house maids, 2 kitchen maids, 3 below maids). Outside there were grooms and in 1911 nine gardeners (shared with the brewery). The estate had its own gas works.
Thomas was one of the earliest pioneers of the game of Bridge. In 1909 he took up photography. Chelmsford Archives hold 500 of his stereoscopic plates together with much of his camera equipment. The Lumiere brothers of Lyon first exhibited their autochrome colour process at the Paris exhibition of 1900. In the last years of his life he made many stereoscopic colour plates, mostly of his garden and foreign holidays. Each plate would have taken 12 hours to process. The adjacent picture of his second wife is an example. She was formerly his house-keeper. She was presented at Court in 1923 with her daughter Phyllis.
A new east window was installed in Thomas'  memory in Writtle church. The Bishop of Colchester conducted the service. A peal of Steadman trebles (5040 changes) had to be abandoned when the tenor bell rope broke.
For more family tittle-tattle click here                  For more family photos click here

Thomas with camera gear

Florence Rose  
His second wife