|Thomas Masters Usborne of
Born December 11th.1866 in Surbiton, Surrey.
First marriage January 18th 1898 in Lynsted, Kent to Mary Florence Violet daughter of Thomas William Vallance of Lynsted. Marriage dissolved.
Second marriage July 3rd.1908 at St Paul's, South Kensington, London to Helen Caroline (b.1880), daughter of Henry Horton of Brentwood, Kent.
Helen died 5th July 1932. Buried Battersea Cemetery, Morden, Surrey.
Thomas died February 1st.1952 in Chilham.
Click to enlarge
Thomas was educated at Haileybury. He saw active service in WW1 as a Sergeant
Major in 1916 with the 75th batallion of the Royal
Artillery rising to the rank of Major. He
lived at Berry House, Chilham, Kent.
He was a sportsman competing at a high level in tennis. He played cricket and was wicket-keeper for The Europeans in India. (1892-1900).
He began researching the family around 1920 and regarded himself as the family Archivist. He built up the majority of the family tree and registered a new variant of the coat of arms. Two leather bound volumes are held by his great nephew Edward. They contain dozens of historic family wills transcribed by Thomas. For a commentary by Thomas on the building of the tree click here.
Michael Gater (grandson of Elizabeth Rachel Usborne (1861-1922)) writes: "The Major, as he was known to our family, carried out quite a lot of research into my branch of the family and a relative visited him in Chilham where the walls of his study were lined with pedigree charts. Unfortunately, he died before he had completed his work and was unable to establish a link with his branch of the family".
To view a spreadsheet of Usborne/Osborne records (1520-1880) built up by Michael Gater based on research by Thomas click here.
Thomas at back.
Sister Maud by him.
Now read the scandal of how Violet left him for another army officer in 1906
|Portraits of Harriet and Major. Thomas(b.1907) wrote (September 1979) in a letter to Francis(b.1907): "After my mother's funeral in Battle in 1928 a strange man appeared in our house and said he was the family archivist and could he have a look round to see if there were any archives for his collection. He did it in such a peremptory manner that I almost refused him entry. However I relented and let him in. His eye soon fell on our portraits of "the ancestors" as we called them, not knowing, (or very much caring) who they were. Before he left he asked if he could have the portraits for his collection. I was so put out by his vulture-like appearance that I said No. We sold the house in Battle and joined the family of our uncle and Aunt in Inkpen, Berkshire, where I put the portraits in a cupboard. Ten years later I had a further request from Tom of Chilham to let him have the portraits. Feeling then that it was rather churlish and selfish to keep Harriet and Major in a cupboard, I agreed to let them go. I am going to ask you, when you and Brigit are no more, whether you would bequeath Harriet and Major back to my branch of the family". Francis declined. The portraits have now been passed down to Hermione's daughter Melanie Fearon.||