Thomas and Alice.       Family Tittle-Tattle.                                 
Thomas and Alice lived at Writtle House, a huge square uninteresting house with a large garden. Alice's father had added three dignified large ground floor rooms but nothing could ever make the house beautiful. The brewery, source of the family fortune, was just over the garden wall. When the hops were boiled a strong, sickly-sweet smell pervaded the whole estate. Thomas was a middle class business man, director of the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, a really great financier and well-known and respected in the City. He spoke in a husky voice and had a large under-jaw. He was careful of every sixpence that he spent and, when needing a Hansom Cab, would walk down the steps of the Carlton Club and up the steps of the Reform, because he could get one for 1/6d. instead of 2/-.
He was a true victorian father whose slightest wish was law in the home. There were very respectful manners but no intimacy between him and his eleven children. He kept a large stable with eight or ten beautiful horses for hunting and driving, notably a pair of pretty Norwegian cream-coloured ponies who were driven in a governess cart. Hunting and making money were his only tastes except for a little mild gambling at Monte Carlo.
Alice, at nineteen was calmly beautiful and had already turned down nineteen proposals of marriage. Thomas or Tummas as Alice preferred to call him was a young, rather unattractive Irishman who had been roped in to manage the brewery. He won her heart and she bore him six sons and six daughters. He remained a faithful husband. 
Alice was a remarkable woman with large eyes and fine wavy hair. She would have been considered
beautiful had she not become enormously stout. She had given birth every second year for twelve years or more, yet never complained about anything. She organised her large household with quiet but very firm discipline and held the complete devotion of her husband and eleven children. Her genius for command was always effortless and unconscious. She had a beautiful voice, singing through all the psalms and hymns on a Sunday morning. She had no conversation to speak of, scarcely any real education, and absolutely no intellectual ability of any kind. There was hardly a single book in that house. The meals were prodigious, they all ate and drank with enormous appetites and were frequently obliged to take the cure at Aix les Bains or Carlsbad. The daughters were so strong they could hunt all day and dance all night. They were not elegant but had a great many friends of the same type as themselves among the families who lived round about where the father was 'something in the city'

Tom Hooson M.P. wrote in 1983: "Thomas Usborne appears to have been a man of the nineteenth century. He wisely retired from parliament rather than move into this turbulent century. Nor did he stain his hand excessively with the vulgarities of contested elections. As MP for Chelmsford for eight years he only endured one contested election, in 1892 when he gained 4,168 vote against the Liberal's 2,799. The family is therefore entitled to say "Never defeated"."

Phillip Whitehead MEP wrote in 2004: "In ten years as an MP, Thomas spoke only twice in parliament, on both occasions against the taxation of beer".
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