Thomas Burton I

???? - 1805


Absentee slave-owner of Norwich and Great Yarmouth, dying c. 1805. The will and other material on Thomas Burton I only partly supports the version of the family shown in Palmer's Perlustration below. A burial record exists for Thomas Burton of Bracondale at Great Yarmouth aged 66 29/04/1805.

  1. Palmer's Perlustration of Great Yarmouth carries a brief history of the Burton family. It shows Thomas Burton I (1739-1808 [sic]) as one of five sons of John Burton (d. 1755), who had inherited £90,000 from an uncle from a Tellership of the Exchequer. Thomas Burton I married in 1770 Elizabeth Fisher, the daughter of William Fisher of Yarmouth, and lived first at Bracondale Hill, near Norwich, and then at Great Yarmouth, where he died in 1808 [sic] aged 69 [sic] leaving a very considerable fortune comprising estates at Ringstead in Northamptonshire and Chiswick in the Island of Jamaica. Thomas I and Elizabeth Fisher had three [sic] sons: (1) Thomas Burton II who lived in Great Yarmouth and died there aged 68 in 1841, and who married Mary daughter of Thomas Watson in 1802 (together they had an only son, Thomas III, sole heir and inheritor of the family estates, who died unmarried in 1857 aged 64 [sic: this must be 54]); Charles Fisher Burton, a Captain in the Inniskilling Dragoons; and Frederick, also an army officer who died in 1818 aged 29 unmarried. [There is no mention of daughters of Thomas Burton I and Elizabeth Fisher, nor of their son Lancelot Burton, nor any comment on how the Jamaica estate came to the family].

  2. Will of Thomas Burton of Norwich [made in 1795] proved 12/06/1805. In the will he left his interest in the Chiswick estate and the enslaved people attached to it in trust (his trustees were his brothers John and Leonard Burton) with his English real estate to secure an annuity of £500 p.a. to his wife [inclusive of amounts to her under their marriage settlement] and then to the benefit of his children. He specified that if his three eldest sons Thomas, Lancelot and Charles Fisher Burton reached 21, his interest in the Chiswick estate would not be sold without the consent of at least two of the three of them.


T71/867 St Thomas-in-the-East claim no. 263., Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812 [database online]. The Chiswick estate is shown as John and Thomas Burton 1800-32.

  1. Charles John Palmer, Perlustration of Great Yarmouth Vol. II (Great Yarmouth, Nall, 1874) pp. 393-4.

  2. PROB 11/1426/242.

Further Information

Thomas; Lancelot; Charles Fisher

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1800 [EA] - 1805 [LA] → Joint owner

Shown simply as 'John and Thomas Burton' from 1800 to 1832. After 1805 Thomas Burton I's share belonged to his children (including Thomas Burton II) as heirs and as tenants-in-common.

Relationships (3)

Father → Son
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Father-in-law → Son-in-law