Thomas Burn was appointed the Assistant Overseer serving the Townships of Greystoke , Johnby, Little Blencow, Motherby and Gill at a meeting of the Vestry 16 May 1823. His appointment, to start on 4 August 1823, was for three successive years for a yearly stipend of twelve pounds and twelve shillings. Previously in 1820 he had been Overseer along with Joseph Stagg, Joseph Guardhouse, Joseph Todhunter and Thomas Arnott.  It might be wondered why he moved from the position of overseer to assistant overseer. Some might see this as a demotion, but by the 1820s the position of assistant overseer had become an official salaried post whereas an overseer continued to be unpaid.
Thomas Burn was a yeoman. He married Elizabeth Hawell on 30 March 1802 and they had one daughter, Jane, baptised at Mungrisedale on 28 April 1803 then again a week later 5 May at Greystoke. Jane later married Joseph Mattinson on 19 November 1825 but died 31 December 1831 aged 28 years.
Mention of Thomas Burn in newspapers is limited. In February 1828 it is reported in several newspapers that a hive of bees belonging to him had swarmed and were thriving. Comment is made of the mild weather for the place and season. The abundance of reports on bees at the time was a reflection of the regard for their productive ways and perfect society.  Thomas Burn probably kept them to supplement his income from farming. In 1831 the Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser refers to a presentation to him of a silver teapot by the rate payers of the Parish in recognition of his conduct during his long service as Assistant Overseer. 
During his time as Assistant Overseer letters survive that were sent to him in relation to his office. The letters came from a wide range of places some from the adjacent parishes within walking distance, others from further away.  One came from Wolsingham, County Durham, concerning William Miller, a besom maker and his family struggling to make a living and coping with family sickness.  Another came from a poor widow Alice Lowden in Liverpool. 
In 1835 Thomas Burn gave notice of his intention to leave the office of Assistant Overseer giving up all money, books and papers belonging to the parish 15 April 1835.
Thomas Burn corresponded with his successor John Cockburn 12 August 1835 concerning pay due.
Sir , My Stipend being due the fourth of this month. I now expect you to pay me the sum of sixteen pounds before Saturday first, if not an action for the recovery without further notice. Yours etc; Thos Burn. 
Mr Cockburn replied:
Sir , In reply to your note of the 12th inst I have respectfully to inform you that your demand of £16 your full years salary cannot be complied with but I can at the same time inform you that the sum due for the time you were in office £11.2s.8d will be paid on demand. Aug 15 1835. Yours John Cockburn. 
Thomas Burn remained in the Greystoke area farming and hopefully keeping his industrious bees. He died on 8 January 1848 and his wife on Elizabeth 23 July 1849. 
 Cumbria Archives, PR5/47, Poor Account Book, 1820-1837
 Cumbria Archives, PR 5/5, Greystoke, St Andrews, Baptism and Burial Register, 1757-1809; PR 5/9, Greystoke St Andrews, Marriage Register, 1813-1837.
 findmypast.uk [accessed 30 March 2020]
 Carlisle Patriot, 2 February 1828, p. 2.
 Ellis Hattie, Sweetness & Light, mysterious History of the Honey Bee (2004)
 Cumberland Pacquet and Whitehaven Ware’s Advertiser, 15 November 1831, p. 3 col, b
[ 7] Cumbria Archives, PR5/63, 22 letters to out relief, 1800-1837.
 Cumbria Archives, PR5/67/H 1, Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 5 May 1834.
 Cumbria Archives, PR5/67-H 21, Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 15 September 1835.
 Cumbria Archives, PR5/67-K 57, Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 12 August 1835.
 Cumbria Archives, PR5/67-K 55, Greystoke Overseers’ Voucher, 15 August 1835.
 Carlisle Journal, 27 July 1829 p.3 col. g.
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