By the age of 12 Thomas Burgin’s family had moved out of Paddington to Little North Street (which used to run off Capland Street), in the St John’s area of Marylebone. Initially Thomas’ father, Charles worked as a labourer but by December 1845 he’d started to branch out to hawking goods. Like many other entrepreneurial Victorians, Charles turned his hand to different occupations, picking up roles as and when they were in economic demand. Along with labouring he briefly worked as a ‘carman’ but by the 1840s he’d turned to street-selling and was hawking vegetables.