During the 1600's the family of Mills were "favored" by royalty in the area of Glouchestershire, England. From this "favor" arose a rather famous band of highwaymen who evolved into what became known as the Wickwar Gang in the 1700's. The name of peerage which has been linked with the Mills family as being the source of their favor was a man by the name of Thomas Burnell (spelled Burnelle in censuses. There was a long term arrangement between Thomas Burnell and the Mills family, so much so that the Mills were allowed to live upon his land paying only one grain of pepper, and this arrangement was formalized upon his death when he included in his will that the Mills could reside upon his land as long as at least one of the Mills paid tenure to his descendants for a period of 60 years with one grain of pepper. Eventually the Burnells were less recognized by the Crown and were simple land owners, leading to the Mills eventually being turned in as part of the highway gang.
I have located in 1851 a Thomas Burnelle, aged 40, living at Yate Rooks in Glouchestershire with two sons---one being ten and one being three. There is no wife ennumerated. Can anyone tell me about this man, or about the family?