Thomas Bates was born in Lower Canada, about 1823. He joined the HBC in 1845 at Montreal and spent the next seven years on the Pacific Coast. This included a stint as a middleman and labourer at Fort Vancouver from 1846 to 1848 when he was transferred to Fort Victoria. In February, a couple of months before he departed from Fort Vancouver, he was "imprisoned for drunkenness and rioting". When he arrived at Fort Victoria in April of 1848 he was assigned duties at the forge where he often worked along side Beauchamp. He also worked at tasks related to the construction of a saw mill some distance from the fort. On July 19, 1848, Bates was married along with five other HBC servants to unnamed women in a group ceremony conducted by Reverend Veyret. Two days later, Finlayson wrote that Bates was part of a group "who make a boast of being unruly & insolent". The following year he served onboard the Beaver. He was discharged in September 1852 but reinstated in 1854 at Norway House. His whereabouts after 1854 have not been traced.