Thomas William Rule was born in Hobart on 7 May 1865, the fifth of ten children born to Thomas Rule and his wife Mary Nash. Thomas came to Launceston in 1884 to manage the Melbourne Boot Palace and later established his own business, the bootery (boot shop) of Rules Pty Ltd. Thomas was the honorary librarian and a bass in the Tasmanian Exhibition Choir of 1891-92. He was active in the community as a chorister at St John's Church, vice-president of the City Band, foundation member of the Operatic Society, member of the Musical Union, librarian and violin player for the Orpheus Orchestral Society, sergeant in the Launceston Rifle Regiment, member of the Shakespearean Society, judge for the Horticultural Society and a member of the Tamar Yacht Club.
Thomas married Mary Eliza Green in Launceston on 3 Mar 1908. They had two daughters: May on 26 Dec 1908 and Bess on 3 May 1910. Thomas died at his residence 11 Park Street on 23 Sep 1947 and was buried at Carr Villa in B 88. He was 82. His wife was buried next to him in 1962.