A gentleman antiquarian, from Middleton, Derbyshire, and son of William Bateman. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a member of the British Archaeological Association.
He excavated many barrows in the Peak District and surrounding area. His excavations were pioneering and he published two books detailing his work. "Vestiges of An Antiquarian" was published in 1847 and was followed by "Ten Years' Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills in the Counties of Derby, Stafford and York" in 1861.
After inheriting his father’s collection of archaeological objects he added to this from his own excavations and those of other archaeologists such as James Ruddock and Samuel Carrington. He also collected a great many archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world and housed these collections in Lombardale House.
Many artefacts from his personal collection were bought by Weston Park Museum in 1893. This collection had previously been loaned to the museum by Thomas' son, Thomas William Bateman, when the museum opened in 1876.