Not much is known about Thomas' past other than he has a wife by the name of Edith and a son named Archie. At some point he started running a farm and became a fundraiser for The Charitable Organisation Of New Hanover
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Horseshoe Overlook chapter
He first appears when he intervenes in the fight between Arthur and Tommy. Afterwards, he is seen giving donations to the poor in Valentine. He is heard coughing while talking about giving money to charity.
At some point, Thomas became financially unstable and received a loan from Leopold Strauss. However, Thomas was unable to repay the loan, resulting in Strauss sending Arthur to get his money back. Arthur arrives at his ranch, and when Thomas claims he has no money, Arthur beats him. During the beating, Thomas coughs blood which comes into contact with Arthur's eye, infecting him with tuberculosis. Edith warns Arthur that Thomas has an illness, so Arthur leaves the property.
It is later mentioned that Thomas passed away, presumably due to his illness and/or the beating that he received from Arthur.
Beaver Hollow chapter
It is revealed that Thomas had passed on his Tuberculosis to Arthur Morgan, when the latter beat him down for Leopold Strauss's loan. Arthur himself thinks this was how he contracted the disease, and wrote in his journal: "All them bullets shot at me, all them horses threw me, all them fights and it was the beating of that pathetic little fella Downes that killed me, I reckon". He will later say something similar to Sister Calderón, if the player has high honor and completes her mission strand.
|“||You won the fight already, surely that's enough?||„|
|—Thomas Downes to Arthur Morgan|
- His grave marker incorrectly spells his name as "Thomas Downs".
- Unlike most of the other loan shark missions, "Money Lending & Other Sins III" is mandatory, making it impossible to prevent Arthur from contracting tuberculosis.