The family estate at Stoke Edith was entailed to him under his parents' marriage settlement, but both he and his next brother, Edward, were profligate spenders. When his father paid Foley's debts in 1773 (mortgaging his estates), this Thomas conveyed his interest in the Stoke Edith estate to his father. The father had inherited, in 1766, the Great Witley estate from his cousin, the 2nd Lord Foley of the first creation. This enabled the father (in his will) to divide his estates between his three sons. Thomas' share was the extensive Great Witley estate, but excluding the manor of Malvern and estates that his cousin had bought from Lord Montfort (which were included in Edward's share). However, this Thomas did not immediately become entitled to the estates, but only to an annuity. The balance of the income was applied to paying his debts. After his death in 1793, there were still unpaid debts, which the creditors exchanged for annuities terminating in 1808. By that time, his son, also named Thomas, had come of age. In the meantime it had been necessary to obtain two private Acts of Parliament (in 1778 and 1796) to enable the trustees to make sales of parts of the estates, grant leases, and otherwise deal with the settled estate.
Thomas Foley was known to his contemporaries as "Lord Balloon", because of his girth. He was a friend of architect John Nash. After Foley's death, his son would commission Nash to add porticoes to the north and south sides of Witley Court.