Thomas Tollemache

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Lieutenant General Tollemache, circa 1750 Gravure LGen Talmash.jpg
Lieutenant General Tollemache, circa 1750

Thomas Tollemache (Talmash or Tolmach) (c. 1651 – 1694) was an English soldier.

Kingdom of England historic sovereign kingdom on the British Isles (927–1649; 1660–1707)

The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.


Early Life

He was the second son of Sir Lionel Tollemache of Helmingham, Suffolk and his wife, Elizabeth, 2nd Countess of Dysart. [1] After the death of his father, his mother remarried in 1672 to the John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale who became his stepfather.

Sir Lionel Tollemache 3rd Baronet of Helmingham was the head of a powerful East Anglian family whose seat was Helmingham Hall in Suffolk, England. He was the son of Sir Lionel Tollemache, 2nd Baronet and Elizabeth Stanhope, daughter and heiress of John Stanhope, 1st Baron Stanhope of Harrington.

Helmingham Hall Grade I listed building in Mid Suffolk, United Kingdom

Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house in Helmingham, Suffolk, England. It was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. The house is listed Grade I on the National Heritage List for England, and its park and formal gardens are also Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.

Military career

In 1678, he became captain in the Guards, with which he served in English Tangier with the Tangier Garrison; in 1685 he was made lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of fusiliers, but gave up his commission shortly after the accession of James II. [1]

English Tangier refers to the Moroccan city of Tangier during the period of its colonial occupation by the Kingdom of England, which lasted from 1661 to 1684. Tangier had been under Portuguese rule before King Charles II acquired the city as part of the dowry when he married the Portuguese infanta Catherine. The marriage treaty was an extensive renewal of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance; it was opposed by Spain but clandestinely supported by France. England garrisoned and fortified the city against hostile Moroccan forces. When Morocco was later united under the Alaouites, the cost of maintaining the garrison against Moroccan attack greatly increased and Parliamentary refusal to provide funds for its upkeep—a refusal linked to fears of 'Popery' and the fear of a Catholic succession under James II—forced Charles to give up possession. In 1684, the English blew up their harbour and defensive works and completely evacuated the city, which was swiftly occupied and annexed by Morocco.

The Tangier Garrison was the land force which oversaw the defence of English Tangier between 1661 and 1684 when it was evacuated. It was part of the English Army, the de facto standing army that Charles II established following the Restoration. Charles II received Tangier as part of the Marriage Treaty with Portugal in 1661. He appointed Henry Mordaunt, 2nd Earl of Peterborough as governor and, on 30 January 1662, the new garrison took up its duties. Peterborough was not a successful appointment as governor, and Andrew, Lord Rutherford, was appointed in 1662/1663 to replace him.

Fusilier infantry soldier armed with a rifled long gun

Fusilier is a name given to various kinds of soldiers; its meaning depends on the historical context. While fusilier is derived from the 17th-century French word fusil – meaning a type of flintlock musket – the term has been used in contrasting ways in different countries and at different times, including soldiers guarding artillery, various elite units, ordinary line infantry and other uses.

Glorious Revolution

Tollemache abandoned King James in favour of the Protestant William of Orange who, in 1688 successfully usurped the English throne during the Glorious Revolution. For his services to William, now King William III, he was made governor of Portsmouth and colonel of the Coldstream Guards; in 1689 he was chosen an English member of parliament. [1]

William III of England Stadtholder, Prince of Orange and King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".

Glorious Revolution 17th Century British revolution

The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III, Prince of Orange, who was James's nephew and son-in-law. William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascension to the throne as William III of England jointly with his wife, Mary II, James's daughter, after the Declaration of Right, leading to the Bill of Rights 1689.

Coldstream Guards part of the Guards Division, Foot Guards regiments of the British Army

The Coldstream Guards is a part of the Guards Division, Foot Guards regiments of the British Army.

Ireland and Flanders

He served with his regiment during the War of the Grand Alliance, seeing action at the Battle of Walcourt in August 1689. In 1691 he served in Ireland with the rank of major general fighting on the Williamite side against the Jacobite Irish Army. He gained fame at the Battle of Aughrim and at the sieges of Athlone, Galway and Limerick. Following the Treaty of Limerick and the Flight of the Wild Geese he returned to serve on the Continent. In the Netherlands he added to his high reputation with his conduct at the battles of Steenkirk and Neerwinden. [1]

Battle of Walcourt

The Battle of Walcourt was fought on 25 August 1689 during the Nine Years' War. The action took place near the ancient walled town of Walcourt near Charleroi in the Spanish Netherlands, and brought to a close a summer of uneventful marching, manoeuvring, and foraging. The battle was a success for the Grand Alliance – the only significant engagement in the theatre during the campaign of 1689.

Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.


A Williamite is a follower of King William III of England who deposed King James II in the Glorious Revolution. William, the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, replaced James with the support of English Whigs.

Tollemache painted by Godfrey Kneller Thomas Tollemache by Godfrey Kneller.jpg
Tollemache painted by Godfrey Kneller

Raid on Brest

In 1694 Tollemache proposed, and led, an expedition against the French port of Brest. The French however, had gained intelligence of the proposed attack and had reinforced the garrison and strengthened the port's defences. Although he led the English troops with great gallantry, they were beaten off with heavy losses. Tollemache, himself wounded, succumbed to his injuries, later dying in Plymouth in June 1694. He was buried in the church of St Mary's, Helmingham, Suffolk. [1]

Plymouth City and Unitary authority in England

Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England, approximately 37 miles (60 km) south-west of Exeter and 190 miles (310 km) west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall.


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Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Estcourt
John Fitzherbert
Member of Parliament for Malmesbury
With: Charles Godfrey
Succeeded by
Goodwith Wharton
Preceded by
Alexander Popham
Sir Basil Firebrace
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
With: Alexander Popham
Succeeded by
Alexander Popham
Richard Long
Military offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Berwick
Governor of Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Thomas Erle
Preceded by
The Earl of Craven
Colonel of the Coldstream Guards
Succeeded by
The Lord Cutts
Preceded by
Sir Robert Holmes
Governor of the Isle of Wight