TOLLEMACHE, Hon. Thomas (c.1651-94).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



30 Jan. 1689
22 Jan. 1692 - 12 June 1694

Family and Education

b. c.1651, 2nd s. of Sir Lionel Tollemache, 3rd Bt., of Helmingham, Suff.; bro. of Lionel Tollemache, Lord Huntingtower. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1668; I. Temple 1668. unm.

Offices Held

Capt. Coldstream Gds. 1678-9, lt.-col. 1679-82, col. 1689-d.; lt.-col. of ft. regt. of William Alington, Lord Alington, 1678-9, R. Fusiliers (later 7 Ft.) 1685-6; col. of ft. (Dutch army, later 5 Ft.) Mar. 1688-9; gov. of Portsmouth Dec. 1688-93, I.o.W. 1693-d.1

Commr. for assessment, Suff. 1689-90.


Tollemache had a distinguished record as a soldier, serving in the guards in Flanders and in Tangier. In 1682 he lost his commission in the guards, probably because of a duel with a brother officer, but in June 1685 was made lieutenant-colonel of the newly formed regiment of Royal Fusiliers. On 1 May 1686 he either gave up his commission or was dismissed. He was a Whig, and a member with the Hon. Thomas Wharton of the ‘Treason Club’ which met at the Rose tavern early in 1688 under the presidency of Lord Colchester (Richard Savage). In March he went to Holland and was made colonel of an English regiment of foot in the Dutch service. He landed with William at Torbay, and his regiment, which constituted the advance guard, occupied the Tower on 19 Dec. 1688. Tollemache was returned for Malmesbury on the Wharton interest when Henry Wharton chose to sit for Westmorland. He was an inactive Member of the Convention, his name appearing in the Journals only when, on 4 Dec. 1689, he was added to the committee to reverse the attainder of Sir Thomas Armstrong. Doubtless his duties as governor of Portsmouth and his service in the Netherlands under Marlborough kept him away from the House. He was not listed among the supporters of the disabling clause. He was returned after some difficulty for Chippenham at a by-election in 1692 and listed as a government supporter.

Tollemache saw action in Ireland and the Netherlands and replaced the Earl of Marlborough (John Churchill II) as lieutenant-general in 1692. In 1694 he commanded the abortive expedition to Brest and was mortally wounded while leading his troops against the French defences. He died on 12 June at Plymouth and was buried at Helmingham.2

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. F.J.G. Ten Raa, Het Staache Leger, vi. 254.
  • 2. DNB ; Luttrell, i. 59, 193; J. Carswell, The Old Cause, 68; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), v. 321, CSP Dom. 1687-8, p. 382; CJ, x. 637-8.