Tollemache - Encyclopedia




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TOLLEMACHE (or [[Talmash), Thomas]] (c. 1651-1694), British soldier, was the second son of Sir Lionel Tollemache, Bart. (d. 1668), of Helmingham, Suffolk, although an idle report of the time made his mother, Elizabeth Murray (d. 1698), afterwards countess of Dysart and duchess of Lauderdale, the mistress of Oliver Cromwell. In 1678 he became captain in the Guards, with which he served in Tangier, and in 1685 he was made lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of fusiliers, but almost at once he gave up his commission because he disliked the proceedings of James II., and became colonel of an Anglo-Dutch regiment, usually stationed in Holland. At the head of his men he landed in England with William of Orange in 1688 and was made governor of Portsmouth and colonel of the Coldstream Guards, while in 1689 he was chosen an English member of parliament. With the Coldstreams he served William III. at the battle of Walcourt, and then as a major-general in Ireland, where in 1691 he gained fame at the battle of Aughrim and at the sieges of Athlone, Galway and Limerick. He then went to the Netherlands and added to his high reputation by his conduct at the battles of Steenkirk and Neerwinden. In 1694 Talmash, as he was generally called, proposed an expedition against Brest, the leadership of which was given to him. The fortifications, however, were too strong, and although he led on the English troops with great gallantry they were beaten off with heavy loss. Talmash himself was wounded, and returning to Plymouth he died there on the 12th of June 1694. He was buried in Helmingham church, where a long inscription summarizes his life.

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