Thomas Tollemache

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Thomas Tollemache (Talmash or Tolmach) (c. 1651 – 1694) was an English soldier; the second son of Sir Lionel Tollemache of Helmingham, Suffolk and his wife, Elizabeth, 2nd Countess of Dysart.

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

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.

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, gaining fame at the Battle of Aughrim and at the sieges of Athlone, Galway and Limerick. In the Netherlands he added to his high reputation with his conduct at the battles of Steenkirk and Neerwinden.

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.

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