Sunday, June 5, 2011

Anthony Toomey in India

Biographical Information

I haven't yet discovered anything about Anthony or his family prior to 1767 -68 but he must have received an education which enabled him to go on to medical training. As Catholics at this time were excluded from Parliament, the professions and owning land he would have had to travel to other parts of the UK or even Europe to gain his qualifications.

He leaves for India about 1768, bound for  Thalassery ( or Tellicherri as the British renamed it ), a coastal settlement on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. Due to its location, the town of Thalassery was a major commercial centre during the British rule of India, with a large seaport through which a variety of spices were exported. In 1708, the British built Thalassery Fort by the sea to protect and control the spice trade from the town, an imposing structure with its massive walls, secret tunnels to the sea, and huge, intricately-carved doors
In 1781 this fort was attacked unsuccessfully by the ruler and military commander of Mysore.

Thalassery/Tellicherri c.1790
From the book Indian Medical Service.............1771, p407

173. Anthony Toomey b 1746 Assistant Surgeon 18 April 1771.
Surg. Tellicherri, appointed Second Member of Medl. Board v. (vacating) Harrison, R 13 Jan 1789
First Member and Physn,General v. Durham, R., 13 Jan 1790
d. at Bombay 16 January 1797.
Second Maisur War 1781 - 82, reduction of Forts Surgaum, Omergaum and Bellaghaum.

History of the Indian Medical Service by Crawford
p 11, 28, 32, 230, 231, 464.

16th August 1787
Toomey was surgeon of the General Hospital at Tellicherri. Was appointed 3rd Surgeon at Bombay with proportionate salary.

8th April 1789
Mr. Toomey appointed hospital surgeon on the departure of Mr. Harrison.

In 1787 a dispute took place between Anthony Toomey, Surgeon to the factory at Tellicherri and Major Nugent and Captain Bannatyne about the removal of sick men from the regimental barracks to the General Hospital at Tellicherri of which Toomey was in charge. Toomey alleged that cases, which required treatment in the General Hospital, were no sent to it. An acrimonious dispute followed. Finally Captain Bannatyne demanded that Tommey be tried to court martial for bringing a false charge against him. The Tellicherri council referred the matter for decision to HQ at Bombay. The decision given was that Toomey, as surgeon to the settlement, a civil appointment, was not amenable to military law and so far was in his favour. As regards to the matter in dispute the decision was against him and the decision to move sick patients was at the discretion of the commandant and surgeon of the battalion.

Extract from Tellicherri Records, Vol. 111 - 27th March 1787

" Captain Bannatyne must be aquainted that if he has any complaints to make to Mr Toomey he should lay them before you, as we do not deem the Surgeon of the Settlement amenable to Miltary Law: it must at the same time be signified to Mr Toomey that his province with respect to patient to be removed from the Battalion to the General Hospital is pointed out in the General Orders of 13 January 1785 conformably to which such sepoys whose cases are chirugical or otherwise very particular, will be put under his care at the discretion of the Commandant and the Battalion Doctor."

Extract from Bombay List of Tombs and Monuments p 139

Anthony Toomey
Buried at the English Cemetery, Sonapur, A Ward, Charni Road, Bombay and the inscription on his tomb reads:

"Sacred to the memory of ANTHONY TOOMEY Esquire Physician General in the Service of the Honourable East India Company on the Bombay Establishment. He departed this life on 16 January 1797. Aged 50 years."

Anthony Toomey's Will

I had a lucky find this week when , looking for websites with sources for Irish ancestry, I came across a Canadian genealogist who is also a descendant of Anthony Toomey. One of the few family stories on her site is that of Anthony and Martha and she had discovered and paid the euros for a copy of the will.
The Will was written on 5th January, 1796.............his estate is divided in half, one going to his wife Martha and the other to his son, Mark Toomey. If one or either dies then the other gets the entire estate. If Mark had married or had children it would be divided up equally amongst them. The exact sum is not mentioned but if it was 20,000 pounds , in todays money is worth 643,400 pounds which in NZ dollars is $1,295,715.00

The Will confirms that Anthony Toomey of the East India Company did have a wife named Martha and a son named Mark.

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