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Convict Ship Surgeons - T


*Date of Seniority Royal Navy

TAINSH, Robert *30 May 1793

Robert Tainsh was a surgeon in the Royal Navy. He was injured in an explosion on board the Theseus in May 1799

In 1818 Robert Tainsh gave evidence before the Select Committee on Contagion of the Plague.

....Click to read the rest of the interview

He first arrived in New South Wales as surgeon superintendent on the convict ship Earl St. Vincent which arrived on 9th September 1823.

He was given the usual allowance of 50 to purchase his return to England in September 1823. In October he travelled as Surgeon on the sloop Sally from Sydney to Port Stephens. It is not yet known on which vessel he returned to England. He was next appointed as surgeon superintendent on the Hooghley which departed Cork on 5th January 1825 and arrived in Port Jackson 23 April 1825. He became ill himself on this voyage.

The Hampshire Advertiser of 9th April 1842 carried the following death notice - Died, On the 28th ult. at Calais, aged 62, Elizabeth, relict of the late Dr. R. Tainsh, R.N.


TARN, John R.N., * 8 September 1818


John Tarn was born in Shipton, Oxford

He was appointed to the position of Assistant Surgeon on 11 May 1813

He was appointed to the Beever in 1817 and was Acting Surgeon on the Sybille  in October 1819

He was appointed to the position of Surgeon in 1821

He was surgeon on the Adventure on the Surveying voyages of the Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1830  

John Tarn was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships Georgiana  which departed 1 April 1831 and arrived in Port Jackson 27 July 1831;

George Hibbert (with female prisoners) which departed the Downs 27 July 1834 and arrived in Port Jackson 1st December 1834;

The Bengal Merchant  which departed the Downs on 8th August 1836 and arrived in Port Jackson 9th December 1836;

the  Surry which departed the Downs 5 April 1842 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 11 August 1842

and the Pestonjee Bomanjee from Dublin with convicts, arrived in Hobart 3 January 1849.


(Sir Gilbert Blane's gold Medal was a Fund in perpetuity, for the purpose of providing the means of conferring a gold medal, once in every two years, on such two Medical Officers, whether Surgeons, or Assistant-Surgeons acting as Surgeons, as shall produce the most approved journals of their practice, whilst Actually serving in King's Ships.)

John remained unmarried. In the 1861 Census he was recorded living at the house of his unmarried sister Mary at Newton Abbot, Devon. Mary was 71 years old. Also residing with Mary was their brother Miles a retired solicitor age 90, and unmarried sister Sophia age 69. They employed two house servants. Next door was clergyman John Templar.

The Will of John Tarn late of Highweek in the county of Devon, Staff Surgeon R.N. who died 7 November 1877 at Knowles Hill Highweek was proved at Exeter by John Harris Whiteway of Newton Abbot in the said County, solicitor the sole Executor. Person Estate under 8000 (87)


TAYLOR, Alexander  R.N., 23 July 1804


 Alexander Taylor was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers of 1814

Alexander Taylor was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Guildford in 1816 and the Prince Regent in 1821

In the Navy List of 1842, Alexander Taylor (joined the Royal Navy 23 July 1804) is noted as having a pension of 40 12s 4d per annum as retired surgeon of the convict ship Surprise. (This may have been the prison hulk Surprise which was moored at the Cove of Cork 1822 - 1837)

According to the House of Commons Papers 1826 (below) a Surgeon employed on the hulks would receive a salary of 80 per annum (click on the text below to find out more about prisons in Cork)


Marriage - 1st July at Cove, Captain Thomas Hilton, 19th Regiment, to Annie second daughter of Alexander Taylor Surgeon R.N., (United Services Magazine 1841)

Marriage - At Monkstown Church, Captain Robert Campbell 73rd regiment to Dora, youngest daughter of Alexander Taylor Esq. surgeon R.N. of Monkstown Cork. (Freeman's Journal 8 July 1847)

Alexander Taylor was on the List of Obituaries of retired Officers of the Royal Navy in 1851 (The Navy List)





David Thomas (1843) recently serving in the Daphne on the Pacific station, appointed Surgeon Superintendent of the Midlothian convict ship (Medical Times and Gazette 1852)

The Midlothian arrived in Hobart from Kingstown on 24 February 1853.





There were three surgeons by the name of John Thompson entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814 -

(1)John Thompson *23 March 1879;  (2)John Thompson *17 October 1807;  (3)John Thompson *28 September 1814)

John Thompson was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Malabar in 1821 (VDL)





David Thomson was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships

Eliza 1830 (VDL); 

Earl of Liverpool 1831 ;

Stakesby 1833 (VDL); 

New Grove 1835 (VDL);

John Barry 1837 (bringing emigrants); David Thomson gave evidence in parliament regarding the voyage of the John Barry. Information includes illnesses, conditions on board and victualling. Select here

Midlothian which departed Dublin 17 November 1852 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 24 February 1853

On the voyage of the New Grove David Thomson took over duties of Surgeon Superintendent at Scilly, in consequence of the surgeon George Rowe having become dangerously ill. When David Thomson arrived on board on 24th November 1834 there were one hundred and sixty five female prisoners, five free women and twenty eight children.


THOMSON, George *1 January 1814


George Thomson was appointed Assistant-Surgeon to the Daedalus in 1810. He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

George Thomson was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ships England  in 1826 and the Borodino in 1828.

By the entry at Oxnam Monumental Inscriptions By Elizabeth Leitch, Joanne Burns & Davina Smart, he may have died at Port Mahon, Minorca, on 17 June 1834 aged 43 years. Cholera ravaged the population in Port Mahon in 1834


THOMSON, James *18 September 1781


James Thomson was employed as surgeon on the Surprise in 1794

Governor King to Earl Camden, Sydney 22 February 1806 (Extract).......Being informed that Mr. James Thompson, assistant surgeon now on leave in England, has no intention of returning to this colony, and not knowing what the event of the sentence passed on Mr. Savage, another of the assistant surgeons, may be, and there being a great want of the necessary medical gentlemen to do duty here, I have taken it upon me to appoint Mr. John Connellan, who has been so strongly recommended by the Irish Government, as stated in the enclosed copy of Mr. Secretary Marsden's letter, to act as surgeon at Norfolk Island until you Lordship's further commands are received thereon...(HRA NSW., Vol. IV, p20)

James Thomson was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814



?Blenheim 1849 (VDL)



THROSBY,  Charles

Charles Throsby was born at Glenfield near Leicester, England, son of John Throsby.

He joined the navy as a surgeon and served in the armed transports Coromandel and Calcutta from 1797.

In June 1802 he arrived in New South Wales as naval surgeon of the Coromandel and was complimented by Governor Philip Gidley King on the good health of the convicts and settlers under his charge.

He was was appointed medical officer and magistrate at Castle Hill and then to Sydney

He was first sent to Newcastle penal settlement as assistant surgeon and magistrate in August 1804. When Lieut. Charles Menzies resigned in March 1805, Throsby was appointed superintendent of labour. When Ensign Draffen who had been appointed Commandant became mentally ill, Charles Throsby was appointed to the position.

Select here to read about Charles Throsby's dramatic arrival at Newcastle in March 1805 and the difficulties he faced in the settlement at that time.

To find out more about Charles Throsby select Australian Dictionary of Biography

Charles Throsby died in 1828. Select here to read his obituary.


TOMS, Philip R.N. *22 January 1834. F.R.C.S. & L.R.C.P. Lond.


Philip Toms was born in Plymouth c. 1800, son of Francis and Mary Toms (Family 

He was promoted from Assistant-Surgeon to the position of Surgeon in 1834 (Morning Post 3 March 1834). He was appointed to the Brig Spey at Falmouth on 29 April 1834.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Maitland which departed Sheerness on 22 March 1840 and arrived in Port Jackson on 14 July 1840. He departed the colony in August 1840 on the Pilgrim bound for Liverpool with Drs. McKeckney and Mahon.

In the 1841 UK Census Philip Toms gives his age as 40 and resides in Kingsbridge, Devon with William Toms age 42 (probably his brother), also a surgeon and William's wife and children. Alexander Henry age 18, assistant-surgeon also resides with the family.

Philip Toms was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Prince Regent in 1842. The Prince Regent departed Ireland 7th August 1841 with 182 convicts and arrived in Van Diemen's Land 2 January 1842.

He was appointed Surgeon to the Tyne in April 1843 (Hampshire Advertiser 22 April 1843)

Philip Toms was on the List of Fellows admitted by the College of Surgeons in 1844 - 45.

He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Waverley. The Waverley arrived on 25 October 1847 and brought 129 female prisoners, 32 children and 39 free females from Dublin. He returned to England on the Calcutta in January 1848.

In 1848 he was appointed Surgeon on the Tortoise guard-ship at Ascension (The Standard 17 November 1848)

In 1853 he was appointed to the Royal George, 120, screw, at Sheerness (The Standard 2 November 1853)

In 1860 he was on a List of members of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, resident in Plymouth, Devonshire, Stonehouse  who signed correspondence to the Members of the Medical Council of the united Kingdom re granting a diploma to men of insufficient education. (The Lancet)

When the 1861 Census was taken Philip Toms resided in Plymouth at the house of widow Amy Moore and her two unmarried daughters Louisa and Fanny. He gives his age as 55 and is unmarried; he gave his occupation as Surgeon, Retired. The other lodger at the house of was William Barke, a ship owner.

Entries in the British Medical Directory of 1853 give the following information:

Phillip Toms, Kingsbridge, Devon, F.R.C.S. (Nom) 1844; M.R.C.S.E. 1824; L.S.A. 1823; Surg R.N.

William Toms, Kingsbridge, Devon, M.R.C.S.E. 1820; L.S.A. 1819.

He was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy retired in 1864


TROTMAN, William Henry R. N., *21 August 1810


William Henry Trotman was born in Barbadoes in 1795. He was Acting Surgeon's 2nd Mate on the vessel Spartiate at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He was 20 years old. Find out more about the Union Jack that flew on the Spartiate when William Trotman took part in the Battle.

He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

William Henry Trotman was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Claudine which arrived in Port Jackson on 6th December 1829 and the Waterloo which arrive on the 31 April 1831.

He was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were fit for service in 1841...

William Trotman can be found in the 1861 Census residing in Bristol with his wife Jane. William is aged 76 and Jane 40 years of age. William gives his place of birth as Barbadoes and Jane was born in Ireland.

William Henry Trotman of Charlotte Street, Park-street, Bristol, Surgeon R.N. on the retired list, (Seniority 21st August 1810) died age 77 on 23 April 1862.

William Trotman's widow Jane was Executrix of his estate which was valued at under 2000 (87)


TURNER, Samuel

Samuel Turner was one of the Missionaries on board the missionary vessel Duff  in 1798. The Duff sailed from Portsmouth in convoy with the Hillsborough in 1798.

He was employed as Surgeon on the convict ship Royal Admiral in 1800. He died of fever on the voyage before reaching Rio de Janeiro.


(The history of missions: or, Of the propagation of Christianity. Click to read more)




John Tweeddale was born c. 1781 in Scotland.

He was entered in the Navy List of Medical Officers in 1814

John Tweeddale was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the Coromandel in 1838 (VDL). The Coromandel arrived on 25 October from London with cargo, 349 male prisoners and soldiers of the 51st and 21st regiment.

John Tweeddale (*24 February 1807) was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy who were unfit for service in 1841.

He can be found in the 1851 Census residing in King's Lynn. He is 70 years of age and gives his occupation as Magistrate for Lynn, M.D. Aberdeen University on half pay as Surgeon, Royal Navy. His wife Harriet age 55 who was born in Middlesex resides with him. They have three servants.




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