Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Philip Toms R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 22 January 1834

Philip Toms was born in Plymouth c. 1800, son of Francis and Mary Toms [1]

He was educated at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, London. [2]

He joined the Royal Navy as assistant-surgeon and was promoted to Surgeon on 22 January 1834 [3]. He was appointed to the Brig Spey at Falmouth on 29 April 1834.

Surgeon Superintendent

Philip Toms was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on three convict ship voyages to Australia:

Maitland to NSW in 1840

Prince Regent to VDL in 1842

Waverley to VDL in 1847

1841 Census

In the 1841 UK Census Philip Toms, aged 40, resided at Kingsbridge, Devon with William Toms age 42 also a surgeon, and William's wife and children. Alexander Henry age 18, assistant-surgeon resided with the family.

Naval Career

Philip Toms was appointed Surgeon to the Tyne in April 1843[4]

In 1848 he was appointed to the Tortoise guard-ship at Ascension[5]

In 1853 he was appointed to the Royal George, 120, screw, at Sheerness [6]


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; Surgeon R.N.

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


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. [7]

When the 1861 Census was taken Philip Toms, unmarried, aged 55, retired surgeon, resided in Plymouth at the house of widow Amy Moore and her two unmarried daughters Louisa and Fanny. The other lodger at the house of was William Barke, a ship owner.

Philip Toms was on the List of Surgeons of the Royal Navy retired in 1877


He died at his residence, 29 Torrington Place, Plymouth, May 27th, 1879.[2]


[1] England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977,' database, FamilySearch, Philip Toms, 21 Dec 1800, Birth; citing p. 27, Plymouth, Devon, record group RG4, Public Record Office, London.

[2] Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online

[3] Morning Post 3 March 1834

[4] Hampshire Advertiser 22 April 1843

[5] The Standard 17 November 1848

[6] Medical Times and Gazette

[7] The Lancet