Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Toye, Edwin Josiah (1871 - 1938)

MRCS 9 May 1895; FRCS 9 June 1898; MB BS London 1897; BSc 1892; MD 1898; LRCP 1895.

3 November 1871
25 January 1938
Bideford, Devon
General surgeon, Medical Officer and Ophthalmic surgeon


Born 3 November 1871 at 8 Bonner's Lane, Bethnal Green, the second child of Edwin Josiah Toye, chemist, and Jane Buggel, his wife. He entered St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1890, where he had a brilliant career. He won the junior and the senior scholarships, and was ophthalmic house surgeon under Henry Power and Bowater J Vernon. He was equally successful at the University of London, where he gained honours in physiology at the BSc examination, the gold medal for obstetrics at the MB, and was judged worthy of the gold medal at the BS. For a year he was house physician at the Metropolitan Hospital, and in 1898 took a locum tenancy at Bideford with Ezekiel Rouse and Matthew Richard Gooding. Dr Rouse died, and Toye became assistant to Gooding and later his partner. In addition to his routine general practice, Toye maintained his interest in ophthalmic surgery and acted as ophthalmic surgeon as well as medical officer to the Bideford Hospital until he died. He held a unique position at Bideford, for in addition to his professional work he was interested in municipal affairs and served as mayor in 1925. The Bideford bridge was rebuilt during his year of office, and his name is engraved upon the memorial stone. He was chairman of the Barnstaple division and president of the South-Western branch of the British Medical Association, and served as president of the Devon and Exeter Medico-Chirurgical Society.

He married on 8 September 1903 Mary Ellen Keene, widow of Captain T C P Keene, KOSB. She died in 1933, leaving him with three stepchildren: one son and two daughters. He died suddenly at Stanhope, Bideford, Devon on 25 January 1938. He left £100 each to Bideford and District Hospital, Bideford and District Nursing Association, Bideford Rotary Club, St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, and the Metropolitan Hospital. Toye was an influence for good during the whole of his life, and was very highly respected both as a man and a doctor by all his fellow townsmen. He loved music, and kept himself abreast of medical progress by attending postgraduate classes whenever it was possible to do so.

Acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis. Brit med J 1906, 1, 200.
Mortality in the medical profession, presidential address to BMA, SW branch, 1909.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1938, 1, 313; The Bideford and North Devon Weekly Gazette, 1 February 1938, pp 2, 5, and 7, with a good portrait; information given by his step-daughter, Miss L N Keene; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England