Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Teonge, Henry
TEONGE, HENRY (1621–1690), chaplain in the navy and diarist, born 18 March 1621 (Diary, p. 145), a native of Wolverton, Warwickshire, was son of George Teonge, was educated at Warwick, became sizar of Christ's College, Cambridge, 28 June 1639, and graduated B.A. 1642–3. He seems to have been appointed to Sleaford 13 Nov. 1648. Previous to 1670 he was rector of Alcester. On 7 June 1670 he was presented to the living of Spernall. In May 1675, being, it appears, in exceeding want, he obtained a warrant as chaplain on board the Assistance then in the Thames preparing for a voyage to the Mediterranean. She visited Malta, Zante, Cephalonia, different ports in the Levant, and took part in the operations against Tripoli under Sir John Narbrough [q. v.], returning to England in Nov. 1676. In March 1678 Teonge, who, in the former voyage, had ‘gott a good summ of monys,’ and by this time ‘spent greate part of it,’ living also ‘very uneasy, being daily dunnd by som or other, or else for feare of land pyrates, which I hated worse then Turkes,’ joined the Bristol, again for the Mediterranean under Narbrough. In Jan. 1678–9 he was moved, with his captain, to the Royal Oak, in which he returned to England in June. In October he returned to Spernall, where he died on 21 March 1690. He was twice married, and by his first wife, Jane, had three sons, of whom Henry Teonge, vicar of Coughton, Warwickshire (1675–83), took duty at Spernall in his father's absence.
The interest of Teonge's life is concentrated in the diary of the few years he spent at sea, which gives an amusing and precious picture of life in the navy at that time. This journal, from 20 May 1675 to 28 June 1679, having lain in manuscript for over a century, was purchased from a Warwickshire family by Charles Knight, who edited it in 1825 as ‘The Diary of Henry Teonge,’ with a facsimile of the first folio of the manuscript (London, 8vo). The narrative reveals the diarist as a pleasant, lively, easy-going man, not so strict as to prevent his falling in with the humours of his surroundings, and with a fine appreciation of punch, which he describes as ‘a liquor very strange to me.’[The Diary of Henry Teonge … now first published from the original manuscript, with biographical and historical notes, 1825.]