Is your surname Toynbee?

Research the Toynbee family

Joseph Toynbee's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Joseph Toynbee

Birthplace: Heckington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died
Place of Burial: St Mary's Church, 30 St Mary's Road, Wimbledon, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of George Toynbee and Elizabeth Toynbee
Husband of Harriet Toynbee
Father of Arnold Toynbee; Harry Valpy Toynbee and Grace Toynbee

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Toynbee

Joseph Toynbee (30 December 1815 – 7 July 1866) was an English otologist, whose career was dedicated to pathological and anatomical studies of the ear.

He was born in Heckington, Lincolnshire in 1815.

In 1857 Toynbee became aural surgeon and lecturer at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington and was a pioneer in the field of otology. It was during this time that he composed two important works: A Descriptive Catalogue of Preparations Illustrative of the Diseases of the Ear (1857), and The Diseases of the Ear: Their Nature, Diagnosis and Treatment (1860). Also Toynbee is credited as the first physician to discover a link between stapes fixation and hearing loss.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in March 1842.

Austrian otologist Adam Politzer (1835–1920) penned biographies in French (1905) and German (1914) honoring Toynbee, whom Politzer regarded as a major influence. Toynbee died in 1866 when he accidentally inhaled a lethal combination of prussic acid and chloroform; reportedly he was experimenting with these substances as a remedy for tinnitus. He was buried at St Mary's, Wimbledon.

He was married, in August 1846, to Harriet (nee Holmes), daughter of Nathaniel Holmes.

They had nine children together, including economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852–1883), and daughter Grace (nee Toynbee), who married Percy Faraday Frankland in 1882.

Another son, Harry Valpy Toynbee, was the father of universal historian Arnold J. Toynbee, and archaeologist and art historian Jocelyn Toynbee.

view all

Joseph Toynbee's Timeline

December 30, 1815
Heckington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
August 23, 1852
Age 36
Savile Row, London, England, United Kingdom
Age 45
July 7, 1866
Age 50
St Mary's Church, 30 St Mary's Road, Wimbledon, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom