Thomas Embling was born 26 August 1814 in Oxford, United Kingdom. After being apprenticed to an apothecary, he studied medicine, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1837 and a licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in 1838.
After his graduation in 1829 he went into partnership in practice with his brother. It was during this time he held a position as a Visiting Medical Officer at Hanwell Asylum, where he became familiar with the latest treatment methods in lunatic asylums. Embling married Jane Webb Chinnock on 1 August 1839 and by 1841 they were living with their son, William on Brompton Row, South Kensington, London. Both Embling and his wife suffered from 'pulmonary affections' which influenced their decision to emigrate to Australia. In 1850 Embling, his wife and seven children sailed from England to South Australia; they then travelled across to Melbourne. The journey to Melbourne was not without incident and Embling was caught up in the bush fires of Black Thursday in February 1851.
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