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Matthew Chitty
Darby-Griffith
(1772-1823)
Born: 1772
Major-General
Died: 7th August 1823
at Padworth, Berkshire

Matthew Chitty was the second son of Vice Admiral George Darby of Newtown House, Hampshire and his wife, Mary daughter of Sir William St. Quentin, bart. His maternal aunt was Mrs. Catherine Griffith, the wife of Christopher Griffith Esq., from whom he inherited the Padworth estate in September 1801. In accordance with her will, he also took the additional name of Griffith.

He had a distinguished military career, serving in the Regiment of the First or Grenadier Guards for a period of thirty years. He took part in the expedition to Holland, under Sir Ralph Abercrombie, in 1799 and, afterwards, under the Duke of York, in a campaign which was an episode in the long Continental War carried on by England against Napoleon.

In 1809, Darby-Griffith was present, and lost his leg, at the Battle of Corunna in Spain, where Sir John Moore, having accomplished a retreat under immense difficulties, finally held in check the pursuing French army long enough to enable his own troops to embark. Though Sir John was killed at the moment when a decisive victory was just within his grasp.

Major-General Darby-Griffith died at Padworth House on 7th August 1823, leaving, by his wife, Lousia 3rd daughter of Thomas Hankey esq. of Fetcham Park, Surrey,  three sons and one daughter: Christopher who inherited Padworth and was Member of Parliament for Devizes and married Arabella Colston of Roundway Park; Henry, who commanded the Scots Greys in the Crimea and also died a Major-General; George who became a Major in the army and died in 1846; and Isabella who married Captain Knox, RN, and died 1892.

Edited from Mary Sharp's 'A Record of the Parish of Padworth'(1911)
  

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.