David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Regimental Surgeons of the Malta Garrison
Grantham Richard Townshend

Assistant Surgeon Richard Townshend Grantham
? – 25 May 1805 [Malta]

1800 Regimental Mate.

30 July 1800 Assistant Surgeon 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot.

Malta Nov 1800 Arrived with his regiment as part of Sir Ralph Abercrombie's Expedition to Egypt.

Malta 1801 Assistant Surgeon 27th Foot.

Malta 1802 Assistant Surgeon 27th Foot.

Malta 1803 Assistant Surgeon 27th Foot.

Malta 1804 Assistant Surgeon 27th Foot.

Malta 25 May 1805 Killed in a duel at Porte de Bombes Floriana. Lt William Fairtlough, 27th Foot, appeared before a Court Martial on 30 May 1805 charged with wilful homicide, but was acquitted.

Grantham's statement, written before the duel, was read out to the court: "About nine o'clock, this present evening (22 May), I was coming to my room when I saw a light in the room adjoining the mess room, and on enquiry found the mess waiter providing things for supper at Mr Fairtlough's. The waiter told me he wished the mess cruet stand, but that he, (the waiter), could not give it. I told him he better acquaint Mr Fairtlough so, which he did, but the latter insisted on having it. Sometime after, I was coming to my room, and seeing the waiter, I asked him, and was told, he (Mr Fairtlough) insisted, and had it to his room. I answered very well and went to bed. I had been asleep sometime when I was roused by a knocking at my door, and when answered, he, (Mr Fairtlough), wanted to come in. I opened the door, when in a very insulting manner, he said the mess waiter said I intended to get him fined 5. My answer to which was, I was surprised at his waking me, and requested him to leave the room, which he refused, and spoke in a most insulting manner in the hearing of the sentry, but who says he knew nothing of what passed till he heard me desire Mr Fairtlough to quit my room. I requested him to save me the trouble of saying or doing anything unpleasant but placing his back to the door refused to go away. I took him by the arm and slightly pushed him when he turned and struck me in the face".

It was a matter of honour. Grantham "had received a blow, and he could never think of receiving a verbal apology for such an insult. That there was one mode of settling the business, that he had made up his mind to, and was determined to settle it in that manner".1

Sources

  1. Entry No: 2019. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  2. 1A History of the British Army in Malta Chapter six in Malta Family History