FORD, MATTHEW WILLIAM (d. 1841), an Englishman who started his career in 1804 as an ensign in a West India regiment. He successively served with the 7th Foot, the 70th Foot, the Ist Royal Scots and the 22nd Light Dragoons. In 1823, he was appointed paymaster to the 16th Foot. While stationed at Karnāl in 1837, he embezzled large sums of money and deserted the British troops. He came to Lahore towards the end of the year and joined the Sikh army as a battalion commander on Rs 800 per month, later commuted for a jāgīr of three villages near Rāwalpiṇḍī. Ford's battalion belonged to Avitabile's brigade. At the time of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's funeral procession, Ford commanded the regiment that lined up the streets of Lahore.

         After the Mahārājā's death, European employees of the court became suspect especially in the eyes of the Sikh troops. In March 1841, Ford was at Hazārā when he was attacked by his own men and seriously injured. He escaped to Peshāwar where he died of the injuries a month later.


    Grey, C., European Adventurers of Northern India. Lahore, 1929.

Gulcharan Siṅgh