Bradford People: Admiral Tothill


Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Admiral Sir Hugh Henry Darby Tothill KCB, KCMG, KCVO (1865-1927).

He was born in Clifton, Bristol, son of Francis Tothill, barrister. His grandfather was William Tothill, a Bristol industrialist who married Hannah, daughter of Abraham Darby III of the Coalbrookdale ironmaster family -hence the Darby in his name. He became a Lieutenant in 1888 and Captain in 1905, commanding HMS Barfleur in 1906, HMS Illustrious in 1908 and HMS Lancaster in 1911. He was the Captain of the Orion Class heavy cruiser HMS Conqueror at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, in the First World War.

He became Rear-Admiral and Fourth Sea Lord in 1917 and Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Station from 1919 to 1921, Vice-Admiral in 1921 and Admiral in 1926.

He married Hilda Montgomerie Beddoe, daughter of the ethnologist/anthropologist Dr John Beddoe (1826-1911). They inherited The Chantry from Beddoe’s widow, Agnes, in 1914 and he lived there until his death in 1927; she was still there in 1941. A daughter, Helen Nancy Montgomerie Tothill, was born in 1893, married Vernon Saumarey Butler in Chatham in 1915 and died in Bath in 1979.

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