(Governor) Matthew Griswold IV

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Matthew Griswold, IV

Birthplace: Lyme, New London, Connecticut, United States
Death: Died in Lyme, New London, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Judge John Griswold and Hannah Griswold
Husband of Ursula Griswold
Father of Marian Chandler; (Deacon) John Griswold; Matthew Griswold, V and (Governor) Roger Griswold
Brother of Phoebe Parsons; Sarah Hillhouse; Deborah Jewett; Unknown Griswold; Hannah Bushnell and 6 others

Occupation: Governor of Conn 1784-1786, Governor of Connecticut, 1784-1786
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About (Governor) Matthew Griswold IV

Gov. Matthew Griswold

Political Party: Federalist Offices: Captain of the Train Band, South Society, 1739 King's Attorney, New London Co., 1743-1776 Deputy, Connecticut General Assembly, 1748, 1751-1759 Council of Assistants, 1759-1769 Judge, Superior Court, 1765-1769 Chief Justice, Connecticut Superior Court, 1769-1784 Deputy Governor, Colony of Connecticut, 1769-1784 Governor of Connecticut, 1784-1786 President, Supreme Court of Errors, 1784-1786




Matthew Griswold (March 25, 1714 – April 28, 1799) was the 17th Governor of Connecticut from 1784 to 1786. He also served as the first Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice of the Superior Court, during the American Revolution (1769–1784).

Early life

He was born in Lyme, Connecticut, the eldest son of John Griswold, politician and landowner, and Hannah (Lee) Griswold. He was the fourth generation of his family to live in Connecticut; the family had emigrated there from England in 1639. They were one of the wealthiest and most respected families in Lyme; several Griswolds served in public office in Connecticut over the generations.

Griswold studied law while in his mid-twenties, and opened a legal practice in Lyme in 1742. He married then Deputy Governor Roger Wolcott's daughter Ursula on November 10, 1743, and had seven children with her. Their son, Roger Griswold, later also became Governor of Connecticut.

The revolution

Griswold was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1748, and from 1751 to 1759. He was then elected to the Council of Assistants, serving from 1759 to 1769. Griswold and eight other Council-members demonstrated opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 when Governor Thomas Fitch was required to take an oath to support it. Griswold became a member of the Sons of Liberty, who publicly protested the Stamp Act.

In each of the years from 1769 to 1784, he was elected Deputy Governor of Connecticut. In that position, he also served as Chief Justice of the Superior Court. During this time, he was concerned about education, and was a member of a committee to improved teaching at Yale College. Yale awarded him a Doctor of Laws in 1779, in appreciation.

Griswold was a strong supporter of the colonists' cause during the American Revolution. He served on many committees that oversaw troop movements, military appointments, provisions, and defense; he especially focused on defending American ships and the Connecticut shoreline. According to family legend, Griswold twice evaded British soldiers as they searched for him, an important target, in his own home.

Governorship and later years

After the end of the war, Griswold was chosen to be Governor in 1784 by the General Assembly, after he failed to receive a majority of votes in the regular election. He was re-elected in 1785, but then lost to Samuel Huntington in 1786. In 1788, as delegate from Lyme, he became president of Connecticut's convention to ratify the new United States Constitution.

Later in 1788, Ursula Griswold died, and Matthew Griswold retired from public life. He continued to manage his family estate, Black Hall, until his death on April

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(Governor) Matthew Griswold IV's Timeline

March 25, 1714
Lyme, New London, Connecticut, United States
Age 35
Age 37
April 17, 1760
Age 46
Lyme, New London County, Connecticut, United States
May 21, 1762
Age 48
Lyme, New London, CT
April 28, 1799
Age 85
Lyme, New London, Connecticut, United States