John Burgoyne

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Burgoyne, John

(bərgoin`), 1722–92, British general and playwright. In the Seven Years War, his victory over the Spanish in storming (1762) Valencia de Alcántara in Portugal made him the toast of London. He was elected to Parliament in 1761 and took his seat in 1763. In 1772 his attack on the East India Company helped bring about some reform of the company in the Regulating Act of that year. As the American Revolution was beginning, he was sent (1775) with reinforcements to support General Gage at Boston. Burgoyne witnessed the battle of Bunker HillBunker Hill, battle of,
in the American Revolution, June 17, 1775. Detachments of colonial militia under Artemas Ward, Nathanael Greene, John Stark, and Israel Putnam laid siege to Boston shortly after the battles of Lexington and Concord.
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 and returned home in disgust (Dec., 1775). He joined (1776) Sir Guy Carleton in Canada and served at Crown Point; but, critical of Sir Guy's inaction, Burgoyne returned to England to join Lord George Germain in laying the plans that resulted in the Saratoga campaignSaratoga campaign,
June–Oct., 1777, of the American Revolution. Lord George Germain and John Burgoyne were the chief authors of a plan to end the American Revolution by splitting the colonies along the Hudson River.
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. In the summer of 1777, Burgoyne began the ill-fated expedition with an army poorly equipped, untrained for frontier fighting, and numbering far less than he had requested. After minor initial success, stiffened American resistance coupled with the failure of Barry St. LegerSt. Leger, Barry,
1737–89, British officer in the American Revolution. In the French and Indian Wars he served at Louisburg (1758) and with Gen. James Wolfe at Quebec.
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 and Sir William HoweHowe, William Howe, 5th Viscount,
1729–1814, English general in the American Revolution; younger brother of Admiral Richard Howe.
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 to reach Albany led to his surrender at Saratoga (Oct. 17, 1777). He returned to England, was given (1782) a command in Ireland, and managed the impeachment of Warren HastingsHastings, Warren,
1732–1818, first governor-general of British India. Employed (1750) as a clerk by the East India Company, he soon became manager of a trading post in Bengal.
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. Burgoyne wrote several plays, of which The Heiress (1786) is best known.


See biographies by S. Styles (1962) and N. B. Gerson (1973).

His illegitimate son Sir John Fox Burgoyne, 1782–1871, served with distinction in the Peninsular War. In the Crimean War his advice was followed in attacking Sevastopol from the south—an action that led to a long and hard siege. He was created field marshal in 1868.

References in periodicals archive ?
Clair defended the fort located near the southern end of Lake Champlain, and British General John Burgoyne (nicknamed "Gentleman Johnny" for his love of fine clothing and other civilized niceties) was bearing down on Ticonderoga with an army of 7,000 seasoned regulars plus another thousand or so Canadian and Indian volunteers.
Commanded by General John Burgoyne and guided by Indian allies, the British force planned to join with General Henry Clinton's redcoats in New York City and cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.
Fortunately, he escaped and joined the invading forces of British General John Burgoyne.
Middleton, who caught the attention of Sir Francis Carr Clerke, Aide-de-Camp to General John Burgoyne, In a letter he mentions her extraordinary behaviour:
John Burgoyne planned to lead his army of 8,000 men south from Canada via Lake Champlain and Lake George and meet up with Col.
In the early summer of 1776, Sir Guy Carleton, the British governor and commander-in-chief in Quebec, tasked General John Burgoyne with driving the invading Americans out of the province and south into New York.
There he would unite with the main British forces led by Major General John Burgoyne, coming south from Canada .
It was decided therefore to provide him with three subordinate major-generals, namely William Howe, Henry Clinton and John Burgoyne.
John Burgoyne was probably the least competent of the British commanders.