General John Burgoyne

"Gentleman Johnny" - a man of many parts.
AKA
Gentleman Johnny
Born
1723
Died
1792
Portrait Year
1777
Portrait Age
54

“Gentleman Johnny” was a British general and playwright. In 1777, he was at the head of the British reinforcements dispatched for the invasion of the colonies from Canada. In this disastrous expedition, he gained possession of Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Edward for which he was made a lieutenant-general. Pushing on, Burgoyne was cut off from his communications with Canada, and at Saratoga was hemmed in by a superior force led by Horatio Gates. On October 17, 1777, his troops, 5,800 in number, laid down their arms.  The success was the greatest the colonists had yet enjoyed. It proved the turning-point in the war. 

Burgoyne had a long and distinguished military career, serving in the Seven Years War and later in Portugal against Spain, which made him a celebrated hero. He also distinguished himself as a member of Parliament, making his mark by bringing down Lord Clive (of India fame). Later he took part in the investment in Boston, but did not see action. He was back in Canada once more, but returned to England to criticize the American campaign.

He went on to command forces in Ireland and then return to Parliament. When retired he continued writing plays, which Walpole stated would become immortal!