Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron

Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron ămˈərst [key], 1717–97, British army officer. He served in the War of the Austrian Succession and in the early part of the Seven Years War. In 1758 he was sent to America as a major general to lead the Louisburg campaign in the last of the French and Indian Wars. The capture (1758) of the French fortress gave Britain her first important victory in the war, and Amherst replaced James Abercromby as supreme commander in America. The next year (1759), pushing northward from Albany, he took Crown Point and Ticonderoga, but he arrived too late to help General Wolfe take Quebec. He directed (1760) the capture of Montreal and returned (1763) to England. In the American Revolution, Amherst refused to command British troops in New England, but in 1778 he became commander in chief of home defenses. Amherst, for whom Amherst and Amherst College is named, was created baron in 1776 and was made a field marshal in 1796.

See his journal (ed. by J. C. Webster, 1931); biography by J. C. Long (1933).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies