Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron ăm´ərst [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).
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