Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Jeffrey Amherst


Amherst, Jeffery, first Baron (1717-1797), field-marshal, was the second son of Jeffery Amherst of Riverhead, Kent, and was born on January 29, 1717. In 1731 he became an ensign in the Guards, and later acted as aide-de-camp to General Ligonier and to the Duke of Cumberland. In 1756 he was made a lieutenant-colonel, and in 1758 Pitt gave him command of the expedition to North America, with the rank of major-general. After the capture of Louisbourg on July 26, 1758, Amherst was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in North America ; and on the surrender of Montreal in 1760, he became governor-general of British North America. In 1761 he was made a knight of the Bath. On his failure to cope with Pontiac's rebellion, he returned to England in 1763, and was made governor of Virginia. In 1770 he became governor of Guernsey ; in 1772 he was made a privy councillor, and commander-in-chief of the forces; and in 1776 he was created a baron of the United Kingdom. He served as adviser to the government during the American revolutionary war, and in suppressing the Gordon riots in 1780. In 1796 he was made a field-marshal; but he did not long survive this last honour, and died at Montreal, his seat in Kent, England, on August 3, 1797. See L. S. Mayo, Jeffery Amherst (New York, 1916) ; and J. C. Ling, Lord Jeffery Amherst [sic], a soldier of the King (New York, 1933). Amherst's Journal . . from 1758 to 1763 has been edited, with introduction and notes, by J. C. Webster (Toronto, 1931).

[Consult the biography of Amherst at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography]

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Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. I, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 398p., p. 66.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College