Amherst, Jeffery Amherst, Baron, 1717-1797

Alternative names
Birth 1717-01-29
Death 1797-08-03
English, French

Biographical notes:

British army officer.

From the description of Papers of Jeffery Amherst, Baron Amherst, 1759-1762. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71062467

English field-marshal.

From the description of Document signed : Office of Ordnance [London], 1773 Mar. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270132562

Army officer and governor general of British North America.

From the description of Jeffery Amherst, Baron Amherst, papers, 1759. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79449527

British officer in America.

From the description of Autograph letter in third person : Whitehall, to Sir William (Johnstone) Pulteney, 1779 July 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270131422

From the description of Autograph letter signed : St. James's Square, to Sir James Murray-Pulteney, 1794 Feb. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270131742

The Wyoming Controversy was a conflict between the governments of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Britain, the Continental Congress, and the Indians over land in the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.

From the guide to the Documents relating to the Wyoming Controversy, 1751-1814, 1823, 1751-1823, (American Philosophical Society)

Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, was born at Riverhead, in the parish of Sevenoaks, Kent, England, on January 29, 1717. His career as a British soldier began in 1735 when, at the age of eighteen, he joined the First Regiment of Foot Guards as an ensign. While in Europe, Amherst fought in the War of Austrian Succession and, at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756 he confronted the French both in England and in Germany. In 1758, he was summoned back to England by Prime Minister William Pitt to take command of an army of over 11,000 men ordered to attack Louisburg, the great French stronghold in North America. As commander-in-chief of the British troops during the French and Indian War (1756-1763), Amherst led the conquest of Louisburg, Quebec City and Montréal. He also served as the nominal Governor of Virginia (1759-1768), and was the first British Governor General (1760-1763) in the territories that eventually became Canada. Jeffery Amherst left North America in 1763, and retreated to his property in Kent, Great Britain. In 1768, when King George III decided that all governors should reside in the Colonies, Amherst resigned as governor of Virginia, giving up his military commissions as well. Several months later he was given additional military commissions and 20,000 acres in New York and was appointed to the sinecure governorship of the island of Guernsey. He declined to command the British forces in New England during the American Revolution. In 1776 Amherst served as military adviser to the Cabinet and was made Baron Amherst of Holmesdale. After France entered the war in 1778, he was appointed commander of the military forces in England and was active in the suppression of the Gordon riots. At the beginning of 1793, in view of the approaching war with France in 1792, Amherst - though now 76 years of age - was recalled to active duty and appointed commander-in-chief with a seat in the cabinet. He retired again two years later.

Promoted field marshal as of 30 July 1796, Amherst died on 3 Aug. 1797. He was married twice, but left no descendants. In 1788, though, the title Baron Amherst of Montreal was conferred with a special remainder allowing the title to pass to his nephew, William Pitt Amherst. (It is in honor of General Amherst that the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts was named when it was incorporated in 1759; Amherst College derives its name from the town.)

[Sources used: "Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst." Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2010. Web. 25 Jan. 2010; Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online . Web. 25 Jan. 2010 Encyclopedia of World Biography . Web. 29 Jan 2010]

From the guide to the Jeffery Amherst Collection MA. 00196., 1757-1874 1757-1797, (Amherst College Archives and Special Collections)

British army officer whose successful command of the Louisbourg expedition in 1758 led to his appointment that same year as commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America.

In July of 1760 Amherst was in Oswego, preparing for the campaign against Montreal.

From the description of Letter : Oswego, [N.Y.], to William Thomas, London, [England], 1760 July 30. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 35988788

1743-1746 Aide-de-camp during the War of the Austrian Succession; 1758-1760 Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America; 1760-1763 Governor-General of the British North America; 1772 appointed Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance; 1778-1782 and 1793-1795 Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.

Epithet: Field Marshal

Title: 1st Baron Amherst

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001083.0x0002f5

British officer Jeffery Amherst (1717-1797) was born in Kent, England, to Jeffery Amherst, Sr., (d. 1750) and Elizabeth Kerrill. Having served as aide-de-camp to both General John Ligonier and the Duke of Cumberland, Amherst received a commission as lieutenant colonel of the 15th Regiment of Foot and was sent to North America in 1756. William Pitt selected Amherst to command the British siege against the French at Louisbourg; Amherst took the fort on July 26, 1758. In September of that year, Amherst succeeded James Abercromby as commander-in-chief in North America. He took Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon) and Crown Point from the French in July and August 1759, and General James Wolfe captured Quebec. Amherst lead an invasion into Canada in August 1760, and after the fall of Montreal on September 8, the French capitulated.

As governor general of North America, Amherst established his headquarters in New York City. However, he was less effective as a peacetime leader. He ended the practice of giving gifts to Indian allies and promoted settlement on Indian land, two policies that led to Pontiac's War in 1763. His failure to anticipate the uprising lead to his recall to England; in November 1763, Thomas Gage succeeded Amherst as commander-in-chief of North America. During the Revolutionary War, Amherst's service was limited to suppressing the Gordon riots in London (1780) and advising the government on military matters. In 1788 he was made first Baron Amherst of Montreal and in 1796 a field officer of the British army. He died at his Kent estate on August 3, 1797.

From the guide to the Jeffery Amherst papers, Amherst, Jeffery papers, 1758-1764, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Colonial Politics
  • Indians of North America--Government relations--to 1789
  • Indians of North America--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
  • Pennsylvania History
  • Anglo--French War, 1755-1763
  • Charities--History--18th century--Sources
  • Iroquois Indians
  • Cherokee Indians
  • Ottawa Indians
  • Creek Indians
  • Indians of North America
  • Pontiac's Conspiracy, 1763-1765
  • Seneca Indians
  • Shawnee Indians
  • Indians of North America--Treaties
  • Indians of North America--Government relations
  • Land settlement--Pennsylvania
  • Smuggling
  • Six Nations
  • Governor
  • Indians of North America--Canada--Government relations


  • Army officers, British
  • Governors general--Great Britain


  • Fort Johnson (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Courtrai, West Flanders (as recorded)
  • Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire (as recorded)
  • Finchley Common, Middlesex (as recorded)
  • Cape St Vincent, Portugal (as recorded)
  • Quebec, Canada (as recorded)
  • Dunkirk, France (as recorded)
  • Martinique, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • Minorca, Spain (as recorded)
  • Madagascar, Africa (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Ramree, Burma (as recorded)
  • Fort Edward (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Salamanca, Spain (as recorded)
  • Tristan da Cunha Isle, S. Atlantic Ocean (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Barbados. (as recorded)
  • Central Asia, Asia (as recorded)
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia (as recorded)
  • Alsace, Province of, France (as recorded)
  • New York, U.S.A. (as recorded)
  • Lake Ontario, Canada (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Sandershausen, Germany (as recorded)
  • Charleston (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • North America, America (as recorded)
  • Maidstone, Kent (as recorded)
  • Martinique, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • Gibraltar, Spain (as recorded)
  • Singapore, Asia (as recorded)
  • Whitehall (London, England) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Havana, Cuba (as recorded)
  • Charlemont, France (as recorded)
  • America, North America (as recorded)
  • Quiberon, Morbihan (as recorded)
  • Ulm, Swabia (as recorded)
  • Haltingen, Baden (as recorded)
  • Fort Edward, North America (as recorded)
  • Central India, India (as recorded)
  • Boston (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • Neuf-Brisach, Haut-Rhin (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Ostend, Flanders (as recorded)
  • Hartford Bridge Flats, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • Gibraltar, Spain (as recorded)
  • Iran, Asia (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts, North America (as recorded)
  • Landau, Bavaria (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Lenham, Kent (as recorded)
  • Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (as recorded)
  • Shahpur, Sind (as recorded)
  • Detroit (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Landguard, Suffolk (as recorded)
  • Fort Bedford (Ont.) (as recorded)
  • Quebec, Canada (as recorded)
  • Oswego, on Lake Ontario (as recorded)
  • Dominica, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • Mainz, the Rhineland (as recorded)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • Annapolis Royal (N.S.) (as recorded)
  • Brazil, South America (as recorded)
  • Hong Kong, China (as recorded)
  • Toulon, Var (as recorded)
  • Fort Newport, North America (as recorded)
  • Deptford, Kent (as recorded)
  • Wyoming Valley (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Delhi, India (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Sicily, Italy (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Labrador, Canada (as recorded)
  • Mahwinnee, Nootka Sound (as recorded)
  • Heilbron, Würtemberg (as recorded)
  • Black Forest, Baden (as recorded)
  • Louisbourg (N.S.) (as recorded)
  • Fort Detroit (Detroit, Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Fort Royal, Martinique (as recorded)
  • River St. Lawrence, North America (as recorded)
  • Croydon, Surrey (as recorded)
  • India, Asia (as recorded)
  • Holy Island, Northumberland (as recorded)
  • Fort Johnson (N.C.) (as recorded)
  • Fort Ticonderoga (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Java, Indonesia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Bath, Somerset (as recorded)
  • Kingston, Ontario (as recorded)
  • Fort Pittsburg, N. America (as recorded)
  • Jamaica, Central America (as recorded)
  • Albany (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Mayence, Germany (as recorded)
  • Netherlands, Europe (as recorded)
  • Chetton, Shropshire (as recorded)
  • Fort Pitt (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • Louisburg, Cape Breton Island (as recorded)
  • Old Fort Niagara (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Dover, Kent (as recorded)
  • Rome, New York State (as recorded)
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia (as recorded)
  • Minorca, Spain (as recorded)
  • Waterdown Camp, Tunbridge Wells (as recorded)
  • America, North America (as recorded)
  • River Medway, England (as recorded)
  • River Kennebec, Maine (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Nagpur, Central Provinces (as recorded)
  • Weymouth, Dorset (as recorded)
  • Kehl, Würtemberg (as recorded)
  • Paris, France (as recorded)
  • Yorkshire, England (as recorded)
  • Jersey, Channel Islands (as recorded)
  • Canada, North America (as recorded)
  • Bengal, India (as recorded)
  • Provence, France (as recorded)
  • Staten Island, North America (as recorded)
  • Long Island, New York (as recorded)
  • Landguard, Suffolk (as recorded)
  • Fort Detroit (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Huningue, Haut-Rhin (as recorded)
  • Cherbourg, France (as recorded)
  • Dillingen, Bavaria (as recorded)
  • Penang, Malaysia (as recorded)
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • India, Asia (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Gosport, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • Aboukir Bay, Egypt (as recorded)
  • River St. Lawrence, North America (as recorded)
  • Fort Ontario (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Sunderland, Durham (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • Philippines, Asia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Jamaica, Central America (as recorded)
  • Penobscot, Maine (as recorded)
  • Gelderland, the Netherlands (as recorded)
  • Ash Common, Woking (as recorded)
  • Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire (as recorded)
  • Wanstead, Essex (as recorded)
  • Prince Edward Island, North America (as recorded)
  • Montreal, Canada (as recorded)
  • Neuwied, on the Rhine, Germany (as recorded)
  • Plymouth, Devon (as recorded)
  • Fort Detroit, Canada (as recorded)
  • Lancashire, England (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Canada (as recorded)
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (as recorded)
  • Bonn, Germany (as recorded)
  • Montreal, Canada (as recorded)
  • Algiers, Africa (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • Sheerness, Kent (as recorded)
  • Staten Island (New York, N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Brabant, the Netherlands (as recorded)
  • Rajputana, India (as recorded)
  • Ile de Noirmoutier, Vendée (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Kersall Moor, Lancashire (as recorded)
  • Hounslow Heath, Middlesex (as recorded)
  • Ouabewhe River, North America (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Hyderabad State, India (as recorded)
  • Hampton (Va.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Albany (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Montreal, Canada (as recorded)
  • Ostend, Flanders (as recorded)
  • Nova Scotia, North America (as recorded)
  • London (England) (as recorded)
  • Wickham Bushes, Berkshire (as recorded)
  • Ticonderoga, North America (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Flanders, Belgium (as recorded)
  • Cox Heath, Kent (as recorded)
  • Canada (as recorded)
  • New York State, U.S.A. (as recorded)
  • Rossbach, Saxony (as recorded)
  • Flöhingen, Baden (as recorded)
  • Fort William, Calcutta (as recorded)
  • Liege, Belgium (as recorded)
  • Ava, Burma (as recorded)
  • Fontenoy, Yonne (as recorded)
  • Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire (as recorded)
  • Malacca, Malaysia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Belle Ile, France (as recorded)
  • Leeds, Yorkshire (as recorded)
  • China, Asia (as recorded)
  • New York (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Black River, Vermont (as recorded)
  • Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (as recorded)
  • Bagshot Heath, Surrey (as recorded)
  • Pensacola (Fla.) (as recorded)
  • Blenheim, Bavaria (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Stollhafen, Baden (as recorded)
  • Leyden, Holland (as recorded)
  • Montreal, Canada (as recorded)
  • Bodmin, Cornwall (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • India, Asia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Bharatpur, India (as recorded)
  • St. Eustatius, West Indies (as recorded)
  • Zafarin Islands, Morocco (as recorded)
  • Derbyshire, England (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Québec (Québec) (as recorded)
  • Ile d'Yeu, Vendée (as recorded)
  • New Brunswick, North America (as recorded)
  • Fort Stanwix (Rome, N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Niagara, Canada (as recorded)
  • Netherlands, Europe (as recorded)
  • Crown Point (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (as recorded)
  • Cromer, Norfolk (as recorded)
  • Chewton Mendip, Somerset (as recorded)
  • Canada (as recorded)
  • Kent, England (as recorded)
  • Russia, Europe, Asia (as recorded)
  • Hampton (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Trois-Rivières (Québec) (as recorded)
  • Lille, Nord (as recorded)
  • United States of America (as recorded)
  • Bassein, Bombay Presidency (as recorded)
  • Kent, England (as recorded)
  • Oudh, India (as recorded)
  • Old Fort Niagara (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Dieppe, Seine-Inférieure (as recorded)
  • Liverpool, Lancashire (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Belle Île, Morbihan (as recorded)
  • Giessen, Hesse (as recorded)
  • Carnatic, India (as recorded)
  • Cheshire, England (as recorded)
  • Bombay, India (as recorded)
  • Aschaffenburg, Bavaria (as recorded)
  • Quebec, Canada (as recorded)
  • Lake Ontario, Canada (as recorded)
  • Canada, North America (as recorded)
  • North River, New York (as recorded)
  • River Niagara, North America (as recorded)
  • Charing Heath, Kent (as recorded)
  • Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire (as recorded)
  • Montréal (Québec) (as recorded)
  • Barham Downs, Kent (as recorded)
  • Mobile (Ala.) (as recorded)
  • Portsmouth, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Louisbourg (N.S.) (as recorded)
  • Fort Niagara, at mouth of Niagara River, North America (as recorded)
  • Scotland, United Kingdom (as recorded)
  • England--London (as recorded)
  • Netherlands, Europe (as recorded)
  • River Merrimack, U.S.A. (as recorded)
  • Québec (Québec) (as recorded)
  • Esslingen, Würtemberg (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)
  • Montreal, Canada (as recorded)
  • Grenada, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • Halifax (N.S.) (as recorded)
  • Martinique, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • New Hampshire, North America (as recorded)
  • Plymouth, Devon (as recorded)
  • St Lucia, the Carribean (as recorded)
  • Saint John, New Brunswick (as recorded)
  • Gravesend, Kent (as recorded)
  • Canton, Kwangtung, China (as recorded)
  • Fort Oswego (Oswego, N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Aldeburgh, Suffolk (as recorded)
  • Ghent, Flanders (as recorded)
  • Detroit (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Fort de Chartres, Ill. (as recorded)
  • Grenada, the W. Indies (as recorded)
  • Pemphorn Downs, Dorset (as recorded)
  • Burma, Asia (as recorded)
  • Trinidad, the Carribean (as recorded)
  • Madras, India (as recorded)
  • Manchester, Lancashire (as recorded)
  • Corbach, Germany (as recorded)
  • Fort Pitt (Pa.) (as recorded)