union-jack                           John Burgoyne (1722-1792)   

john burgoyneRumored to be the illegitimate son of a baron, John Burgoyne was born in Bedfordshire, and from an early age lived a rather fashionable and extravagant life. Acquiring the nickname “Gentleman Johnny,” at 21 he eloped with the daughter of an earl and fled to France to escape mounting debts. In 1775 he was one of three general officers (with Howe and Clinton) to be sent to Massachusetts, where he witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1776 he served under Sir Guy Carleton, taking part in the capture of Crown Point on Lake Champlain, an experience that inspired him to seek approval for a grander scheme aimed at seizing Albany. The plan was approved and the following year he reached the upper Hudson only to be cut off and forced to surrender near Saratoga. He returned to England and a career as a playwright but would not lead troops again.

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