About Publications Library Archives
General John Burgoyne (24 February 1722 – 4 August 1792) was a British army officer, politician and dramatist. He first saw action during the Seven Years’ War when he participated in several battles, mostly notably during the Portugal Campaign of 1762.
Burgoyne is best known for his role in the American War of Independence. During the Saratoga campaign he surrendered his army of 6,000 men to the American troops. Appointed to command a force that would capture Albany and end the rebellion, Burgoyne advanced from Canada but soon found himself surrounded and outnumbered. He fought two battles at Saratoga, but was forced to open negotiations with Horatio Gates. Although he agreed to a convention, on 17 October, 1777, which would allow his troops to return home, this was subsequently revoked and his men were made prisoners. Burygone faced criticism when he returned to Britain, and never held another active command.
Burgoyne was also an accomplished playwright known for his works such as The Maid of the Oaks and The Heiress. He served as a Member of Parliament for a number of years, sitting for the seats of Midhurst and Preston.