It is not often that those in the Military are also playwrights. John Burgoyne however can lay claim to that and to being a politician.
John Burgoyne was born on 24th February 1722.
His early life was one of good living, usually beyond his means and little in the way of career progression. In August 1737 Burgoyne purchased a commission in the Horse Guards, a fashionable cavalry regiment. They were stationed in London and his duties were light and much of his time was spent pursuing the finer things in life. In 1741 Burgoyne sold his commission, most probably to settle gambling debts.
In 1745 he rejoined the Army and fought in the war of the Austrian Succession. It was only during the later Seven Years Way that he achieved recognition at the front and more notably in the ensuing battles of the Portugal Campaign of 1762.
During the American Revolutionary War he was the author of an invasion plan that involved his command of a force moving south from Canada to split New England from the other American forces and so, it was thought, end the rebellion of the Colonies against the Motherland.
However, the plan failed when his army was surrounded by American Revolutionary forces and other British troops rather than come to his aid instead moved south to capture Philadelphia and left him with no option but to surrender. He never held another command in the field.
Burgoyne now settled his talents in politics and drama. His work as a playwright brought him some compensatory fame with works such as 'The Heiress' and 'The Maids of the Oaks'.
He also served for a number of years for the seats of Midhurst and Preston in the House of Commons.
General John Burgoyne died om 4th August 1792.