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Barnwell, John (1671– June 1724), frontier settler and Indian fighter, was the son of Alderman Matthew Barnwell of Dublin, Ireland, and Margaret Carberry. The elder Barnwell was killed in the siege of Derry in 1690 as a captain in James II’s Irish army, which attempted to restore the last Stuart king after the revolution of 1688. The family seat, Archerstown in County Meath, was forfeited as a result of this support of James II against William and Mary....

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Dale, Sir Thomas (?–09 August 1619), soldier, of unknown parentage, served as deputy governor and lord marshal of the Virginia settlement (1611–1616) and in that capacity was twice acting governor of the colony. Dale himself tells us almost all there is to know of his life before his involvement with the Virginia venture, writing to the states-general of the Netherlands in 1618 that he had “served this country about thirty years, first as a soldier and last as a captain.” Taken at face value, this statement suggests that he was of the English yeomanry and was impressed or volunteered to serve as a common soldier in the earl of Leicester’s expedition of 1588 to the Low Countries. He was, to judge from his subsequent career, able and ambitious, and England’s military society was fluid. By 1594 he was serving as a captain in an English expedition in Ireland; subsequently he was in French service, then in 1599–1601 he was back in Ireland, serving with the earl of Essex. He seems to have escaped involvement in Essex’s treason, but it is not until 1603 that we again find him with a military command, serving as a garrison captain in the Dutch town of Terthol. He was still in Dutch service when, in 1610–1611, he was recruited by the Virginia Company of London for service in Virginia....

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Mézières, Athanaze de (26 March 1719–02 November 1779), soldier and colonial administrator, was born Athanaze Christofe Fortunat Mauguet de Mézières in Paris, France, the son of Christophe Claude Mauguet, sieur de Mézières, an eccentric mathematician and reputable lawyer, and Marie Antoinette Clugny. After Athanaze’s father died in 1734, Madame de Mézières married the marquis de la Haye de Riou, a man of great means who had amassed his fortune partially from his business activities as a slave trader from Saint-Malo and partially from his social contacts at the court of Louis XV, king of France. Conscious of his privileged position in French society, Athanaze de Mézières grew up in the comfort of wealth. At the Collège de Beauvais, where he pursued his advanced education, he was exposed to the whole fabric of the French legal system and excelled in Latin poetry and rhetoric. Trained as a lawyer, Mézières emerged from his upbringing as a brilliant and discerning intellectual whose development was to be irremediably shaped by the Spirit of the American frontier....

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Monckton, Robert (24 June 1726–21 May 1782), army officer and colonial administrator, was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of John Monckton, who was later the first Viscount Galway, a landowner, and member of Parliament, and Lady Elizabeth Manners, daughter of the second duke of Rutland. At age fifteen Monckton was commissioned in the Third Foot Guards. He fought against the French in the major battles of Dettingen (1743) and Fontenoy (1745), gaining promotion to captain in 1744, major in 1747, and lieutenant colonel in 1751. Becoming a member of Parliament for the family-controlled seat of Pontefract from 1751 to 1754, he showed his preference for the military life by joining his regiment in Nova Scotia in 1752....

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Neve, Felipe de (1727–21 August 1784), military officer and colonial administrator, was born in Bailén, Spain, the son of Felipe de Neve and María (maiden name unknown). His father, a Sevillian by birth, reached the rank of captain in the king’s army. His mother was also born in Seville. The family formed part of the old aristocracy of Andalusia. Neve married María Nicolasa of Seville. There were no children....

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Norwood, Henry (1614–1689), royalist soldier, treasurer and auditor of Virginia, and lieutenant governor of Tangier, was born at or near Leckhampton, Gloucester, England, to a family with a “near affinity in blood” to the Berkeleys. His parents’ names are unknown. Norwood entered the Inns of Court in 1637, but his legal studies were broken by the civil war. He followed his family into the royalist ranks, rose from volunteer to major, and was distinguished at the storm of Bristol, where he killed the parliamentary commander in single combat. In 1648, after the city was retaken by the parliamentarians, Norwood fled into Holland....

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Oglethorpe, James Edward (22 December 1696–30 June 1785), founder of Georgia, philanthropist, and soldier, was born in London, England, the son of Theophilus Oglethorpe and Eleanor Wall. Having gone into exile with James II in 1688, the Oglethorpes named their last child for his son, James Edward Stuart. Even after Oglethorpe’s father gave up on the Jacobite cause, his mother and sisters provided intelligence and courier services for efforts to restore the Stuarts. Their reputation shadowed Oglethorpe, for whom no overt adult Jacobitism is known....

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Richardson, Ebenezer (1718–?), Loyalist, customs official, and informer, was born in Woburn, Massachusetts. Almost nothing is known of his parentage or early life, but he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, by the beginning of the 1750s. He earned the dubious distinction of breaking out of jail in both Boston (1751) and Cambridge, Massachusetts (1753), in the latter case his offense being the procurement of stolen tools for his brother. Around 1754 he also became involved in a scandal in which he accused the Reverend Edward Johnson of Woburn of fathering a bastard child by his wife’s sister. It was later suggested that the child was Richardson’s own....

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Standish, Myles (1584?–03 October 1656), Pilgrim military and political leader, was born in England, either on the Isle of Man or Lancashire, and may have been connected to the noted Catholic family Standish of Standish. Virtually nothing, however, is known of his early life or education until as a soldier in the Low Countries he became acquainted with the English Leiden separatist congregation from which many of the Mayflower passengers came. As the Pilgrims prepared to emigrate to America, Captain ...