Lieutenant General William Amherst

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William Amherst

Birthplace: Sevenoaks, Kent, UK
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Jeffery Amherst and Elizabeth Kerril
Husband of Elizabeth Amherst
Father of William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst, GCH, PC and Elizabeth Frances Amherst
Brother of Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst KCB and Admiral John Amherst

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Lieutenant General William Amherst

Lieutenant General William Amherst (5 February 1732, in Sevenoaks, Kent – 13 May 1781) was a British military commander. In 1762 during the Seven Years' War he led British forces that defeated a French expedition to Newfoundland at the Battle of Signal Hill.

Early life

Amherst was born into a family of lawyers. He was the son of Jeffery Amherst and Elizabeth Kerril and his brothers included Field Marshal Lord Amherst and Admiral John Amherst.

Seven Years War

Further information: Great Britain in the Seven Years War

Amherst was commissioned as an Ensign in the First Regiment of Foot Guards in 1755. He eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in 1779. As a Lieutenant Colonel, Amherst was instrumental in the re-capture of St. John's from the French in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill.

In 1766 he became Member of Parliament for Hythe, and in 1768 he became MP for Launceston until 1774.

In 1769 he built a house in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight. He named the house and estate St John's, after his victory in Newfoundland. The neighbourhood of Ryde that surrounds the house is still known by that name.

He was appointed Adjutant-General to the Forces in 1778: he died while serving in that role in 1781.


He married Elizabeth Patterson: their children included Earl Amherst of Arracam, a future Governor-General of India.

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Lieutenant General William Amherst's Timeline

February 5, 1732
Sevenoaks, Kent, UK
Age 40
Age 41
May 13, 1781
Age 49