Commander in Chief of British Forces

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COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF BRITISH FORCES in North America was a position of high importance in the last half of the eighteenth century. Horatio Sharpe (1754), Edward Braddock (1755), William Shirley (1755–1756), John Campbell, Earl of Loudoun (1756–1757), James Abercrombie (1758), Jeffrey Amherst (1758–1763), and Thomas Gage (1763–1775) all held it; Sir William Howe (1775–1778), Sir Henry Clinton (1778–1782), and Sir Guy Carleton (1782–1783) each held it with more limited control. Appointed by the crown and supervised directly by the British ministry, commanders supervised the American military and its financial expenditures, an astonishing scope of responsibility and power.


Carter, Clarence, ed. The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1931.

Alfred P.James/c. w.

See alsoColonial Policy, British ; Revolution, American: Diplomatic Aspects, Military History, Political History .