KEMBLE, STEPHEN. (1730–1822). British officer and Loyalist. New Jersey. Son of Peter Kemble, he was commissioned ensign in the regiment being raised by Colonel Thomas Gage in May 1757. On 8 December 1758 he became that officer's brother-in-law when Gage married Margaret Kemble. After taking part in the siege of Havana in 1762, Stephen Kemble went to Montreal as aide-de-camp to Gage and was promoted to captain in 1765. In 1772, through Gage's influence, Kemble became a major and deputy adjutant general, and was put in charge of the intelligence service. In 1773–1774 Kemble was in England with the Gages. After Gage's recall from Boston in 1775, Kemble remained in that city as deputy adjutant general to Generals William Howe and Henry Clinton. When Arnold's treason began, Clinton was anxious to have John André take over Kemble's duties as head of intelligence, helping to arrange the promotions that allowed André to pay Kemble three hundred pounds for vacating the post. Kemble resigned on 16 September 1779. Meanwhile, Gage arranged an appointment for Kemble as lieutenant colonel in the Sixtieth Regiment, and he was ordered from New York to join his unit in the West Indies, winning promotion to colonel in 1782 as a result of his services in Nicaragua. In 1793 he returned to England as deputy judge advocate of the army. He retired from the military in 1805 and returned to New Jersey, where he died on 20 December 1822.
Collections of the New-York Historical Society. Vols. 16 and 17. New York: Trow and Smit, 1884–1885.
revised by Michael Bellesiles