The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Descendant's report for Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Holmesdale, son of Jeffrey Amherst and Elizabeth Amherst [Kerrill]

© National Portrait Gallery

Amherst, Jeffrey, first Baron Amherst of Holmesdale was born on 29th January 1716/7 at Brooks Place, Riverhead, Kent, the second son of Jeffrey Amherst and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Kerrill of Hadlow, Kent.

Amherst became a soldier at the tender age of 14. After service in the War of the Austrian Succession, he gained fame during the Seven Years' War, particularly in the North American campaign. The succesful Siege of Louisbourg in 1758 led immediately to Amherst taking command of all of England's armies in North America. Amherst's second in command was the young James Wolfe who played a crucial role at Louisbourg and subsequently in the liberation of Quebec. England was to concentrate most of its efforts for the duration of The Seven Years' War in North America; and, after four years of fighting, in 1763, at the Treaty of Paris, France gave up its North American possessions and, subsequently, North America, was to be dominated by English policy and language.

Today a single obelisk remains as a memorial to Jeffrey Amherst:

Dedicated to that most able Statesman during whose Administration, Cape Breton and Canada were conquered and from whose influence the British Arms derived a Degree of Lustre unparalleled in past ages.

LOUISBOURGH surrendered and Six French Battalions Prisoners of WarJuly 26, 1758
FORT DU QUESNE taken possession ofNov. 24, 1758
NIAGARA surrenderedJuly 25, 1759
TICONDERAGE taken possession ofJuly 26, 1759
CROWN POINT taken possession ofAugust 4, 1759
QUEBEC capitulatedSept. 18, 1759
FORT LEVI surrenderedAug. 25, 1760
ISLE OF NOIX abandonedAug. 28, 1760
MONTREAL surrendered and with it all Canada, and ten French battalions laid down their armsSept. 8, 1760
ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, retakenSept. 18, 1762

Circa 1752 Jeffrey Amherst had a son Jeffery by an unknown mother and he also became a soldier and rose to the rank of Major-General. On 20th May 1753 Jeffrey Amherst married Jane Dalison at Gray's Inn Chapel in London. Within a few years she succumbed to insanity and died on 7th January 1765. Amherst razed the family seat at Riverhead (which he had inherited in 1763 on the death of his brother Sackville) and built a new house that he christened "Montreal". On 26th March 1767, at St James's, Westminster, he married Elizabeth Cary, the daughter of Lieutenant-General George Cary. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the house and family hosted an annual summer picnic for the children educated at the junior school they established in the village of Riverhead; the school still bears Amherst's coat of arms. With the decline of the family's fortunes the house was knocked down in the late 20th century to make way for a housing development.

In 1770, Amherst was appointed Governor of Guernsey and in 1772 Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance. In 1776 he received his peerage as Baron Amherst of Holmesdale. Subsequently, the latter part of his army career was less successful. He was appointed Field Marshal in 1796 but died a year later died at his home, Montreal, Riverhead, Kent, on 3rd August 1797.

See also

Generation No. 1
  1. Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Holmesdale was the son of Jeffrey Amherst and Elizabeth Amherst [Kerrill]. He was born 29th Jan 1716/17 at Brook Place, Sevenoaks, Kent; died 3rd Aug 1797 at Montreal Park, Sevenoaks, Kent; buried 10th Aug 1797 at St. Nicholas Parish Church, Sevenoaks, Kent
  iMajor General Jeffrey who was born c 1752; died 1814
  He married (1) Jane Dalison on 20th May 1753 at Gray's inn Chapel, London. She was born 14th Feb 1722/23, daughter of Thomas Dalison and Jane Etherington; died 7th Jan 1765 at Tonbridge, Kent
  He married (2) Elizabeth Carey on 26th Mar 1767 at St James, Westminster, London. She was born c 1740, daughter of Lt.-Gen. Hon. George Cary and Isabella Ingram; died 22nd May 1830 at Hill Steet, London

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