Richard Montgomery

From Academic Kids

An engraving depicting the death of General Montgomery at the .
An engraving depicting the death of General Montgomery at the Battle of Quebec.

Richard Montgomery (December 2, 1736December 31, 1775) was an Irish-American soldier who served as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

He was born in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland, the son of Thomas Montgomery (a member of Parliament) and Mary Franklin Montgomery.

He was an officer in the British Army in the Seven Years' War. His service was in Canada and the Caribbean. He reached the rank of captain in May 1762. In 1763, when peace was concluded, he went to New York, and in 1765 returned to England.

In England he associated with liberal members of Parliament who supported the colonists in their demands for more freedom.

On April 6, 1772, he sold his Army commission and decided to move back to New York, buying a sixty-seven acre (270,000 m²) farm at King's Bridge in what is now the Borough of The Bronx of New York City.

On July 24, 1773, he married Janet Livingston, daughter of Robert R. Livingston, a prominent New Yorker who was on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He then moved to his wife's farm near Rhinebeck, which was to be his home for the few remaining years of his life. In 1775, although having resided in New York only three years, he was elected to the New York provincial legislature.

He served as the second-ranking brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War, led the army into Canada (Invasion of Canada) where he captured two forts and the city of Montreal, and died while attempting to capture the city of Quebec during a fierce snow storm on the 31 of December 1775. The British recognized his body and ordered a honourable burial. In 1818, his body was moved to New York City and interred at St. Pauls Church.


Shortly after his death, the State of Maryland, when creating a new county, named it Montgomery County in his honour, as well as Richard Montgomery High School. Subsequently, fourteen other states have honoured Richard Montgomery by naming counties for him (For a list, see:Montgomery County.)

Four ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Montgomery for him, along with the Liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery.

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