BURGOYNE, JOHN (1722-1792), English general and dramatist, entered the army at an early age. In 1743 he made a runaway marriage with a daughter of the earl of Derby, but soon had to sell his commission to meet his debts, after which he lived abroad for seven years. By Lord Derby's interest Burgoyne was then reinstated at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War. He sat in parliament for Midhurst (1761) , and for Preston (1768) . At the same time he devoted much attention to art and drama (his first play, The Maid of the Oaks, being produced by Garrick in 1775), and gambled recklessly. In the army he had by this time become a major-general, and in 1777 he was at the head of the British reinforcements designed for the invasion of the American colonies from Canada. He gained possession of Ticonderoga (for which he was made a lieutenant-general) and Fort Edward. He pushed on, intending to effect a junction with Sir William Howe, who should have been advancing to meet him from New York. But owing to a delay in receiving his instructions Howe was not there. Skilful American operations had cut his communications with Canada and Burgoyne yielded to a superior force at Sara toga (Oct. 17). English indignation at his severe defeat was great ; on May 26, 1778 Burgoyne, whom the Americans had permitted to return, unsuccessfully defended himself in parlia ment against attacks from nearly every party in the House: the Government denouncing him for his failure, Wilkes and his supporters for his allegedly brutal use of savage Indian troops. The immediate followers of Fox alone supported him at the time, but it is now generally admitted that the responsibility for the defeat at Saratoga did not lie with Burgoyne. He was deprived of his offices except that of general, and after temporary rehabilita tion by Rockingham in 1782 he withdrew more and more into private life, his last public service being his participation in the impeachment of Warren Hastings. His comedy, The Heiress, which appeared in 1786, ran through ten editions within a year, and was translated into several foreign languages. He died sud denly on June 4, 1792. General Burgoyne, whose wife died in June 1776 during his absence in Canada, had several natural children (born between 1782 and 1788) by Susan Caulfield, an opera singer, one of whom became Field Marshal Sir J. F. Burgoyne. His Dramatic and Poetical Works appeared in two vols., 18o8.
See E. B. de Fonblanque, Political and Military Episodes from the Life and Correspondence of Right Hon. J. Burgoyne (1876) ; W. L. Stone, Campaign of Lieut.-Gen. J. Burgoyne, etc. (Albany, N.Y., 1877) ; Philip Guedala, Fathers of the Revolution (1926) ; S. F. Batchelder, Burgoyne and His Officers in Cambridge, 1777-1778 (Cambridge, Mass., 1926) ; and F. J. Hudleston, Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne (Indianapolis, 1927).