John Burgoyne was born in Park Prospect, Westminster, London in 1723. As a British general doing his duty for King George III, he is most famous for his defeat at the battle of Saratoga in Sept.-Oct. 1777. As a general, he was unlucky rather than incompetent. Burgoyne possessed all the imagination, resolution, and toughness necessary for the job. He was not afraid to make a difficult decision, and he always got the best out of the soldiers under his command. The problem was that his decisions were determined both by military necessity, and an overwhelming desire for personal glory. He might even have won the battle of Saratoga, and changed the course of world history, were it not for the fortuitous arrival of General Benedict Arnold at the most crucial point in the battle.
John Burgoyne began his military career at the age of 14, with a position in the Horse Guards as sub-brigadier. From his mother, he inherited handsome facial features, and from his father, he inherited a love of gambling. Burgoyne was a military reformer, who was years ahead of other generals when it came to his concern for the well being of his troops. The men under his command referred to him affectionately as "Gentleman Johnny". He also aspired to be a famous playwright. His most famous play, called, "The Heiress" brought him more fame than money.
This report prepared by Nathaniel Ford