William Dalrymple (British Army officer)

William Dalrymple (British Army Officer)

William Dalrymple (British Army officer)

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William Dalrymple (1736 – 16 February 1807) was a Scottish soldier and Member of Parliament (MP) in the British Parliament. He was the son of the Hon. George Dalrymple, brother of John Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Stair.

He was educated at Glasgow University 1749.

In 1752 he joined the British Army, becoming an ensign in the 52nd Regiment of Foot. He became a lieutenant in 1759 and a captain (in the 91st Regiment of Foot) from 1760. By 1762 he was a major, and served in the campaign against the Spanish invasion of Portugal . After a period on half pay in 1763, he was appointed to the 14th Regiment of Foot in 1764. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1765.

Between 1766 and 1768, Dalrymple was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1768, he was sent with two regiments to Boston, Massachusetts, to support embattled royal officials who were having trouble enforcing British tax policies. The tense military occupation of Boston resulted in the Boston Massacre of March 1770.

In 1772-1773 Dalrymple received a local promotion to major general and commanded a force which captured the West Indian island of St Vincent. He returned to Britain in 1773. He continued to be in touch with his American Loyalist friends in Boston. He was saddened but not surprised by the Boston Tea Party.

After the outbreak of fighting in Massachusetts, Dalrymple returned to North America. He served as quartermaster general 1779-1783. He held the rank of brigadier general (1779) and then major general (1782).

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