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James Oglethorpe

(b. Dec. 22, 1696, Godalming, Waverley, Surrey – d. June 30, 1785, Cranham, Havering, London )

Gender: M

James Oglethorpe (1696-1785) was the son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe and his wife Elanor. At the age of nineteen he joined the army of Prince Eugene of Savoy and, on the recommendation of the Duke of Marlborough, became the Prince’s aide-de-camp. On returning to England in 1722, he was elected MP for Haslemere, and was known for supporting humanitarian causes such as the improvement of conditions for sailors in the Royal Navy and the reform of debtors’ prisons. He was a member of a committee that established the colony of Georgia, and led the first colonists to settle in Savannah in 1732. The colony initially banned slavery, but this changed after Oglethorpe returned to Britain in 1743. He entered the British Army and fought during the Jacobite Rebellion; he was court-martialled for allowing a group of Jacobites to escape during an engagement in Westmorland, but was acquitted and promoted to General. He married Elizabeth Wright, and died at Cranham in Essex on 30th June 1785.

Also known as:

  • James Oglethorpe

Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.