Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PRESCOTT, Robert, British soldier, born in Lancashire, England, in 1725; died he, Jr Battle, Sussex, 21 December, 1816. He became captain of the 15th foot, , 22 January, 1755, and served in the expeditions against Rochefort in 1757, and Louisburg in 1.758. He acted as aide-de-camp to General Amherst in 1759, and afterward joined the army under General James Wolfe. On 22 March, 1761. he was appointed major of the 95th foot, which formed part of the force that was sent under General Robert Monckton to reduce Martinico. He became lieutenant-colonel of the 28th regiment, 8 September, 1775, and was present at the battle of Long Island, the several engagements in Westchester countv, and the storming of Fort Washington in November, 1775. He was attached to the expedition against Philadelphia in 1777, appointed colonel by brevet on 29 August, and engaged in the battle of the Brandywine. In 1778 he was appointed first brigadier-general in the expedition under General James Grant against the French West Indies. He became colonel, 13 October, 1780; major-general, 19 October, 1781; was appointed colonel of the 28th regiment, 6 July, 1789; and lieutenant-general, 12 October, 1793. In October, 1793, he was ordered to Barbadoes to take command there, and in February, 1794, he sailed with the troops to Martituque, where he landed without opposition. He effected the complete reduction of the island and forts, which capitulated on 22 March, and was afterward appointed civil governor of the island. His wise and judicious management of affairs prevented an uprising of the natives. From Martinique he was sent to Guadaloupe, where he pursued the same firm and conciliatory policy, and at this time he refused the proffered governorship of St. Lucia. Finding it impossible to effect much at Guadaloupe, he withdrew the British troops there, and sent some to Antigua and Dominica, and the rest to Martinique, where he returned. His health failing, he applied for leave to return to England, where he arrived, 10 February, 1795. On 12 July, 1796, he succeeded Lord Dorchester as governor of Canada, and on his arrival in Quebec he began strengthening the fortifications of that city. In 1797 he was also appointed governor of Nova Scotia, and he remained at the head of the government of that colony, and of Canada and New Brunswick, till 1799, when he was recalled and succeeded by Sir Robert Shore Milnes. The principal event ot? his administration, during which he was made full general, was the attempt of David McLean to excite the people to insurrection, and to capture the city of Quebec, in which attempt McLean lost his life. General Prescott returned to England, and settled at Rose Green, near Battle, where he died.
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