Henry Gladwin was born in England around 1729, and joined the British Army's 48th Regiment of Foot as a lieutenant in 1753. He served in North America until 1757, when he received a commission as captain with the 80th Regiment of Foot. He became a major in 1760 and a commanding officer at Detroit in 1762. Gladwin achieved fame for his defense of the post against incursions by Native Americans under the leadership of Pontiac, who laid siege to Detroit throughout the summer of 1763. After successfully protecting Detroit, Gladwin returned to his home in Derbyshire, England, in 1764, and received further promotions to colonel (1777) and major general (1782), though he was no longer on active duty. He and his wife, Frances Beridge, daughter of Reverend John Beridge, had at least nine children: Frances, Dorothy, Mary, Ann, Charlotte, Martha, Harriet, Ellen, and Susannah. Henry Gladwin died on June 22, 1791.