John Louis Ligonier letter books 1752-1760
John Louis Ligonier (1680-1770), British officer and courtier, was born Jean-Louis de Ligonier to Louis de Ligonier and Louise du Poncet at Castres, France. Persecuted in France as a Huguenot, Ligonier fled to England in 1702 and became a naturalized British citizen. He fought in the European theatre with the British army from 1703-1712, and, at the close of the war with Spain in 1713, was appointed lieutenant-governor of Minorca. Over the next 40 years, Ligonier rose through the ranks of the British military and was a fixture of King George II's court. When the Duke of Cumberland (nephew of George II and commander-in-chief) suffered military defeat and political disgrace in 1757, Ligonier, at age 77, took administrative command of the army in North America and was created a field marshal. Though he controlled troop movements and military strategy from England, he relied heavily on generals Jeffery Amherst, James Wolfe, and William Howe in America. At the close of war in 1763, Ligonier was made a baron and in 1766 was relieved of his duties as commander-in-chief. He died in 1770.