Lieutenant General William Tryon

1778 - 1783

William Tyron was born in 1725 and obtained a commission as a Captain of the First Regiment of Foot Guards in 1751, becoming a Lieutenant Colonel in 1758. Marrying into aristocratic circles, he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina on 27th June 1764 and on the Death of Governor Arthur Dobbs on 20th July 1765 he was appointed Governor with an allowance of £1,000 a year from the British Treasury. He was a firm administrator and during his term of office he personally led a force against formidable rioters and crushed an insurrection in 1770. On the domestic and social side he obtained a large sum of money from the Assembly towards the erection of a Governor's house. (It was bought for Harvard College in 1845). In July 1771 iron effected an exchange with the Earl of Dunsmore and became Governor of New York where he urged the claims of the New York hospital and the formation of an efficient force of militia. He speculated in land and in August 1772, he made a visit to Indian country. A new district named Tyron County was settled west of the Schenectady. Disaster struck the new York government house in Fort George on 29th December 1773 when it was consumed by fire and the Governor and his family narrowly escaped with their lives. Five thousand pounds was voted to the Governor for his losses.

Returning to England in 1774, he made a large grant of land to King's College who conferred upon him an honorary LLB degree. He arrived back in New York on 25th June 1775 to find the colonies in a state of rebellion and was obliged to take refuge on ships in the North River. Initially impotent to control events, he was nevertheless able to re-enter New York in September 1776 when he was warmly welcomed by loyalists. In 1778 he sought military employment and was appointed to command the 70th (or Surrey) Regiment and promoted Major General "in America".

It was during Lieutenant General Tryon’s Colonelcy, that links with Surrey began to be established, as in 1782 the 70th was ordered to style itself the 70th (Surrey) Regiment and an additional (or depot) company was formed at Kingston-upon-Thames for recruiting purposes.

His lands were forfeited and he was attained by an act of Congress dated 22nd October 1779. After conducting a successful expedition against Connecticut in 1779 he was placed in command of New York troops but in early 1789 he returned to England suffering from "very severe gout". He was promoted Lieutenant General on 20th November 1782, and removed to the 29th Foot on 16th August 1783. He died at his house in Upper Grosvenor Street on 27th December 1788. He was buried at Twickenham. No portrait of him believed to be extant. His autograph and coat of arms are facsimiled in Wilson's "Memorial History of the City of New York".


« Previous qrsr Back to list qrsr Next »