Sir William Thornton

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Lieut-General Sir William Thornton (1779–1840) was a British Army officer who served as Lieut-Governor of Jersey.

Military career

He was commissioned into the British Army in 1796 and was Commanding Officer of the 85th Regiment of Foot during the Peninsular War. He led the Light Brigade at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 and was then taken prisoner of war by the Americans before being released in October 1814.

He was then involved in the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815, at which the only British success was on the west bank of the Mississippi River, where Thornton's brigade, comprising the 85th Regiment and a detachment of 100 sailors from the Royal Navy and 100 men of the Royal Marines, attacked and overwhelmed the American line.

He became Lieut-Governor of Jersey in 1830. He committed suicide in 1840, having suffered from psychological problems attributed to wounds from the War of 1812. He left his estates to his nephew, William Todd.


This article is taken from the Wikipedia biography of Sir William Thornton

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