English general and philanthropist
Born 1696 Died 1785
James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of the state of Georgia, was born in London on the 21st of December 1696, the son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe (1650-1702) of Westbrook Place, Godalming, Surrey. He entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1714, but in the same year joined the army of Prince Eugene. Through the recommendation of the Duke of Marlborough he became aide-de-camp to the prince, and he served with distinction in the campaign against the Turks, 1716-17, more especially at the siege and capture of Belgrade. After his return to England he was in 1722 chosen member of parliament for Haslemere. He devoted much attention to the improvement of the circumstances of poor debtors in London prisons; and for the purpose of providing an asylum for persons who had become insolvent, and for oppressed Protestants on the continent, he projected the settlement of a colony in America between Carolina and Florida (see Georgia). In 1745 Oglethorpe was promoted to the rank of major-general. His conduct in connexion with the Scottish rebellion of that year was the subject of inquiry by courtmartial, but he was acquitted. In 1765 he was raised to the rank of general. He died at Cranham Hall, Essex, on the 1st of July 1785.
Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, the father, had four sons and four daughters, James Edward being the youngest son, and another James (b. 1688) having died in infancy. Of the daughters, Anne Henrietta (b. 1680-1683), Eleanor (b. 1684) and Frances Charlotte (Bolingbroke's 'Fanny Oglethorpe') may be specified as having played rather curious parts in the Jacobitism of the time; their careers are described in the essay on Queen Oglethorpe by Miss A. Shield and A. Lang, in the latter's Historical Mysteries (1904).
Being the entry for JAMES EDWARD OGLETHORPE in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.