A Blupete Biography Page

Edward Whitmore

Our attention is brought to bear on Whitmore because of his involvement in the taking of Louisbourg, in 1758.

Born in York, Whitmore was to have a long military career with the British army. He was first commissioned in his father's regiment, in 1711. As a young ensign he was to be with the aborted Walker expedition to Quebec, in 1711. After that he was sent to Scotland. Between 1718 and 1739 Whitmore was stationed in Ireland. In 1723 he made lieutenant; and, in 1739, captain. In 1741, he was sent to Cartagena (Columbia). He was at Culloden (1746). In 1747 he was made lieutenant-colonel. With his appointment as the colonel of the 22nd foot, in 1757, Whitmore came to Halifax with a large military assemblage (the 1757 mission against Louisbourg was aborted due the lateness of the season and the shyness of Lord Loudoun). Whitmore, however, was to come back to Halifax in 1758 and played a principal role in the successful taking of Louisbourg in that year.

At Louisbourg, Whitmore was one of three field brigadiers who were under Amherst, the others being Lawrence and Wolfe.

After the capitulation of Louisbourg, Whitmore was appointed the governor of Cape Breton. Headquartered at Louisbourg, he was to oversee important matters during the years 1759-61: he saw to the evacuation of the French at Louisbourg, the staging for Wolfe's successful assault on Quebec in 1759, and, of course, to the demolishment of Louisbourg.

In 1761, Whitmore, this 67 year old war horse, was, finally, granted leave. While making his way down the coast to Boston, unfortunately, on December 11th, Whitmore was swept over the side of the ship and lost his life. His body, apparently retrieved, was brought to Boston and there he was buried (King's Chapel).

My impressions are that Whitmore was, while slow moving, a thoughtful army officer. His long and steady career, and much experience, generally, brought Whitmore respect from his fellow military officers (Wolfe was an exception, thinking Whitmore to be "a poor old sleepy man." -- DCB.)


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)