Name: MAJOR HENRY BALFOUR
Birth: 13 AUG 1724 in Pilrig House,Leith,Scotland
Death: 1787/1791 in Probably Leith,Scotland
Henry Balfour was a career military man for much of his life. His military experiences have been described as follows (Ref. (A)):
Change Date: 27 JAN 2012 at 19:38:55
"Henry was born in 1724, and joined the 1st Royals as ensign in 1747, when he was twenty-three years of age. Eight years later he became lieutenant. At this time the efficiency of the British Army was at a very low ebb, and when the cloud burst over Europe which heralded the Seven Years' War it is said that Great Britain had only three regiments fit for the field. Of those the Royals went to America in 1757, where the struggle had begun between England and France in which the prize for victory was the dominance of the New World. The honours had all fallen to France in the beginning of the campaign, but England was now wakening in her usual deliberate manner and girding herself for the fight. In 1757 General Lord Amherst and Admiral Boscawen sailed for the mouth of the St. Lawrence. The 2nd Battalion of the Royals was with him, and Balfour as lieutenant and adjutant. In the attack on Louisburg -- defended by 5000 men and with the French fleet lying in the harbour -- he had the opportunity to distinguish himself. After its fall in 1758, he went with General Amherst to Montreal and there was promoted to a Company in Colonel Gage's 80th Rangers, a regiment of light-armed infantry, one of those which the Colonists, loyal as yet, and conscious of their dependence on the mother-country for aid against French aggression, had raised, volunteering in numbers. With a small detachment of this force under him, he was sent to make a survey of the lakes and their surrounding forts,
and in this task he acquitted himself brilliantly, in spite of the many hardships of the march. After this he rejoined his own regiment with the rank of captain, and with it proceeded to Martinique and the siege of Havannah in 1762. In this siege, in the attack on Fort Morna, already wounded and with his arm in a sling, he seems to have acted with great and noticeable bravery, and as he says himself, was the first captain to enter the breach. For his conduct generally in the campaign he received the thanks of Lord Amherst at the head of his regiment, and as a reward was given the present of an ensign's commission to sell or give to a friend."
Another report of Balfour's activities states (Ref. (B)):
"After the fall of Montreal (Sept. 1760) Robert Rogers, who had been sent to Detroit to occupy the French posts in the West, dispatched Captain Henry Balfour with a force of British and Colonial troops to garrison Mackinac and the Wisconsin posts which had been dismantled and were almost deserted. He arrived at La Baye (Green Bay) in October 1761, and left there a garrison under Lieut. James Gorrell of the 60th (Royal American Foot) Regiment. The traders who accompanied them were the nucleus of the first English-speaking colony on Wisconsin soil. The French fort was rechristened Fort Edward Augustus. The period of British occupation was brief. On the outbreak of the conspiracy of Pontiac Lieut. Gorrell was compelled (in July 1763) to evacuate the fort, and make his way to Montreal."
Balfour was promoted to Major in 1768 (Ref. (A)). He retired from the Army in 1769 and then settled down as a wine merchant at Leith.
There is conflicting information about the date of Henry Balfour's death. According to the book by Barbara Balfour-Melville (Ref. (A)), he died in 1791 (page 141), but a handwitten record made by Louisa A. Balfour, a great-granddaughter of Henry Balfour, states that he died on February 12, 1787. The 1787 date corresponds with records in Edinburgh.
Major Henry Balfour of Pilrig, the subject of this note, should not be confused with two other Major Henry Balfours, both of Dunbog, Fife, Scotland. The first of the two Dunbog Major Henry Balfours was the son of John, the 3rd Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and the second (b. 1741) was the grandson of the first Dunbog Major Henry Balfour. The three Major Henry Balfours had as common ancestors Sir John Glen (c1345-) and his wife, Margaret Erskine (d after 1419). Henry of Pilrig was a 9th cousin 2 times removed of the first Dunbog Major Henry Balfour, and an 11th cousin of the second Dunbog Major Henry Balfour. The man who was the son of the first Dunbog Major Henry Balfour and the father of the second Dunbog Major Henry Balfour was also named Henry Balfour of Dunbog, but he had no military title. For information about the Dunbog Balfours, see "General NISBET BALFOUR of Dunbog, 1744-1823", http://www.silverwhistle.co.uk/lobsters/balfour.html .
(A) THE BALFOURS OF PILRIG, A History For The Family, by Barbara Balfour-Melville (T. and A. Constable, Edinburgh; 1907) at pages 138-141 and page 259.
(B) The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia, http://84.1911encyclopedia.org/W/WI/WISCONSIN.htm.
(D) THE BALFOURS OF PILRIG, Printed for Private Circulation (1899).
(H) David Fane Pentland.
(I) Scottish Record Society, The Register Of Marriages For The Parish Of Edinburgh.
(J) Rulewater And Its People, by George Tancred (1907), at pages 88 and 102.
(K) http://home-2-tiscali.nl/cb002201/ellot_clan.htm See M.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11
Father: JAMES BALFOUR b: 1681 in Edinburgh,Scotland c: 10 APR 1681
Mother: LOUISA HAMILTON b: 1686 in Airdrie,Lanark,Scotland
JEAN ELLIOT b: 1748 in Scotland
4 AUG 1765
- MARGARET BALFOUR b: Abt 1766 in Edinburgh,Scotland
- LOUISA BALFOUR b: 1767 in Pilrig,Edinburgh,Scotland
- JANE BALFOUR
- JEAN BALFOUR b: 1769
- JAMES BALFOUR b: 9 DEC 1770 in Edinburgh,Scotland
- WILLIAM BALFOUR b: 1772
- HENRY BALFOUR b: DEC 1773
- HELEN BALFOUR b: 1776