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Gage, Thomas

Gage, Thomas (1720-1787), an English general, was the son of the first Viscount Gage, He was born in England, and entered the army while young. In 1750 he was lieutenant-colonel of the 44th Regiment, in 1761 was major-general and governor of Montreal, and in 1763 became commander of the British forces in America, with the title of governor of Massachusetts. His hesitation in dealing with the Boston rioters gave the colonists encouragement and opportunity, and in 1775 the defeat of a detachment which he had sent to Lexington virtually began the War of Independence. Although he gained the battle of Bunker's Hill, he could not raise the siege of Boston, and he was soon after superseded by General Howe.