James Adolphus Oughton

Personal data
Born 1719
in London

Died April 14, 1780
in Bath
Biography

British soldier. Oughton was the illegitimate son of Colonel Augustus Oughton (d. 1736) and Frances Dickenson. He married the widow Mary Dalrymple.

Oughton was educated at Coventry, Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Dublin, before entering the army in 1741. At the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he commanded a company of the 37th Foot Regiment. Some years later, at the famous Battle of Minden (1759), he commanded the entire regiment.

Around 1768, he was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief of North Britain (Scotland), and in 1778 he was elevated to the senior position as Commander-in-Chief of North Britain, succeeding John Campbell, the Marquess of Lorne. Oughton was for many years Secretary of the Cumberland Society, which was founded to commemorate the victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746, and we was 

 

 

Life with Boswell

Oughton attended a dinner at Boswell's in Edinburgh on August 16, 1773, during Dr Johnson's visit to that city just before the beginning of his and Boswell's tour of Scotland. Also present were the Duchess of Douglas, Lord Chief Baron Ord, Sir William Forbes, William Robertson and Mr Cullen, advocate. Boswell wrote of Oughton that he was:

not only an excellent officer but one of the most universal scholars I ever knew, had learned the Erse language, and expressed his belief in the authenticity of Ossian’s poetry. Dr Johnson took the opposite side of that perplexed question, and I was afraid the dispute would have run high between them. But Sir Adolphus, who had a very sweet temper, changed the discourse, grew playful, laughed at Lord Monboddo’s notion of men having tails, and called him ‘a Judge a posteriori’, which amused Dr Johnson, and thus hostilities were prevented.1