James Clinton (soldier)

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James Clinton
Coat of Arms of George Clinton.svg
Coat of Arms of James Clinton
Bornc. 1667
Died24 January 1718
OccupationSoldier and Politician
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Smith
Children3, including Charles
Parent(s)William Clinton
Elizabeth Kennedy
RelativesJames Clinton (grandson)
George Clinton (grandson)

James Clinton (c. 1667 – 24 January 1718) was an Irish soldier and politician who sired the American branch of the prominent Clinton family including 4th Vice President of the United States George Clinton and Revolutionary War Major General James Clinton.[1]

Early life[edit]

Clinton was born circa 1667 in Ireland. He was the son of Elizabeth (née Kennedy) Clinton and William Clinton (1614–1684), a royalist officer in the army of Charles I of England.[2] His father was a nephew of Thomas Clinton, 3rd Earl of Lincoln and a grandson of Henry Clinton, 2nd Earl of Lincoln.[3][a]

After the king's death in 1649, his father William went into exile on the Continent for a time before going to Scotland, possibly in support of the heir to the throne, Charles II. While in Scotland he married his mother, Elizabeth Kennedy. His parents subsequently moved to the northern part of Ireland where they had one son, James.[5]


James Clinton made an unsuccessful attempt to recover his patrimonial estates in England.[1] While there he married Elizabeth Smith, (d. 1728) the daughter of a New Model Army captain under Cromwell.[5] James returned to Ireland, where he and his wife had three children, two daughters and a son:[6]

  • Christiana Clinton (1685–1776), who married John Beatty (1645–1729).[3]
  • Mary Clinton
  • Charles Clinton (1690–1773), who married Elizabeth Denniston (1703–1775) and had seven children.[6][7]

In May 1729, his then forty year old son Charles left Dublin and emigrated to New Ulster (now Ulster County in New York, United States) in a vessel called the George and Anne.[1] Charles had paid for the passage of 94 people aboard the ship.[1]


Through his daughter Christiana,[3] he was the grandfather of the Rev. Charles Clinton Beatty (1715–1772) and the great-grandfather of Dr. John Beatty (1749–1826),[8] who served as a Continental Congressman as well as the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, Secretary of State of New Jersey, and a U.S. Representative from New Jersey.[9][10]

Through his only son Charles, he was the grandfather of seven, including Revolutionary War Major General James Clinton (1736-1812) and New York Governor George Clinton (1739-1812), who served as the 4th Vice President of the United States.[1]


  1. ^ George Clinton, youngest son of the sixth Earl of Lincoln, was a Naval Commander, politician and Colonial administrator. His son, General Sir Henry Clinton was Commander-in-Chief of the British in North America from 1778 to 1782, fighting against James' descendants. Henry's sons, General Sir William Henry Clinton and Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, were also successful military commanders.[4]
  1. ^ a b c d e Campbell, William W. (1839). Lecture on the life and military services of General James Clinton: Read before the New-York historical society, Feb. 1839. Printed by W. Osborn. p. 4. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia: A Scientific and Popular Treasury of Useful Knowledge. A.J. Johnson & Company. 1886. p. 112. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Jordan, John Woolf (1913). Genealogical and Personal History of the Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 721. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ Willcox, William (1964). Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence. New York: Alfred A Knopf. OCLC 245684727.
  5. ^ a b Campbell, William W. (1849), The Life and Writings of De Witt Clinton, Baker and Scribner, pp. x–xiv, retrieved 9 February 2008
  6. ^ a b Greene, Richard Henry; Stiles, Henry Reed; Dwight, Melatiah Everett; Morrison, George Austin; Mott, Hopper Striker; Totten, John Reynolds; Ditmas, Charles Andrew; Pitman, Harold Minot; Forest, Louis Effingham De; Maynard, Arthur S.; Mann, Conklin (1880). The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  7. ^ Haltigan, James (1908). The Irish in the American Revolution: And Their Early Influence in the Colonies. P. J. Haltigan. pp. 40–41. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  8. ^ "BEATTY, John - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  9. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Beatty, John (physician)" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  10. ^ Heitman, Francis Bernard (1914). Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775, to December, 1783. Rare Book Shop Publishing Company. p. 95. Retrieved 22 May 2018.