John Despard (1745–1829) was an Irish-born soldier who had a long and distinguished career in the British Army and as a colonial administrator. He was the brother of Edward Despard, also a soldier, who was executed in 1803 for his part in the Despard Plot.
John Despard was born in Dublin and served in the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence. Starting as an ensign in 1760, he rose to the rank of General in 1814. From 1799 to 1807 he was in command of Cape Breton Island.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 101. .
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Biography of John Despard
- Conner, Clifford D., "Colonel Despard: The Life and Times of an Anglo-Irish Rebel" (Combined Publishing 2000)
- Jay, Mike, The Unfortunate Colonel Despard (Bantam Press 2004)
- Oman, Charles William Chadwick. Unfortunate Colonel Despard and Other Studies. Burt Franklin, 1922.
- Tennyson, Brian & Sarty, Roger. Guardian of the Gulf: Sydney, Cape Breton, and the Atlantic Wars. University of Toronto Press, 2000.
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