Margaret Kemble Gage

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Margaret Kemble Gage
Margaret Kemble Gage.jpg
Portrait of Gage in the Turquerie style, circa 1771, by John Singleton Copley

Born 1734
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Died 1824
Newark, New Jersey
Residence East Brunswick Township
Parents Peter Kemble
Spouse General Thomas Gage
Children Charlotte Margaret Gage, Henry Gage

Margaret Kemble Gage (1734–1824) was married to General Thomas Gage, who led the British Army during the American Revolutionary War, and is suggested by at least one author to have spied against him out of sympathy for the Revolution. She was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey[1] and resided in East Brunswick Township.[2] She died in England in 1824. Mrs. Gage was a gateway ancestor to centuries of English nobility who have Dutch and Huguenot ancestry from what was once New Netherlands and later the Thirteen Colonies of British North America.

Patriot spy[edit]

In Paul Revere's Ride, David Hackett Fischer suggested that Mrs. Gage provided Joseph Warren with information regarding General Gage's raid at Lexington and Concord. Although there is no documented evidence that confirms Gage as Warren's informer, speculation of her being a spy for the patriots remained due to her familial ties to America. Among the skeptics was her husband. Fischer writes in Paul Revere's Ride, "All of this circumstantial evidence suggests that it is highly probable, though far from certain that Dr. Warren's informer was indeed Margaret Kemble Gage - a lady of divided loyalties to both her husband and her native land".[3] As a result, Gage was sent to England aboard the Charming Nancy on her husband's orders in the summer of 1775.[4]

Family life and descendants[edit]

Margaret Kemble was the great-granddaughter of Mayor of New York City Stephanus Van Cortlandt and Gertrude Schuyler of the Schuyler family.[1] She was the daughter of Peter Kemble, a well-to-do New Jersey businessman and politician, and of Gertrude Bayard. She married Thomas on December 8, 1758. Together they had eleven children. Their first son, the future 3rd Viscount Gage, was born in 1761.[1] Gage's daughter, Charlotte Margaret Gage, married Admiral Sir Charles Ogle.[1]

Descendants of Kemble Gage include:

Her brother, Stephen Kemble, was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army during the Revolution.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2015 miniseries, Sons of Liberty, Gage is portrayed by Emily Berrington. In that highly fictional account of the early days of the Revolutionary War, she is depicted as being sympathetic to the Patriotic cause and unhappy in her marriage, so she provides information to Dr. Joseph Warren, with whom she is shown as having a secret affair.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e New York Historical Society, Vol. 17 of The Kemble Papers, (New York: New Historical Society, 1884), xiv,
  2. ^ Allen, Thomas B. "Margaret+Kemble+Gage"+"east+brunswick" Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War, HarperCollins, 2010. ISBN 0-06-124180-6, p. 52. Accessed February 13, 2011. "Oliver was a nephew of General Gage's wife, the former Margaret Kemble, from East Brunswick, New Jersey, who adapted to British ways while clinging to her American identity."
  3. ^ David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (New York: Oxford University Press 1994), 96.
  4. ^ David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (New York: Oxford University Press 1994), 290.