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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

 



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Philip Skene

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SKENE, Philip, soldier, born in London, England, in February, 1725; died near Stoke Goldington, England, 10 June, 1810. He was heir-male (after 1742) of Sir Andrew Skene, of Hallyards, Fife, and entered the 1st royal regiment in 1736, under the auspices of his uncle, Captain Andrew Skene, was at the taking of Carthagena and Porto Bello, and at the battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy, and Culloden. He left the royal regiment in 1750, and was afterward captain in the 27th and 10th foot, and major of brigade. In the same year he married Katherine, heiress of the Heydens, of Mt. Heyden, County Wicklow, who was related to Sir William Johnson.

 

In 1756 he came again to this country, and was engaged under Lord Howe at the attack on Ticonderoga, and afterward under Lord Amherst at its capture, with that of Crown Point. Thence he went to the attack on Martinique and Havana under Lord Albemarle, and was one of the first to enter the breach at the storming of Moro Castle.

 

In 1759, by the desire of Lord Amherst and with a view to strengthening the British hold on Canada, he received a large grant of land on Lake Champlain, which he increased by purchases to the extent of about 60,000 acres, and founded on Wood creek the town of Skenesborough (now Whitehall, New York). He was named governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, with the rank of colonel in the army, became colonel of the local militia, judge, and postmaster, established flourishing foundries and saw-mills, constructed and sailed vessels on the lake, and opened roads to Albany.

 

In the Revolution, after being exchanged as a prisoner, he served a short, time under Sir William Howe at New York, and then volunteered under General Burgoyne, during whose campaign his horse was twice shot under him. He and his son had acted as guides to the army from Canada; the British troops having for some time occupied Skenesborough, on their moving, General Haldimand ordered the whole place to be burned, lest it should become a danger in the hands of their opponents. Colonel Skene thus saw the fruits of an invested fortune and many years' labors perish before his eyes at his countrymen's hands.

 

The night before the capitulation of Saratoga, Colonel Skene, as appears from one of his letters, went to General Burgoyne and urged on him that there was no need for capitulating at all; that, on condition that arms and baggage were abandoned, he would undertake to guide the army safe to Canada.

 

After the recognition of independence, Colonel Skene was in London, and intended to return and begin again as an American citizen; but the state of New York attainted him and his son of high treason, and confiscated their estates. After the war he returned to New York to recover his property, but was unsuccessful, and went back to England. The British government in 1785 granted him a pension of £240 per annum for life, and a sum of £20.000, with which he purchased the estate of Addersey Lodge, Northamptonshire.

 

He has been sometimes confounded with a namesake, General Philip Skene, colonel of the 69th foot, who died in 1788, and also with Lieutenant Philip Skene, of the 72d foot, who died in 1774.

 

--His only son, Andrew Philip Skene, soldier, born 25 March, 1753; died in Durham, England, in February, 1826, entered the 5th regiment of dragoons in 1763. He was graduated at King's (now Columbia) college, New York, in 1772, and transferred afterward to the 6th dragoons, and named major of brigade, being the first subaltern that ever had held that post. He lost a separate estate near Skenesborough, was afterward captain in the 9th dragoons, and became military paymaster at divers places in the three kingdoms. The last twenty-two years of his life were passed at. Durham.

 

--Andrew's eldest son, Philip Orkney Skene, soldier, born about 1790; died in 1837, became a lieutenant of engineers in the British army, and was for a long time stationed in Canada, where he designed the works of Quebec. He had previously been chosen to attend at, Paris the princes of Prussia, afterward King Frederick William IV, and the Emperor William. He wrote many works and labored zealously to propagate the Hamiltonian system of teaching languages, the schemes of Robert Owen, and the co-operative system, which he was one of the first to introduce in London.

 

--Another son, Andrew Motz Skene, died in Durham, England, 10 July, 1849, entered the royal navy in 1808, was present at Flushing and at actions in the West Indies, and was shipmate of the Emperor Napoleon in the voyage to St. Helena. He afterward went with Sir John Ross on the arctic expedition of 1818, his name being given to the Skene islands in Baffin bay. Most of the published drawings of the expedition are from his pencil. He also accompanied Sir William E. Parry in 1819, the name of Skene bay, the rank of lieutenant, and a share of the reward of £5,000 being the recompense of that arduous service. Retiring on half-pay, and presently refusing the command of a new arctic expedition, he devoted most of his leisure to divers inventions connected with his profession, the most remarkable of which he patented, a system of feathering paddles, which was not then approved, but after the expiration of the patent was generally adopted, until it was superseded by the screw.

 

--His only son, ANDREW PHILIP Skene, born 6 September, 1832, succeeded to the Irish and Canadian estates.

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, by John Looby Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

SKENE, Philip, soldier, born in London, England, in February, 1725; died near Stoke Goldington, England, 10 June, 1810. He was heir-male (after 1742) of Sir Andrew Skene, of Hallyards, Fife, and entered the 1st royal regiment in 1736, under the auspices of his uncle, Captain Andrew Skene, was at the taking of Carthagena and Porto Bello, and at the battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy, and Culloden. He left the royal regiment in 1750, and was afterward captain in the 27th and 10th foot, and major of brigade. In the same year he married Katherine, heiress of the Heydens, of Mt. Heyden, County Wicklow, who was related to Sir William Johnson. In 1756 he came again to this country, and was engaged under Lord Howe at the attack on Ticonderoga, and afterward under Lord Amherst at its capture, with that of Crown Point. Thence he went to the attack on Martinique and Havana under Lord Albemarle, and was one of the first to enter the breach at the storming of Moro Castle. In 1759, by the desire of Lord Amherst and with a view to strengthening the British hold on Canada, he received a large grant of land on Lake Champlain, which he increased by purchases to the extent of about 60,000 acres, and founded on Wood creek the town of Skenesborough (now Whitehall, New York). He was named governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, with the rank of colonel in the army, became colonel of the local militia, judge, and postmaster, established flourishing foundries and saw-mills, con-strutted and sailed vessels on the lake, and opened roads to Albany. In the Revolution, after being exchanged as a prisoner, he served a short, time under Sir William Howe at New York, and then volunteered under General Burgoyne, during whose campaign his horse was twice shot under him. He and his son had acted as guides to the army from Canada; the British troops having for some time occupied Skenesborough, on their moving, General Haldimand ordered the whole place to be burned, lest it should become a danger in the hands of their opponents. Colonel Skene thus saw the fruits of an invested fortune and many years' labors perish before his eyes at his countrymen's hands. The night before the capitulation of Saratoga, Colonel Skene, as appears from one of his letters, went to General Burgoyne and urged on him that there was no need for capitulating at all; that, on condition that arms and baggage were abandoned, he would undertake to guide the army safe to Canada. After the recognition of independence, Colonel Skene was in London, and intended to return and begin again as an American citizen ; but the state of New York attainted him and his son of high treason, and confiscated their estates. After the war he returned to New York to recover his property, but was unsuccessful, and went back to England. The British government in 1785 granted him a pension of £240 per annum for life, and a sum of £20.000, with which he purchased the estate of Addersey Lodge, Northamptonshire. He has been sometimes confounded with a namesake, General Philip Skene, colonel of the 69th foot, who died in 1788, and also with Lieutenant Philip Skene, of the 72d foot, who died in 1774.--His only son, Andrew Philip, soldier, born 25 March, 1753" died in Durham, England, in February, 1826, entered the 5th regiment of dragoons in 1763. He was graduated at King's (now Columbia) college, New York, in 1772, and transferred afterward to the 6th dragoons, and named major of brigade, being the first subaltern that ever had held that post. He lost a separate estate near Skenesborough, was afterward captain in the 9th dragoons, and became military paymaster at divers places in the three kingdoms. The last twenty-two years of his life were passed at. Durham. "Andrew's eldest son, Philip Orkney, soldier, born about 1790; died in 1837, became a lieutenant of engineers in the British army, and was for a long time stationed in Canada, where he designed the works of Quebec. He had previously been chosen to attend at, Paris the princes of Prussia, afterward King Frederick William IV., and the Emperor William. He wrote many works and labored zealously to propagate the Hamiltonian system of teaching languages, the schemes of Robert Owen, and the co-operative system, which he was one of the first to introduce in London.--Another son, Andrew Motz, died in Durham, England, 10 July, 1849, entered the royal navy in 1808, was present at Flushing and at actions in the West Indies, and was shipmate of the Emperor Napoleon in the voyage to St. Helena. He afterward went with Sir John Ross on the arctic expedition of 1818, his name being given to the Skene islands in Baffin bay. Most of the published drawings of the expedition are from his pencil. He also accompanied Sir William E. Parry in 1819. the name of Skene bay, the rank of lieutenant, and a share of the reward of £5,000 being the recompense of that arduous service. Retiring on half-pay, and presently refusing the command of a new arctic expedition, he devoted most of his leisure to divers inventions connected with his profession, the most remarkable of which he patented, a system of feathering paddles, which was not then approved, but after the expiration of the patent was generally adopted, until it was superseded by the screw.--His only son, ANDREW PHILIP. born 6 September, 1832, succeeded to the Irish and Canadian estates.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

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