William Gamble


William Gamble lived in Albany during the 1760s and 70s. We seek defining information on his origins and path to Albany. More than one same-named individual has been connected to emigration to America and British military service during the colonial wars.

Perhaps, in October 1759, this William Gamble was in Albany when he sent instructions to Barent Roseboom in the Mohawk valley regarding supply vouchers. In that context, Gamble has been identified as a civil engineer by profession who had emigrated to Boston in 1745. By 1755, he had lost his wife and joined the army - later serving in Canada.

First in November 1762 - and then for more than a decade following , he was a steady associate of and agent for Sir William Johnson. During those years, Gamble seems to have been based in Albany and Schenectady. Perhaps he was boat captain as well.

In January 1766, he was among those future Albany loyalists abused by a mob protesting the Stamp Act.

In 1768, he was identified as the master of the newly formed "Master's" Lodge. Throughout his time in the region, Gamble was an engaged participant in Masonic activities. He also produced Masonic "illustrations".

During the late 1760s, he pressed Johnson for support in securing the county clerkship for new Tryon County. Johnson was not encouraging stating that the clerk should reside in the county. During those years, his name has not been encountered on Albany County assessment rolls or militia lists.

In March 1773, his petition for a lot south of the property of "John Bones" be referred to city surveyor Henry I. Bogert for survey. In February 1774, he was involved in a transaction regarding property in the pastures section of the first ward.

In April 1776, the Albany Committee identified him as a resident of Albany who "lives in King's Store."

On March 25, 1777, this Albany resident wrote to the New York Convention seeking permission to go to Fishkill "in his own boat" and and there to ask for permission to "retire to New York." At that time, the revolutionaries deemed his conduct "unexceptionable." No further reports on the subject have been found.

That was the most recent reference to "Albany inhabitant" William Gamble encountered to date. After the war, a number of loyalists named "William Gamble" were living in Canada. With so many basic questions still unresolved, we move on for now!

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of William Gamble is CAP biography number 8227. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. See paper trails;
        Online notes: Hillsborough = "WILLIAM GAMBLE came to this country in 1722, aged fourteen years. He and two elder brothers, Archibald and Thomas, and a sister Mary, started together for America, but the elder brothers were pressed into the British service upon the point of sailing, leaving the boy William and his sister to make the voyage alone. William was saved from the press-gang alone by the ready exercise of "woman's wit." The Gambles had started under the protection of Mr. and Mrs. Michael McClintock, who resided in the same neighborhood and were about to emigrate to New England. Upon witnessing the seizure of the elder brothers, Mrs. McClintock called to William Gamble, "Come here, Billy, quickly," and upon Billy approaching her, she continued, "Snuggle down here, Billy," and she hid him under the folds of her capacious dress! There he remained safely until the gang had searched the house for the boy in vain, and retired in high dudgeon at their ill success. WILLIAM GAMBLE upon his arrival in Boston, went to work on the ferry from Charlestown to Boston. Here he remained two years. During the Indian War of 1745 he joined several "scouts," and upon the commencement of the "Old French War," in 1755, having lost his wife, he enlisted in the regular service, and was in most of the war, being under Wolfe on the "Plains of Abraham.

first posted 3/10/15