1744 - Born on May 25th in Edinburgh, Scotland. A British army officer and rifle designer. He nvented 1st breech-loading rifle used by British army.
1759 - Ferguson began his career, aged 15, as Cornet in the Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys), encouraged by his uncle Gen. James Murray.
1761 - After training, he was sent to Germany, where he served in the Seven Years' War, until illness left him with a lame leg, which gave him years of intermittent trouble.
1768 - He bought a Captaincy in the 70th Foot, and spent 3 years in the Caribbean.
1776 - A brilliant marksman with innovative ideas on light infantry tactics, he improved Chaumette's breechloading mechanism, already used in sporting guns, for use in a military rifle. The Ferguson Rifle was successfully tested, at his own expense.
1777 - Appointed Captain Commandant of his own corps, armed with Ferguson rifles, he was sent to North America.
1780 - On October 7th, the Loyalists made their stand when the Rebels surrounded them in a surprise attack. In a desperate struggle, Patrick Ferguson, the only British serviceman in the battle, fought heroically, until he was shot from his horse. His slight body, which had overcome so much pain and disability, was torn by at least 8 bullets. He died within minutes, without regaining consciousness.
Page last updated: 3:08pm, 03rd May '07