He was born in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland, the son of Thomas Montgomery (a member of Parliament) and Mary Franklin Montgomery.
Richard Montgomery was an officer in the British Army in the Seven Years' War, serving in both Canada and the Caribbean. He was promoted to captain in May 1762. In 1763, when peace was concluded, he went with his regiment to New York. Two years later, the regiment returned to England.
Montgomery associated with the Whig members of Parliament, who generally supported the colonists in their demands for more political freedom.
Montgomery was educated at St. Andrew's and at Trinity College, Dublin, he entered the British army in 1756. He became a captain 6 years later. He saw war service at Louisbourg in 1757 and in the Lake Champlain expedition of 1759, and as adjutant of his regiment, the 17th Foot Regiment, he shared in the final threefold advance upon Montreal. Later he was present at Martinique and Havana. On April 6, 1772, he sold his Army commission and decided to move back to New York. He bought a sixty-seven acre farm at King's Bridge in what is now the Borough of The Bronx of New York City.
On July 24, 1773, Montgomery married Janet Livingston, sister of Robert R. Livingston, a prominent New Yorker who was later on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He then moved to his wife's farm near Rhinebeck, which was to be his home for the few remaining years of his life. In 1775, although having resided in New York just three years, he was elected to the New York provincial legislature.
Montgomery was commissioned as the second-ranking brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War and led an army into Canada (Invasion of Canada), where he captured two forts and the city of Montreal.
Three years later, Montgomery was a delegate to the first provincial congress of New York, and became brigadier-general in the Continental Army. He was sent with Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler on the Canadian expedition, and, on Schuyler's falling ill, the command devolved upon him. Hampered by the inclemency of the season and the gross indiscipline of the troops, he went forward, gaining a few minor successes and capturing the colors of the 7th Royal Fusiliers, and met Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold's contingent at Point aux Trembles. They pushed on to Quebec, barely 800 men strong, but an assault was made on the 31st of December 1775.
He was killed while attempting to capture the city of Quebec during a fierce snow storm on 31 December 1775, and almost at the first discharge Montgomery was killed. The British recognized his body and provided him with an honourable burial. In 1818, his body was moved to New York City and interred at St. Paul's Chapel.
After Richard Montgomery's death the other participants in the Battle went to defeat the British at the Battle of Saratoga including James Livingston (American Revolution) who will name one of his son Richard Montgomery out of respect for his general. At Saratoga Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan both present at Quebec will take the revenge for their general.
The body of Montgomery was honorably interred by the Quebec garrison. Congress caused a memorial to be erected in St. Paul's church, New York, and in 1818, his remains were conveyed there from Quebec.
Father: Thomas Montgomery (UK Member of Parliament) Mother: Mary Franklin Montgomery Wife: Janet Livingston (m. 24-Jul-1773)