Born to an aristocratic family in England, he entered military service, seeing action in the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...
, where he served alongside future opponent George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...
in the 1755 Battle of the Monongahela
Battle of the Monongahela
The Battle of the Monongahela, also known as the Battle of the Wilderness, took place on 9 July 1755, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, at Braddock's Field in what is now Braddock, Pennsylvania, east of Pittsburgh...
. After the fall of Montreal in 1760, he was named its military governor.