Leaving his army in Canada on the pretext that he needed to deal with his private affairs and to take his seat in Parliament, Lieutenant-General Sir John Burgoyne came to London in mid-December 1776 to advocate a plan whereby the rebellious American colonists might be dealt a decisive blow, and his own ambition furthered. On the British side, as well as two different war aims, there were two distinct sources of initiative: the decisions of the Commander-in-Chief on the spot and, 3000 miles away, the authority of the Secretary of State in London. During the Seven Years War Burgoyne commanded the British contingent which fought in 1759 at the battle of Minden under Ferdinand of Brunswick, who accused him of repeatedly disobeying orders to bring his cavalry into action, and thereby prevented the full exploitation of victory. Burgoyne had made an inauspicious start, for as a penniless captain of Dragoons he had eloped with the Earl of Derby’s sister.