Born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1753, Benjamin Thompson cast his lot with Great Britain at the beginning of the American Revolution. When the British army evacuated Boston in March, 1776, Thompson sailed to England. There, he received an appointment in the Colonial Office. He eventually returned to North America with a lieutenant colonel's commission and served in South Carolina and New York. At the end of the war, Thompson received a promotion to colonel and briefly commanded the King's American Dragoons. Knighted in February 1784, Thompson entered politics and became the electer of Bavaria. He later became Count Rumford in the Holy Roman Empire. Always fascinated by science, Thompson established a set of medals in heat and light for the Royal Society. Thompson passed away in 1814.