Named in honour of John André (May 2, 1750 – October 2, 1780), British Army Major and head of the secret service in America during the American Revolution. He was born into a wealthy Huguenot family at Pond house, Clapton, his father being a Swiss merchant. After capture by the Americans months before the declaration of independence he was freed in a prisoner exchange. Talented and quick-witted, he rose through the ranks and by 1780 was negotiating with disillusioned American General Benedict Arnold to surrender the strategically important town of West Point. However, his plans were undone when having met with the general he was taken prisoner while behind enemy lines, after mistaking American militia for his own side. He was found guilty following a trial and despite appeals first for his freedom and later that he be shot like a gentleman, he was hanged as a spy.
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