Loudoun joined the army in 1727. In 1741 he was made the governor of Stirling Castle and aide-de-camp to the king in 1743. In 1745 he raised a regiment to help the king and participated in the Battle of Prestonpans; his regiment was "almost wiped out."1 Despite Lord Loudoun's reverses in the battlefield, he was "a man with excellent connections"2, such that in February of 1756, Loudoun was named "captain-general and governor-in-chief of Virginia"; in March he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of British forces on the American continent.
Lord Loudoun was no match to his French counterpart, the Marquis de Montcalm who was then in charge at Quebec. During 1756, the French bested the English, especially when the English fort at Oswego on Lake Ontario fell. In 1757, Loudoun determined to concentrate his forces (12,000) at Halifax with the object being to attack Louisbourg. Loudoun proceeded upon his preparations at Halifax with "traditional and pedantic accuracy" and was considerably delayed in getting the attacking troops seaboard. Then, receiving disquieting intelligence about the strength of the French at Louisbourg, Loudoun called off the attack and returned to New York. In the meantime Montcalm was to take full opportunity of the absence of the main English force and captured Fort Henry on Lake George (current day, upstate New York).
In the winter of 1757, Lord Loudoun was recalled to England and the campaign in North America, for the balance of the war (The Seven Years War) was to fall under the leadership of Jeffery Amherst, a far superior general, as history was to prove. Loudoun was apparently to languish for a few years, then in 1762 was sent off to Portugal, there to be second in command. That command lasted only a year. For services to the crown, however, I suppose especially during his years in Scotland, Lord Loudoun was not to be forgotten. In 1770 he became the colonel-in-chief of the 3rd foot and remained so until his death in 1782.
 Malcolm MacLeod, "Letter From Another World, 1757" NSHQ#3:3, fn#5, p. 212.
 Von Ruville's biography on Pitt, vol. 2, p. 41. Lord Chesterfield was to describe "Lord Loudoun, a disgustingly avaricious character." (Ibid., p. 168.)