Although Gordon’s activity in the Greek Revolution was short, he was the first English philhellene to join the Greek forces. He chartered and equipped at his own expense a ship in Marseilles, with which he transported fighters to Greece.
A disappointed lieutenant general
Gordon took part in the fall of Tripolitsa in September, 1821 but he strongly protested against the massacre that Greek committed. As he was ignored, he retired from the military service. In November 1821 he moved to Zakynthos and from there he returned to Scotland. In November 1822, the provisional Greek government sent a letter asking him to return. He refused, but he joined the Greek committee in London and contributed money and military supplies. He returned to Greece in 1828. From 1828 to 1831, he carried out excavations at the Temple of Hera, near Argos. Gordon took part in the chain of events that led to the assassination of Greece’s first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias. Immediately after these events, Gordon returned to Scotland, where he finished his book “History of the Greek Revolution” in 1833. After the establishment of the monarchy in Greece, Gordon came to Greece again in 1833 and joined the Greek army. He was later appointed president of the Military Court. Due to his poor health, he resigned in February 1839 and returned to Scotland. A brief visit to Greece took place in 1840.
Gordon built his house in Argos in 1829. A few years later, the neighbourhood was named in his honour “Gordonos district”. The Gordon’s house was declared a listed building and in 1987 it was purchased by the French Archaeological School of Athens and restored to be used as a library.