Major General William Adlam (1750–1823) was an English British Army soldier and artist. He was descended from a long line of distinguished soldiers.
Adlam served in the American War of Independence as a captain in the army in the 40th Regiment of Foot. His regiment’s order book is preserved in the Library of Congress.
He was somewhat a renaissance man, an admirer of the French philosopher Voltaire and in 1780, whilst a lieutenant colonel, produced a print of Voltaire sitting at his desk.
He later served with Lord Nelson in the battles of Copenhagen, Ushant and the Nile, and was aboard the same ship with Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, when Nelson was shot.
When the war with Napoleon broke out he served under Lords Wellington and Napier, and was quartered in the Netherlands until 1816. He then returned to Dover Castle, was made major-general in 1820, retired on half pay, and in 1823, died at 73 years of age, leaving a family of sixteen children.