Frederick Adam was formed on the Artillery School in Woolwich and was already in 1795 a patent as an ensign, in 1796 as a lieutenant. At 14, he entered active duty, made under Abercromby in the campaigns in the Netherlands and Egypt, in 1803 and 1804 Major Lieutenant Colonel. From 1806 to 1811 he was stationed in Sicily, 1812 and 1813 in Spain, where he was severely wounded in Alicante and Ordal.
In 1815, so the age of 31, he became major-general, and at the battle of Waterloo he commanded the brigade, the last decisive attack of the Imperial Guard of Napoleon struck back (→ John Colborne ). From 1824 to 1832 he was Lord High Commissioner to the Ionian Islands, where he made an outstanding contribution by public buildings in Corfu. From 1832 to 1837 he was Governor of Madras, and in 1846 appointed General.