George Monro (British Army officer)
Clonfin, County Longford, Kingdom of Ireland
|Died||3 November 1757 (aged 57)
Albany, Province of New York
|Years of service||1718 - 1757|
|Relations||George Munro, 1st of Auchinbowie (father)|
Lieutenant-Colonel George Monro (sometimes spelled 'Munro') (1700–1757) was a Scottish-Irish soldier. He was an officer in the British Army best remembered for his resolute but ultimately unsuccessful defence of Fort William Henry in 1757 during the Seven Years' War / French and Indian War and the subsequent massacre of his garrison at the hands of France’s Indian allies. These events were made famous by James Fenimore Cooper in his novel The Last of the Mohicans (and future film adaptations).
Monro was born in Clonfin, County Longford, Ireland to a Scottish military family in about 1700. George's father was Colonel George Munro of Auchinbowie, famed for his victory at the Battle of Dunkeld in 1689. His mother was Margarat Bruce from Scotland. George also had an older brother named Alexander and a sister called Margarat. George's grandfather was Sir Alexander Munro of Bearcrofts.
Monro joined Otway’s Regiment, the 35th Regiment of Foot, as a Lieutenant in 1718. He appears to have had an unremarkable military career, and by 1750 he had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Seven Years War
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In 1757, with hostilities renewed between Britain and France, Monro was placed in command of Fort William Henry with 1,500 troops. That summer the Siege of Fort William Henry took place where he was attacked by a French force and their Indian allies, totalling about 8,000 men, under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm. Effectively cut off from the main British force, commanded by General Daniel Webb, the small British garrison stood little chance once the siege started in earnest on 3 August. Monro was forced to open negotiations with Montcalm on the 9th of August.
Munro’s tenacious defence won him generous terms, with the articles of surrender referring to the garrison’s “honourable defence,” and Monro was able to negotiate for his troops to be allowed safe passage to Fort Edward, about seventeen miles away. However, it was not to be. As Monro led his garrison from Fort William Henry, Montcalm’s Indian allies attacked without order from Montcalm, leaving approximately 1,000 dead. Monro actually survived the massacre but died suddenly just three months later, on 3 November 1757, at Albany.
"1759: The Year Britain Became Master of the World", Frank Mclynn (2004)
- Lieutenant-Colonel George Monro
- Biography of Colonel George Monro.
- Col. Monro and the Siege of Fort William Henry
- Lineage of George Monro
In his novel, James Fenimore Cooper writes of Monro having two daughters, Cora and Alice. However, there is no evidence of Monro ever having been married or producing a family. It is almost certain therefore that the daughters are purely fictional.