George Munro, 1st of Culcairn

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George Munro, 1st of Culcairn
Died 1746
Allegiance British
Rank Captain
Unit Black Watch, 42nd Highlanders
Battles/wars Battle of Glenshiel (WIA)
Battle of Fontenoy
Relations Sir Robert Munro, 5th Baronet (father)
Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet (brother)
Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet (nephew)

Sir George Munro of Culcairn (died 1746) was a Scottish soldier of the 18th century from Ross-shire, Scotland. He commanded the 3rd Independent Highland Company from 1714 to 1716, fought at the Battle of Glenshiel in 1719, led the 6th Company in formation of the "Black Watch" in 1725, the 8th Company of Black Watch when it was regimented in 1739 and again commanded an Independent Highland Company in 1745-46.[1] He was shot in error in 1746.[1]

Lineage[edit]

George Munro of Culcairn was the second son of Sir Robert Munro, 5th Baronet of Foulis, chief of the Clan Munro, who was also known as the Blind Baron. George's elder brother was Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet of Foulis, the next successive chief of the clan.

1715 to 1719 Jacobite rising[edit]

During the 1715 to 1719 Jacobite Risings the Munros always supported the British Government. In 1715 the Mackenzie Jacobite garrison at Inverness surrendered to Simon Fraser of Lovat upon the very day when the Battle of Sheriffmuir was fought and another Jacobite force was defeated at the Battle of Preston (1715). Soon after this 31 year old Colonel Robert Munro of Foulis marched into the town of Inverness with 400 Munros and took over control as governor from Fraser. Government troops arrived in Inverness towards the end of February, and for some months the process of disarming the rebels went on led by a Munro detachment under George Munro of Culcairn.[2]

In 1719 Captain George Munro of Culcairn led a detachment of Munros at the Battle of Glenshiel where they helped to defeat the Jacobites. George Munro was wounded during the action. George, wounded was shielded by his servant, however he told his men to carry on and not to shield him. The Jacobites continued to fire at George after he was down, until Sergeant Robert Munro, son of Hugh Munro of Tullochue, with a small party, dislodged Captain George Munro's assailants, after having previously swore upon his dirk that he would effect his rescue. The Jacobites were soon put into retreat and after the battle the Jacobite rising was over.[2] Historian Peter Simpson states that the Munro company ably led by George Munro of Culcairn took a very positive part in the fighting and that their bold action helped in the defeat of the Jacobites under the Earl Marischall.[3] Simpson also states that the battle raged for three hours but the superior power of the government grenadiers along with the aggressive forays of the Munros won the day for the government.[4]

The Black Watch and War in France[edit]

In 1725 six Independent Highland Companies were formed. One of Munros, one of Frasers, one of Grants and three of Campbells. George Munro of Culcairn was made a Captain in Munro's company under his elder brother Colonel Sir Robert.[5] In 1739 ten Independent Highland Companies were embodied into a regiment of the line.[6] The regiment then was officially known as the 43rd Highlanders (later renumbered the 42nd ). The regiment's first action together came at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 against the French. For the first time in a European battle they introduced a system of infantry tactics (alternatively firing and taking cover) that was not superseded. Springing up and closing with the enemy, they several times drove them back, and finished with a successful rear-guard action against French cavalry.

1745 to 1746 Jacobite rising[edit]

Later during the 1745 to 1746 Jacobite rising the Munros continued their support for the British Government. George Munro was appointed the command of the Clan Munro Independent Highland Company.[7] While his elder brother, Robert Munro, now the chief of the clan was appointed command of the English 37th Regiment of Foot and Robert's son, Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet held command in Loudon's Highlanders regiment.

General Sir John Cope arrived at Inverness on 29 August 1745.[8] George Munro of Culcairn met him and agreed that the Munros "should instantly take arms and join the King's troops".[8]

Harry Munro joined Sir John Cope at the Water of Nairn and when the army marched for Aberdeen on 4 September Loudon's Highlanders regiment included his three companies, while George Munro of Culcairn's detachment acted as scouts.[8] Sir John Cope remained in Aberdeen where a fourth company of Loudoun's regiment joined the others until 14 September from whence they sailed to Dunbar and their infamous defeat at the Battle of Prestonpans.[8] Harry was among 70 officers taken prisoner and for a time was imprisoned in Glamis Castle but by mid January 1746 he was among 31 men released who arrived at Edinburgh, where he learnt the tragic news of his father Robert's and his uncle Duncan's deaths after the Battle of Falkirk Muir.[8]

Meanwhile the main body of Munros having escorted Sir John Cope successfully to Aberdeen had returned to the north under George Munro of Culcairn and were not present at Prestonpans.[8] However George Munro and his Independent Company seem to have been involved in the events which led up to the Battle of Inverurie (1745) if not involved in the battle itself. One account does state that the Munros under George Munro of Culcairn were positioned in such a way that they were able to attack the advancing Jacobites from the front and flank leaving many dead on the field.[9] Another account states that the Munros held position at the village of Oldmeldrum and were not involved in the battle at all.[10]

John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun and Sir John Cope had escaped by sea to London after the Battle of Prestonpans from whence Loudoun later returned north to Inverness to take command in the north but was forced with the Lord President Duncan Forbes, Lord Culloden and George Munro of Culcairn to withdraw through the Black Isle into Ross-shire being pressed by a much larger Jacobite force.[8]

After the Battle of Falkirk (1746), Mackenzie Jacobites had burned Foulis Castle leaving it a semi ruin.[8] In April of that year the Jacobite army was finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden by Government forces but although Loudon's regiment were present Harry Munro was listed as missing on leave and George Munro of Culcairn had already returned north.[8]

Assassination[edit]

After the Jacobite rising had been suppressed a Munro Independent Company under Harry Munro of Foulis and the command of his uncle, George Munro of Culcairn continued to police the Highlands. George Munro and his Independent Company burned Achnacarry Castle of the Clan Cameron to the ground, watched by Donald Cameron, chief of the Clan Cameron. The Camerons had been the most staunch of Jacobites and were also responsible for the murder of George's elder brother Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet after the Battle of Falkirk.

Around the same time that Achnacarry Castle was burned a Government officer from the Clan Grant was watched ordering the execution of a group of Jacobite Camerons who had surrendered. The Camerons who watched the execution from the hillside said that the officer, Grant of Knockando rode a white horse and wore a long navy blue cloak. Later, on 31 August 1746, Captain Grant of Knockando and Captain George Munro of Culcairn were riding up the side of Locharkaigside and had reached a point on the track just past Kenmore, when George Munro fell from his horse mortally wounded by a shot fired from the wood on the right of the track. He had borrowed Grant's horse and coat and as a result was shot in mistake for him by Dugal Roy Cameron whose brother had been executed on the orders of Grant.[11][12][13]

Some information on George Munro of Culcairn's murder is given by historian Ruairi MacLeod. MacLeod states that on 19 August, Lord Loudon (John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun) ordered Munro to sweep through Knoydart and into Lochaber. On 31 August, Munro's four companies met up with Captain Grant's detachment at Locharkaigside where Munro was killed. The Reverend John Cameron maintained that Munro was shot in mistake for Captain Grant of Knockando, in revenge by the father of a man killed on the orders of Grant.[14]

Family[edit]

George's son, John Munro, 2nd of Culcairn is also well remembered for the unusual hospitality he showed to a Jacobite Bishop in the 1760s.[15] It is recorded how John Munro of Culcairn treated him to the best of Strong Ale, Claret of Vintage 49 and good Coffee made of his own Wheat.[15] The Bishop also described Culcairn's improvements: his grounds produce the best of Wheat and he has erected a Flour-Miln for dressing it.[15]

Independent Company[edit]

Amongst the men in George Munro of Culcairn's independent company who supported the British Government during the 1745 - 1746 Jacobite rising were:[16]

  • Hugh Munro (of Achany) (Ensign)
  • Robert Munro (sergeant)
  • Hugh Munro (sergeant)
  • Hugh Munro (of Ardullie) (sergeant)
  • Charles Munro (corporal)
  • Robert Munro (in Wester Foulis) (surgeon)
  • Alexander Munro (of Katwall) (soldier)
  • Alexander Munro (in Fyrish) (soldier)
  • Alexander Bain Munro (of Katwall) (soldier)
  • Alexander Munro (in Alness) (soldier)
  • Alexander Munro (in Drummond) (soldier)
  • Alexander Munro (in Kildermory (soldier)
  • Alexander McGilichallum Munro (in Milntown) (soldier)
  • David Munro (soldier)
  • Donald Baine Munro (soldier)
  • Donald Bain Munro (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Brigend) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Dalbreak) (soldier)
  • Donald Grassich Munro (in Kiltearn) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Koldermory) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Katwell) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Teanaird - the younger) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Teanaird - the elder) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Ribbigill) (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Farr) (soldier)
  • Donald McFinlay Roy Munro (soldier)
  • Donald Munro (in Druminloy) (soldier)
  • Donald McCallie Munro (soldier)
  • George McGillichallum Munro (in Foulis) (soldier)
  • George Munro (in Obsdale (soldier)
  • George Munro (in Newton) (soldier)
  • George Munro (in Auchany) (soldier)
  • Hector Oig Munro (soldier)
  • Hugh Munro (in Auchnacullan) (soldier)
  • Hugh Munro (in Kydoich) (soldier)
  • Hugh Callanach Munro (in Foulis) (soldier)
  • John Allanson Munro (soldier)
  • John Ballach Munro (in Culcairn) (soldier)
  • John Bain Munro (in Balblair) (soldier)
  • John McFarquhar Munro (in Wester Foulis) (soldier)
  • John Naffaid Munro (in Teanriven) (soldier)
  • John McGillispick Munro (soldier)
  • John Allanson Munro (in Newtown) (soldier)
  • Niel Ballach Munro (in Wester Foulis) (soldier)
  • Robert Munro (soldier)
  • Robert Munro (in Rufaqr) (soldier)
  • Robert Bain Munro (in Newtown) (soldier)
  • Robert Macangus Munro (in Katwall) (soldier)
  • Roderick Munro (in Culcraggie) (soldier)
  • Ronald Munro (in Swardell) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Obsdale - the elder) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Obsdale - the younger) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Balchastle) (soldier)
  • William Munro (miller in Mulinuoran) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Balcony) (soldier)
  • William Buy Munro (in Contrillich) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Drummond, Easter Ross) (soldier)
  • William Munro (in Plaids) (soldier)
  • William McRikan Munro (in Teanriven) (soldier)
  • Donald Mackay (drummer)
  • Donald Mackay (soldier)
  • Alexander Mackay (soldier)
  • John Mackay (soldier)
  • Robert Mackay (soldier)
  • William McLean (soldier)
  • Donald McLeod (soldier)
  • John McLeod (soldier)
  • Angus Mcpherson (soldier)
  • Donald Mcurchie (soldier)
  • James Cameron (soldier)
  • Evan Cameron (soldier)
  • Roderick Campbell (soldier)
  • Donald Davie (soldier)
  • Duncan Douglas (soldier)
  • John Ferguson (soldier)
  • Robert Grant (corporal)
  • Simon Gray (soldier)
  • Donald Hossack (soldier)
  • John Leslie (soldier)
  • Alexander McDonald (soldier)
  • Duncan McDonald (soldier)
  • William McDonald (soldier)
  • William McDonald (elder) (Soldier)
  • John Mcevan (soldier)
  • John McIntosh (soldier)
  • David Ross (soldier)
  • James Oag Ross (soldier)
  • John McGillichallum Ross (soldier)
  • Robert Ross (soldier)
  • Alexander Sutherland (soldier)
  • Robert Sutherland (soldier)
  • George Urquhart (soldier)
  • Alexander Williamson (soldier)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Simpson, Peter. (1996). The Independent Highland Companies, 1603 - 1760. pp. 214. ISBN 0-85976-432-X.
  2. ^ a b Mackenzie, Alexander. (1898). The History of the Munroes of Fowlis. pp. 104 - 107.
  3. ^ Simpson. pp. 155.
  4. ^ Simpson. pp. 103.
  5. ^ Simpson. pp. 113.
  6. ^ Simpson. pp. 116 - 117.
  7. ^ Simpson. pp. 127 – 128 and 130.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Munro, R.W. (1977). Clan Munro Magazine No. 14.
  9. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander. (1989). pp. 108 - 109.
  10. ^ Leslie, Charles Joseph. (1869). Historical records of the family of Leslie from 1067 to 1868-9, collected from public records and authentic private sources. Volume III. pp. 178 - 181. Published by Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh.
  11. ^ Donald Cameron, 4th of Clunes@Cameron-Site.co m
  12. ^ http://chrsouchon.free.fr/hamoleab.htm
  13. ^ On Emigration and the State of the Highlands Appendix B.@ElectricScotland.com
  14. ^ MacLeod, Ruairi. (1984) Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Volume LIII. pp. 348 - 349. Published in 1984.
  15. ^ a b c Fraser, C.I of Reeling. (1954). pp. 10 - 11.
  16. ^ Dobson, David. (2007). Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration, 1725 - 1775: The Northern Highlands. ISBN 0-8063-5363-5

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fraser, C.I of Reeling. The Clan Munro. Published by Johnston & Bacon of Stirling in 1954, 1969, 1972 and 1987. ISBN 0-7179-4535-9.
  • Mackenzie, Alexander. (1898). The History of the Munroes of Fowlis.
  • Munro, R.W. (1977). Clan Munro Magazine No. 14'.
  • Simpson, Peter. (1996). The Highland Independent Companies, 1603 - 1760. ISBN 0-85976-432-X.