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 subsequent tv/film adaptations).
Monro was born in Clonfin, County Longford, Ireland to a Scottish military family in about 1700. His father was Colonel George Munro of Auchinbowie who was 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. 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 9 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 185 dead. Monro actually survived the massacre, but died suddenly just three months later, on 3 November 1757, at Albany.
In popular culture
- Monro is portrayed as "Colonel Munro" in James Fennimore Cooper's story "The Last of the Mohicans", in which he is the father of two daughters, Alice and Cora. In the story, he plays a similar role as he did in history, leading the defense of Fort William Henry. In the 1992 film adaptation, he is portrayed by Scottish actor Maurice Roëves, in which he is portrayed as being killed in the massacre by Montcalm's Indian allies, the leader of whom (Magua) cuts his heart out as revenge for Monro killing his family.
- Monro is also portrayed as a supporting character in the 2014 action-adventure video game "Assassin's Creed Rogue". He is shown to be a noble character, seeking to help the people of New York City recover from the gang violence and the disrepair of the city. He is a member of the Templar Order and assists the protagonist Shay Cormac until he is killed by Assassin Liam O'Brien in Albany after the fall of Fort William Henry. He is voiced by Graham Cuthbertson.
- "1759: The Year Britain Became Master of the World", Frank Mclynn (2004)