HMS Royal George (1809)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Royal George.
Royal George Kingston Harbour.jpg
Depiction of the engagement of Royal George and the American brig Oneida in Kingston harbour
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Royal George
Builder: Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard
Launched: 1809
Renamed: Niagara in 1814
Honours and
War of 1812
Fate: sold in 1837
Notes: Provincial Marine vessel
General characteristics
Class and type: Sloop-of-war
Tons burthen: 510 (bm)
Sail plan: Sloop
Complement: 200
  • 3 × long 18-pounder guns
  • 2 × 68-pounder carronades
  • 16 × 32-pounder carronades

HMS Royal George was a British 20-gun wooden sloop of the Provincial Marine, and subsequently, the Royal Navy, operating on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812 with a crew of 200.


She was launched at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard in Kingston, Ontario, in July 1809. Royal George was renamed Niagara in 1814 and was sold in 1837.

Flight of Royal George[edit]

In November 1812, Royal George was the largest warship on the lake, operating under the command of British Commodore Hugh Earl (or "Earle"). On 9 November 1812, an American fleet of seven ships under the command of Commodore Isaac Chauncey surprised Royal George as she passed near the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. Royal George eluded the American vessels by slipping into the North Channel between Amherst Island and the mainland as night fell, making her way into the safety of her home harbour at Kingston by 2 a.m.

The following morning, 10 November, the American fleet resumed the pursuit, burning a small commercial vessel near Bath and proceeding along the shore. As they approached Kingston, they came under fire from shore batteries. Chauncey directed his ship, Oneida and the other American vessels to bombard and attempt to seize Royal George within its harbour. Artillery fire from the shore batteries along the shoreline, including two batteries on Point Henry, attempted to prevent them from closing on the British vessel. Round shot from the American vessels penetrated into the town but they were unable to capture Royal George. At the end of the day, they anchored out of sight of Kingston, intending to resume their attack the next day. However, an approaching storm caused Chauncey to withdraw hack to the American base at Sacketts Harbor without seizing their prize.

This would be the only American attack on Kingston during the War of 1812 as more personnel were sent to this important military and naval centre and strong fortifications were built on Point Henry to defend the dockyards. It was the only time that shots were fired from Point Henry in its history.[1]

Historical reenactment[edit]

From 30 June to 1 July 2012, a 3-day reenactment of the flight of Royal George was performed from Bath, Ontario to Kingston in recognition of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.[1] The role of Royal George was played by the brig Niagara, one of the last two remaining tall ships with an 1812 heritage.[2]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Lea, Michael (9 November 2012). "When Kingston was on the frontlines". Kingston Whig-Standard. Kingston, Ontario. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Flight of the Royal George...". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 


  • The Discriminating General - The War of 1812 Retrieved March 19, 2015
  • David Lyon & Rif Winfield (2004). The Sail & Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889. London. ISBN 1-86176-032-9. 
  • Rif Winfield (2005). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. London. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 
  • David Lyon (1997). The Sailing Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy, Built, Purchased and Captured, 1688-1860. London. ISBN 0-85177-864-X. 
  • Robert Malcomson (2001). Warships of the Great Lakes: 1754-1834. Annapolis. ISBN 1-55750-910-7. 
  • Robert Malcomson (1998). Lords of the Lake. Annapolis. ISBN 1-55750-532-2. 
  • Jonathan Moore (2006). Archaeological and Historical Investigations of Three War of 1812 Wrecks at Kingston, Ontario : HMS St. Lawrence, HMS Kingston and HMS Burlington : Report for Province of Ontario Licence to Conduct Archaeological Exploration or Fieldwork 1999-096 at Sites BbGd-6, BbGc-45 and BbGc-46. Ottawa. ISBN 0-9781712-0-9. 
  • The War of 1812 Magazine
  • George F.G. Stanley, Richard A. Preston (1950). `A short history of Kingston as a military and naval centre`. Kingston, Ont. 

External links[edit]