HMS Royal George (1809)
Depiction of the engagement of Royal George and the American brig Oneida in Kingston harbour
|Name:||HMS Royal George|
|Builder:||Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard|
|Renamed:||Niagara in 1814|
|War of 1812|
|Fate:||sold in 1837|
|Notes:||Provincial Marine vessel|
|Class and type:||Sloop-of-war|
|Tons burthen:||510 (bm)|
Flight of Royal George
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.
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. The role of Royal George was played by the brig Niagara, one of the last two remaining tall ships with an 1812 heritage.
- Engagements on Lake Ontario
- HMS Wolfe (1813)
- HMS Duke of Gloucester (1813)
- HMS Earl of Moira
- Governor Simcoe (1793 ship)
- Fort Henry, Ontario
- 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.