The Lineage of Colonel George Monro: Correspondence between James A. Holden, State Historian of New York, and John A. Inglis, Esq., of Edinburgh, Scotland

James Austin Holden (State Historian of New York)

Paper added to those presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the New York State Historical Association, September 29-October 2, 1913, Oswego, New York.

Published in Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, Vol. XIII (1914), pp. 389-403.

Placed online with the kind authorization of the New York State Historical Association.

[May be reproduced for instructional use by individuals or institutions; commercial use prohibited.]

One of the assumed duties of the State Historian of this Commonwealth is the answering of historical queries.

One of the most recent, as well as one of the most interesting relates to the lineage of Colonel George Monro, who commanded at Fort William Henry at the time of the surrender and massacre, in 1757.

As the correspondence between State Historian James A. Holden, and John A. Inglis, Esq., of Edinburgh, Scotland, * a well known genealogical and historical writer, was so enlightening and contained so much material hitherto unknown and unpublished it has been solicited for publication in this issue of the Association Proceedings, and appears in its chronological order.


13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh. 14ᵗʰ Jan. 1915.

Dear Sir:

I take the liberty of writing to ask whether you could kindly give me some information about my remote kinsman, Colonel George Monro, who commanded the British troops at Fort William Henry in August 1757, when the Fort was attacked by Montcalm and had to surrender. The British, on marching out, were attacked by Indians and few escaped. Col. Monro managed to reach Albany, but died within the next two months, and I should much like to find out the date of his death and the place of his interment.

Fenimore Cooper in “The Last of the Mohicans” represents him as having two daughters (half-sisters), but I have found no evidence that he was married, and Cooper may have invented the daughters for dramatic purposes. If there is anything known about his wife or family, I should be very glad to hear of it.

He was never in America till the year 1757, but belonged to a Scottish family — the Monros of Auchinbowie in Stirlingshire. I wrote a book on this family some years ago, but unfortunately at the time I had not identified him as a member of that family.

If you cared, I could write you a short note for your “Transactions” showing his parentage. The Fort William Henry episode is no doubt quite well known.

I hope you will pardon my troubling you. I have no literary friend in Albany or New Pork to whom I could apply, and I am in hopes that you may be able to refer me to some article in your “Transactions” where the subject is dealt with. I can see them in the British Museum.

I am, Sir, 

Yours faithfully,



Albany, N. Y., March 26, 1915.

Mr. John A. Inglis,

13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of January 14ᵗʰ was received in the due course of events. I have delayed answering in order to be sure I had got together all the information available, but I believe now that I can give a detailed, and fairly satisfactory, reply to your questions. I was personally interested in investigating this query, for the reason that my home is at Glens Falls, where the famous Cooper’s cave is located, while the scene of the massacre is only nine miles away. My father was a local historian of note, and his “History of the Town of Queensbury” contains accurate and authentic accounts of the colonial and revolutionary events at and near Lake George, with which I am familiar, so that I was glad to undertake this research for you, and only regret that it has been impossible to answer your query sooner.

Your questions as to the date of death and place of burial of Colonel George Monro of Fort William Henry Massacre fame, would possibly have remained unanswerable on this side of the water but for a chance occurrence which placed the information at my disposal. While there are unquestionably, somewhere in London, official records giving the time and place of the death and burial of Colonel Monro, it so happens that I am probably the only person in this country who has a semi-official record of these events to fall back upon. This is the diary of the Rev. John Ogilvie, covering the period from 1750 to 1759.

In order to make the matter clear, I trust you will excuse me for being somewhat discursive in what follows: The Rev. John Ogilvie was a Yale graduate, a “man of parts” and of superior learning. He became a minister of the Church of England and eventually was sent to the colony of New York, and was stationed at Albany, over the then English church, now St. Peter’s Episcopal church of this city. Mr. Ogilvie began his ministrations officially, April 1, 1750. He was a capable Dutch scholar, and also learned the Mohawk tongue, so that he was able to preach and officiate among the nearby Indians in their own language. From 1759 to 1760, he was attached to Amherst’s army, and finally about 1764, left his Albany charge to assume the rectorship of Trinity Church, in New York City. Taken all in all, he was a notable religious figure for that day and generation. (Sec Mrs. Grant’s “Memoirs of an American Lady”, chap. XLIII, Albany, 1876). Only a part of the records made by him is now in the possession of St. Peter’s.

As may be imagined, the Ogilvie Diary, now in my office, forms a most valuable addition to our manuscript history of the French and Indian war period. A list of Indian baptisms and marriages, the names of officers and citizens who died during the time covered by its entries, and other interesting data are among the matters contained within the tattered and age-worn covers of its various sections.

Under the year 1757, you will be specially interested in the following entry, “Nov. 3d This morning Lieut. Col. Munro of ye 35ᵗʰ Regt. departed this life very suddenly.” From a contemporary printed journal, we learn this was on a Thursday.

In 1907, the “Acorn Club” of Hartford, Conn., printed in that city, at the Hartford Press, from the original manuscript of a colonial soldier, “Luke Gridley’s Diary of 1757”. He was a private in ” Captain Major” Payson’s company, and enlisted from Farmington, Conn. In the month of November we find this entry: “Day 3th from there we thraviled to Green Bouch (Greenbush on the Hudson); Colonel Manrow Died”

***A foot note by the editor says, “Monro, ex-commander of Fort William Henry. He was stricken with apoplexy in the street.” The authority however for the cause of death is not given, and I have, so far, been unable to verify it except by inference from the Ogilvie entry,” that he {“}departed this life very suddenly.”

Returning again to the Ogilvie Diary, we find this item: “Nov. 4ᵗʰ 1757 This day Lieut Coll Munro was decently buried in ye church.” This was a special honor, for, although it had been customary up to 1756 to bury the dead within the church, or in the little “God’s Acre” around it, we are told, in that year, owing to the “increase of demands upon the limited space, partly owing to the large number of soldiers whom friends wished to be buried in church ground there was a necessity for a new burial ground.” (Rev. Joseph Hooper’s “History of St. Peter’s Church” p. 93, Albany, 1900).

The erection of the original English church in which the interment took place was begun in 1715, although the Provincial patent for it was granted a year earlier. This church stood, when finished, in about the center of what is now State street in the city of Albany “opposite Berg (miscalled Barrick), now Chapel Street.” This building remained in that location, which, as stated, was in the middle of the street, a block below the site of the present church, until 1802, when it was succeeded by another edifice, which was built partly on the site of old Fort Frederick, and stood relatively in the position now occupied by the present St. Peter’s, facing on State street, with Lodge street on its right and Maiden lane at the rear. This was in use until about 1859, when its condition necessitated its demolition and the erection of a new church, which was built practically on the site of the northeast bastion of Fort Frederick, and about where the structure of 1802 was located. (Rev. Joseph Hooper’s “History of Saint Peter’s Church”, Albany, 1900; Joel Munsell’s “Annals of Albany”, 1:310-311; id. 6:50-57; Joel Munsell’s “Collections on the History of Albany”, 1:388, 391, 445, 489; Albany, 1865; id. 2:13-14; Rev. Walton W. Battershall’s “St. Peter’s Church in the City of Albany”, pp. 9-10, 39, 41, Albany, 1907; Joel Munsell’s “Men and Things in Albany Two Centuries Ego”, pp. 17-18, 25, Albany, 1876.

When the second St. Peter’s was razed to the e;round in March 1859, there were discovered in digging for the new structure the remains of about twenty-four persons along the north foundation wall of the church of 1802. The Albany Journal of March 30, says: “This fact alone is sufficient to establish the presumption that the remains of all buried in the old church which stood in the center of the street, were disinterred and their bones deposited within the walls of the structure recently torn down.” In fact one coffin was found with its silver plate bearing this inscription: “In this coffin are the bones of my father, James Stevenson, Esqr., who died 2d February, 1769, and was buried in the Episcopal St. Peter’s Church, and when it was taken down they were removed to the new Episcopal Church, called St. Peter’s.” (See also Joel Munsell’s “Collections on the City of Albany”, 1:444-46, Albany, 1865). It was at this time that the remains of Lord George Viscount Howe, killed in the attack an Ticonderoga, 1758, which had been removed according to B. J. Lossing, the historian, to “a Place under the chancel of St. Peter’s Church”, were found; and they now rest under the vestibule of the present St. Peter’s. (J. A. Holden, “New Historical Light on Real Burial Place of Lord Howe”, Proceedings of New York State Historical Association, 10:259-366, Glens Falls, 1911).

The Albany Journal of March 29, 1859, a file for which month and year is in the State Library, says, “These remains as they are gathered, are placed in suitable coffins properly marked, and will be reinterred within the walls of the new edifice.”

These researches would seem to show, then, that Colonel Monro was buried in the old English church, and that his remains with others were removed to the St. Peter’s of 1802. In fact in Joseph Hooper!s “History of Saint Peter’s Church”, p. 167, is the following: “When the first St. Peter’s was torn down, the bodies of all those buried within the church were carefully removed and reinterred under the tower of the second building. Among them were the remains of the gallant Lord Howe, who fell at Trout Brook, July 6, 1758, in the campaign against the French. A payment of seventeen dollars and a half ($17.50), was made to Adam Todd, the sexton, ‘for raising, removing, and interring, the remains of 35 persons from the interior of the old Church in State Street when demolished to the new Church now building’.”

It is safe to assume that they now rest with the other bodies found in 1859, under the vestibule pavement of the present church building, and with those of Lord Howe, “are enclosed within a brick wall which forms part of the church foundation.” (Hooper, p. 524).

There are unfortunately no church records, which show what was finally done with these remains. Nor is there any one now in Albany and connected officially with St. Peter’s, who can give any definite information on the subject. At the time of the building of the second St. Peter’s however, there was a church burial ground situated east of High street, and between State and Lancaster streets in Albany. One gentleman connected with St. Peter’s Church thought it quite possible that all the bodies discovered in 1859, except Lord Howe’s, and James Stevenson’s, were taken to the old cemetery for reinterment. This burial place, by action of the City Common Council in October, 1866, was eventually taken over for public or property uses, and all the bodies removed by October, 1868, from there, by the city, to a special plot in what is known as the “Rural Cemetery” of the city of Albany, at an expense to the city of about $2,500. (Joel Munsell’s “Collections on the History of Albany”, 3:333, 339; id. 4:35.)

So, either under St. Peter’s vestibule, as I believe or in the church plot in the local cemetery, now repose all that is left of the gallant Colonel George Monro.

Regarding Monro’s family, I have been unable as yet to discover any authorities which refer to it at all. There is apparently nothing in the genealogical works in the New York State Library, except one American branch, and the Alex. Mackenzie work, which do not concern this query, and searches made for me in the New York Public Library and the Congressional Library at Washington, have failed to reveal anything concerning Monro personally, aside from his connection with the massacre and his official record. J. Fenimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans” has evidently treated Monro with the license and imagination of the novelist; and, just as Cooper, out of a perfervid imagination, invented the name of “Horicon” and applied it to Lake George, a name which is entirely fictional with no basis of fact, and which has led to much unnecessary historical confusion and wholly false conjectures, in connection with that lake, set he must have invented a fictitious family for Lieutenant Colonel Monro.

The only state record I have referring to Colonel Monro, is the one which appears in the “Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York”, x:603, where in a foot note, the editor, Dr. E. B. O’Callaghan, says: “Colonel George Monro was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 35ᵗʰ Foot, 4ᵗʰ January, 1750 n.s.; and Colonel in America, 1ˢᵗ of January, 1758. He did not long survive either his misfortune or his promotion. He died in February 1758. Army Lists. Ed.” According to the Ogilvie Diary however, he died in the preceding November.

The printed British army Lists, formerly in the possession of the New York State Library, were burned in the Capitol conflagration of March, 1911, which destroyed the library, and badly riddled its manuscripts collection. The Librarian of Congress at Washington, however, writes: “We have here the lists for 1758, which state that he [Colonel Monro] was appointed Lt. Col. on the 4ᵗʰ of January, 1750. In another part of the Register, it states that he was appointed Col. in America on the 6ᵗʰ of January, 1758.” So he never knew he had been promoted, dying before the date of his advancement.

I find in the Gentleman’s Magazine for the year 1758, xxviii: 46-47, among the lists of promotions: George Monro, Thomas Gage, Francis Grant, Henry Boquet, Simon Fraser, Fred Haldiman, John Youngs all as “Colonels in N. America” This list of men, some of whom gained a considerable reputation during their various terms of service, on this continent, appears on one page while, on the opposite page, appears mention of the death of “Col. Monro who commanded at Fort William Henry; at Albany, in N. America.”

Research was also made for me among the Quebec archives by Henry Harmon Noble, former chief clerk in the State Historian’s office, without adding much to the sum of our knowledge regarding Colonel Monro.

Jonathan Carver, soldier, traveler, explorer and author in the 1813 edition of his “Three Years Travels Throughout the Interior Parts Of North America” says, regarding Monro, “These unhappy concurrences, which would probably have been prevented, had he been left to pursue his own plans, together with the loss of so many brave fellows, murdered in cold blood, to whose valor he had been so lately a witness, made such an impression on his mind, that he did not long survive it. He died in about three months of a broken heart, and with truth might it be said that he was an honor to his country.{“}

Dr. Samuel Williams, the distinguished author of the “Natural and Civil History of Vermont” says, “Colonel Monro was an officer of distinguished honor and fortitude.” (1:387, ed. 1809.) There are a number of similar expressions laudatory of Colonel Monro to be found in the earlier histories of the affair, but none giving any account of his family, or American life.

In your letter you say “that the Fort William Henry episode is no doubt quite well known.” In reply to this I would say that outside the murder of Jane McCrea during the Burgoyne Campaign of 1777, I am acquainted with no other incident connected with the French and Indian wars and the Revolutionary war, that is more widely known, especially in New York and New England, than the tragedy at Fort William Henry, in 1757. The “Last of the Mohicans” which has, no doubt, contributed to this result, is probably the most popular and widely read of Cooper’s novels. It has been adopted as required reading in many schools, and in the State of New York it appears among “the recommended hooks for supplementary reading” in the syllabus for secondary schools, in English for first year students.

In my native city of Glens Falls, which is on the Hudson River, in the lime rock formation at the foot of the falls, is, as I stated in the beginning, the cave made famous by Cooper in his novel as the refuge of the little party, included in which ware the two daughters, that Cooper bestowed upon Colonel Monro, in his story. In the erection of the new and costly viaduct just completed across the Hudson river, between Warren and Saratoga counties, the State Historian was successful in interesting the local authorities to provide a permanent stairway, from the roadbed of the viaduct, to the rocks below, which has been erected for the convenience of the many visitors to the island and cave. The spot of course possesses no historic value, but in connection with the story has a certain sentimental and literary value, which in these practical days is, perhaps, not to be ignored.

I would be very glad to receive from you a note concerning the parentage of Colonel Monro, and later on some time, with the permission of the committee, to reproduce it in the proceedings of the New York State Historical Association.

Under separate cover I am sending you a copy of my monograph on the “Real Burial Place of Lord Howe,” which as it pertains to the same locality and war, may be of passing interest to you.

Trusting this information may reach you in time for your purpose, I am,

Yours sincerely,


State Historian.



13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh. 11ᵗʰ April, 1915.

Dear Sir:

Your letter about Col. Monro reached me about a week ago and your monograph a few days later. I think it is extremely kind of you to have taken so much trouble in answering my questions so fully, and I have read your letter with great interest.

Some years ago I published a history of the family of Monro of Auchinbowie to which Col. Monro belonged. Unfortunately I was misled by a footnote in Dalton’s “George First’s Army” & identified him with a Monro who was killed at Dettingen. This was really his nephew.

Not long ago while searching in the General Register House here I accidentally came across a deed signed by “Alexander Monro of Auchinbowie and Capt. George Monro of Brigadier Gen. Otway’s Regt. of Foot, his brother-german”. This was dated in 1739. The next time I was in London I traced his services in the Ms. Commission registers in the Public Record Office and identified him at once with the Col. Monro of Fort William Henry. I have failed both here and in London to find his will and unless I have another happy accident I may never discover whether he was married.

[Note: For information on Col. Monro’s will, and family, see Mr. Holden’s later article, ” The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper’s Historical Inventions, and his Cave” in the 1917 Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, also placed online at this website. — Hugh C. McDougall]

The passage from the Gentleman’s Magazine was my ground for thinking that he died at Albany before the end of 1757.

I shall be very glad to send you a short note about him. The campaign in North America was his only active service, but it may be of interest to say something of his parentage and the family to which he belonged, I will try and write it within the next two months and send it to you, for publication or not, as you and the committee may decide. I have gone hastily through your article on Lord Howe’s Burial Place, and I intend to read it carefully tomorrow, as it is clearly most interesting. The bibliography will be useful as several of my kinsmen were in America at that time and I may find references to them in some of these authorities, many of which will be in the British Museum Library.

I think I was very fortunate in addressing my questions to you. I drew my bow quite at a venture, and I offer you my sincere thanks for your courtesy. Believe me,                Yours sincerely,



13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh. 30ᵗʰ April, 1915.

Dear Sir:

I am sending you herewith a short article on Colonel George Monro in the hope that the New York State Historical Society may find it of sufficient interest for publication in its proceedings. It is rather longer than I intended, but I daresay you have also found that subjects are apt to expand as one writes.*** My interest in Colonel Monro is due to the fact that my grandmother was a Monro. I wrote a book on the Auchinbowie family some years ago, but I have avoided any reference to it in the footnotes to the article.

As the Fort William Henry incident is an event of American rather than of Scottish history it seemed appropriate to offer the article for publication in America, preferably in Albany.

I read your paper on Lord Howe’s burial place with great interest. You completely demolish the counterclaim.

Believe me,

Yours very truly, 



By John A. Inglis, Advocate.

Many writers have described the capture of Fort William Henry by Montcalm and the subsequent massacre by the Indians, but none of them seem to know anything about Colonel Monro, the British commandant, and a short account of his parentage and services may be of interest. Of his services indeed everything can be said in a few sentence.

He first appears on August 9ᵗʰ, 1718, when he was commissioned Lieutenant in Brigadier Otway’s Regiment, afterwards the 35ᵗʰ Foot and now the 1ˢᵗ Battalion, Royal Sussex. His whole military career was spent with this regiment, in which he was commissioned Captain on September 27ᵗʰ, 1731, Major on August 18ᵗʰ, 1747, and Lieutenant Colonel on January 4ᵗʰ, 1750. 1 The 35ᵗʰ were in Ireland all this time and saw no active service, but in 1756 they same to England to be put on a war footing, and were then sent to Nova Scotia under General Hopson. In March 1757 they occupied Fort William Henry, and as Colonel Monro was senior officer, he took command of the garrison, which numbered about 2200 men.

The details of the assault and the massacre are too well known to be repeated; it is enough to say that the Colonel and some other officers and men threw themselves upon the protection of the French, and reached Albany on August 17ᵗʰ, 2 eight days after the surrender. He did not long survive, but died very suddenly on November 3ʳᵈ, and was buried next day in the old English Church, now St. Peter’s. 3

Fenimore Cooper, 4 doubtless for dramatic purposes, provides him with two daughters, half-sisters, but there is no historical proof that he ever married.

All accounts agree in testifying to his personal gallantry. Article IX of the terms of capitulation runs: “The Marquis de Montcalm, being willing to show Colonel Monro and the garrison under his command marks of his esteem on account of their honorable defense, gives them one piece of cannon, a six-pounder:” and Colonel Daniel Webb, writing to Lord Loudoun on August 17ᵗʰ, 1757, says: “I must do Lieutenant Colonel Monro and the rest of the regular troops who were concerned in this siege the justice to say they behaved extremely well.” 5

The authorities in London acquitted him of blame, for in January 1758, before his death was known, he was gazetted full Colonel. 6

By the accidental discovery of a deed in the General Register Office, Edinburgh, it has became possible to fit Colonel Monro into his proper place in the old Scottish family to which he belongs. The deed, which is of no importance in itself, is dated in 1739 and is signed by “Alexander Monro of Auchinbowie 7 and Captain George Monroe, of Brigadier-General Otway’s Regiment of Foot, his brother-german.” 8 He was thus a son of another Colonel George Monro, proprietor of Auchinbowie, an estate lying four miles south of Stirling and about two miles from the field of Bannockburn.

The original home of the clan Munro 9 is in east Ross-shire, and the chieftain’s seat is the castle of Foulis 10 near the head of the Cromarty Firth. With a little help from tradition the Auchinbowie family trace their descent from John Monro of Milntown (circa 1454), a younger son of Hugh, ninth Baron of Foulis, and from 1570 onward the family history is continuous and vouched by documentary evidence. George Monro, a younger son of George Monro of Milntown, and four generations in descent from John Monro, became one of the most prominent ministers in the Reformed Church in the north of Scotland, 11 and his son George followed in his footsteps. 12

We then pass to Alexander, third son of the younger Mr. George Monro and grandfather of Colonel George of Fort William Henry. He was the first of this branch of the family to migrate from the north and he had a stirring career. He fought for Charles II. at the battle of Worcester (September 3ʳᵈ, 1651), and afterwards took to the study of the law. In 1657 he bought a small Stirlingshire property called Bearcrofts, which lies on the flat southern shore of the Firth of Forth near Grangemouth. In 1660 he was appointed Commissary of Stirlingshire, that is to say, judge of the local court, representing the old ecclesiastical court, with jurisdiction in questions of marriage, divorce, affiliation and testaments. Two years later he passed advocate of the Scottish bar, and in 1669 he was nominated one of the six clerks in the Court of Session, the supreme court in Scotland. In June 1676, when the staff of clerks was reduced to three, he lost his place, and attributing this result to the machinations of the Duke of Lauderdale he joined the malcontent Presbyterian party.

In the spring of 1683 he and several sympathizers went to London, ostensibly to arrange for a Scots colony to the Carolinas, but really to help the Earl of Shaftesbury in a great Whig plot to overthrow the King and Government and to exclude the Catholic Duke of York from succession to the throne. 13 An inner circle of conspirators, including nine of the Scotsmen except Robert Ferguson, had a scheme to waylay and murder the King and the Duke of York at the Rye House while on their way from Newmarket to London. In June 1683 the Government discovered both plots, and Commissary Monro, among many others, was arrested. After a Preliminary examination by the Privy Council he and a dozen other Scotsmen were sent to Edinburgh for trial and ware imprisoned in the Tolbooth in solitary confinement for ten months. The authorities raised prosecutions against twenty- three conspirators, all but three being fugitives, and in order to get evidence they decided to apply torture to some of the prisoners. Monro was threatened with the “boots,” and gave evidence which was used at several of the trials. 14 His weakness “did so discompose and confound him, to discover others, that he desperately offered money to the keeper of the Tolbuith’s man to run him throw { sic} with his sword.” 15

He was then pardoned and liberated, but remained in obscurity till the Revolution of 1688. In 1690 he entered the Scots Parliament as Commissioner for Stirlingshire and at first joined the “Club”, the organized opposition to the Court party. He afterwards supported the Government and in 1695 he was knighted and was granted a pension of £150 per annum as a recompense for his sufferings. He died on January 4ᵗʰ, 1704, leaving two sons and three daughters. His wife was Lillias, daughter of John Eastoun of Couston in Linlithgowshire.

John Monro, the younger son, after serving as an army surgeon, settled in Edinburgh, and conceived the design of establishing a medical faculty at the University. With this end in view be educated his only son, Alexander, and secured his appointment in 1720 as the first Professor of Anatomy and Surgery. 16 The plan was brilliantly successful, and in the hundred and twenty-six gears during which Professor Alexander Monro and his son and grandson (both Alexanders) occupied the chair of anatomy, Edinburgh reached the first rank of medical schools.

George Monro, eldest son of Sir Alexander, and father of Colonel George Monro, was a soldier by profession.p In March 1689, when the Cameronian Regiment (26ᵗʰ Foot) was raised, he was appointed a Captain, 17 and in the following August they were sent to garrison Dunkeld in Perthshire, an outpost to protect the Lowlands, against Claverhouse and his Jacobites. At daylight on August 21ˢᵗ they were attacked by 5,000 Highlanders and had to withstand furious assaults for four or five hours. 18 Colonel Cleland was killed and the Major wounded, so the command fell to Captain Monro, who at length beat off the enemy, but not till his men had almost exhausted their powder, while for bullets they had to use lead stripped off the roofs of the houses and melted in little holes in the ground. George Monro was promoted to be Major after the battle, but soon afterwards the regiment was reduced and his company was disbanded. He then commanded an independent company of foot stationed in the Highlands, and on December 15ᵗʰ, 1691, just before the massacre of Glencoe, he was ordered to bring fifty men to Fort William, 19 but there is no record of his actually taking part in the massacre. He was present at the siege of Namer in 1695 as Major in Sir Charles Graham’s Foot, 21 and retired soon afterwards. In 1719, two years before his death, he began, for some unexplained reason, to describe himself as “Colonel.” 21

He had married in June 1693 Margaret, second daughter of Robert Bruce of Auchinbowie. She had no brothers, and on her father’s death her eldest sister, Janet, succeeded to the property, but Janet’s husband, Captain William Bruce, had the misfortune to kill another gentleman in a drunken brawl. He fled from justice, leaving his wife to cope with the debts an the property, which proved too much for her. Accordingly in 1702 she sold it to her brother-in-law, Major Monro, who thus became laird of Auchinbowie.

George Monro and Margaret Bruce had two sons, Alexander, and George (of Fort William Henry), and a daughter Margaret, who was born in 1707. There is no record of the sons’ births, but, to judge from the date of his Lieutenant’s commission, George was probably born about 1700. 22

Alexander succeeded to Auchinbowie and settled down as a laird, but he got into financial straits, and after his death his trustees sold the property to his cousin, Professor Alexander Monro, (Primus) as a residence for his eldest son, John. 23 It remained with John’s descendants until four years ago, when it was again sold to a cousin of the proprietor, thus fortunately remaining in the Monro family.

Editor’s Note. — As this book was about to go to press, I discovered among the Sir William Johnson manuscripts, now being arranged by the Division of History, of the University of the State of New York, for publication, the following reference to Monro, in a letter from Guy Johnson to his uncle. Sir William, dated at Stone Arabia April 2, 1758: “It is the Common report here, that Coll. Monroe is alive in England, and that ‘tis by his Means Webb goes home.” It is interesting to note that, when the Johnson letter was written, the death of Lieut. Col. Monro and his burial in the old English church in Albany were not generally known even to army officers living as near Albany as Stone Arabia. Monro never knew he had been promoted to a colonelcy much less that he was credited with bringing about the deserved recall of the cowardly and despicable Webb. — J. A. H.


1 Public Record Office, London. M.S. Army List for 1752.

2 Letter from Albany printed In The Scots Magazine, 1757, p. 599.

3 Diary of the Rev. John Ogilvie. For this reference I am indebted to Mr. J. A. Holden.

4 The Last of the Mohicans.

5 Public Record Office, London, War Office, Series I (North America), Vol. I.

6 Gentleman’s Magazine, 1757, p. 46.

7 The name is pronounced “Auchinbooie.”

8 Register of Deeds (Dalrymple), May 18ᵗʰ, 1740.

9 The name of the clan and of the majority of its branches is spelt Munro, but most of the descendants of John Monro of Milntown spell it Monro; the keenest ear would not detect any difference in the Scottish pronunciation, the accent being strongly on the second syllable.

10 Pronounced “Fowls”

11 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, II 276; IV 68, 69, VI 411; VII 301. Book of the Universall Kirk, I 336, 342; II 724; III 863.

12 Laing Charters, No. 1779; Baillie’s Letters (Bannatyne Club), I 426.

13 Howell, State Trials, IX 853; X 698; Fountainhall. Historical Notices (Bannatyne Club) II 591.

14 Printed at length in Thomson’s “Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland,” VIII App. 33.

15 Fountainhall, Historical Notices, II 556.

16 [footnote 16 missing in original]

17 M. Shields, Faithful Contendlngs, pp. 393 seq., 404.

18 A. Crichton. Life of Colonel Blackadder, p. 90.

19 Calendar of State Papers (Domestic) 1691 — 2, p. 34.

20 The Scots Brigade in Holland (Scottibh History Society) I 575.

21 General Register House, Edinburgh — Register of Deeds (Durie), Feb. 12ᵗʰ, 1697.

22 Register of Deeds (Mackenzie), Feb. 27ᵗʰ 1702.

23 Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, Vol. 98, No. 83.

* John A. Inglis, whose letters appear in this article, is by profession an advocate of the Scottish bar. He has published “The Monros of Auchinbowie” (1911); and “The Family of Inglis of Auchindinny and Redhall” (1914), both of which were printed by T. & A. Constable, Edinburgh. Inglis as a recreation from his exacting and laborious pursuit of the law, has devoted himself to the study of genealogy and history. In following out the genealogy of the Monro family, with which he is connected, he discovered the relationship with Colonel Monro, which has been the cause of the correspondence herewith presented. — J. A. H.