Hugh MUNRO

Hugh MUNRO

Male 1764 - 1825

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All

  • Name  Hugh MUNRO  [1
    Born  15 Oct 1764  Albany, Albany Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Christened  New York, New York Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Died  22 Sep 1825  St. Esprit, , Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried  25 Sep 1825  St. Esprit, , Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Hugh was buried at Saint-Ours-du-Saint-Esprit Catholic Church in Saint-Esprit, Quebec, Canada.
    Person ID  I22050  Munro
    Last Modified  26 Jun 2002 

    Father  Capt. Hon. John MUNRO,   b. 1728, Dingwall, , Ross and Cromarty, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1800, Matilda, Dundas Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Mary BROWER,   b. 9 Oct 1738, Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Apr 1815, Morrisburg, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  5 Apr 1760  Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F2498  Group Sheet

    Family  Angelique LEROUX,   b. 6 Nov 1865, Montreal/L'assum, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1837, Montreal, , Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  4 May 1793  L'assumption, Quebec, Canada, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Marie Olympe MUNRO,   b. 12 Oct 1793, L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1793
     2. Marie Charlotte MUNRO,   b. 13 Jan 1795, L'assumption, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1797, L'assumption, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Marie-Angelique MUNRO,   b. 10 Jan 1796, L'assumption, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1861, St Hyasinthe, L'hotel Dieu, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
    >4. Marie-Charlotte MUNRO,   b. 4 Jun 1797, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830
     5. Marie Lucie MUNRO,   b. 11 Jun 1798, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jul 1798, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
    >6. Hugh MUNRO, Jr.,   b. 25 Aug 1799, L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1896, Browning, Glacier Co., MT Blackfoot, Indian Res Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Anonymous MUNRO,   b. 29 Sep 1800, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1800, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Marie Lucille MUNRO,   b. 25 Mar 1802, L'assumption, Montcalm Co., Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Apr 1815, St. Jacque, L'achigan, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
    >9. Patrice Horace Raphael MUNRO,   b. 18 Mar 1804, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Aug 1870, St Hyasinthe, L'hotel Dieu, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Marie-Emilie MUNRO,   b. 13 Mar 1809, L'assumption, Montcalm, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F7617  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Ref: Clan Munro files - Stroud, Anna Margaret

      Hugh was the oldest son of John and Maria, but their third child as he was preceeded by two sisters. He was born in Albany City, New York, where his father was a merchant. He would have been nearly five years old when they moved to their new home in the Albany County wilderness - later to become part of the state of Vermont. These would have been busy times for his parents as his father continued to build his new estate and oversee the clearing and planting of the fields, the workings of the new mills, and the settlement of numerous small tenant farmers.

      According to the old Scottish practice, as the oldest son, Hugh would be expected to eventually manage and inherit the main property at the Fowlis estate upon his father's death, and he would be educated and trained for that occupation.

      Hugh had a very busy childhood. He was probably schooled at home or with a tutor until there was an appropriate school available. He would ride out with his father to visit the tenant farmers, and oversee the workings at the mills, potash works and forges. In addition he would be a silent witness to the many casual meetings and conferences where John helped his many friends and neighbors with their problems.

      Hugh witnessed the distress of his father's tenants and settlers who were accosted and attacked by Ethan Allen and his "Green Mountain Boys," who thought they had a prior right to the land through their adjoining New Hampshire grants. Allen was determined to drive John Munro, "The Yorker," from his lands, or discredit him to break his influence with the settlers. The conflict escalated, and Hugh was home when the Allen cohorts burst into the manorhouse at Fowlis and bullied his mother and frightened his brothers and sisters before his father finally managed to eject them from the house, and then drive them from the yard where they had tried to set fire to the porch and house. He also helped to carry water in the vain attempt to control the fire at the potash works also set by the same unruly mob.

      By 1775 Hugh was 11 years old, and wise beyond his years with the knowledge that political conflict was spreading through the land like wildfire. As expected, he and his mother bore the responsibility for the estate on the ever more frequent occasions when his father was absent on some mysterious errand about the countryside, or to Albany, Schenectady, or even Boston or New York. He was firmly bound with his father in his unswerving loyalty to King George, and heard many heated discussions about local "loyalists" and "rebels." He overheard enough to know that his father was secretly encouraging veterans of the old regiments to sign up for service in Captain John's new loyalist company in the Scottish Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment newly formed by British General Alan McLean.

      Then, the summer before Hugh had his 12th birthday, the whole secure world at Fowlis suddenly was blown apart for the Munros. John was arrested and taken to Albany to appear before the rebel Committee of Safety to ascertain his political leanings and to prove he was not spying for the Crown. He testified and was parolled, then arrested and required to appear again. During his absence light-fingered cohorts of the Allen gang and fellow patriots visited Mary to bully and frighten her and the tenants, and also to liberate usable items from the Munro estate.

      The family's worst fears are confirmed when they recieve word that John had been thrown into the Albany prison as a Loyalist Tory and traitor to the American cause. Eventually John's name appeared on the list of landowners whose estates were to be confiscated for activity against the new independant American Colonies, and a committee arrived to strip the estate of all remaining supplies, stock, horses, and even to ransack the house for any useful plunder that may have been overlooked on previous occasions. At first a fairly sympathetic rebel allowed Mary to retain one riding horse and saddle for their use, but he later reconsidered this generosity and sent it away with the others. After he heard her plea in the name of her seven children, he allowed her to keep one milk cow - but only as a loan until it may also be called for. Hugh struggled to help Mary find enough for the family to eat from day to day.

      John was identified as being too influencial to be risked, so he was sentenced to be hung. He was put in irons and is sent to a prison ship on the Hudson River near Esopus. Mary was desperate when she heard he was not at Albany. She was told that he was hung. John was told that his wife and family were all murdered.

      After 18 months in prison, John escaped with a group of prisoners and found his way to the British lines near Fort Ticonderoga where he joined "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne. Old friends told him his family was alive and he sent word to Mary to find a way to join him in Canada. Mary's reply pleads for him to help her get away from their home where she is constantly harrassed by American rebels.

      Hugh helped Mary and the girls make packs to carry the extra clothing and the few remaining valuable items that they had sucessfully hidden from the looters, and they started off on the long walk to Schenectady to seek help from family or friends. His youngest brother, John Jr. is hardly four years old and Hugh assumed the responsibility of carrying him or encouraging him along. Hugh also scouted the roadway, looked for food, found the evening stopping place, looked after Cornelius and Harry, and worried about their safety - a long list of responsibilities for a 12 year old boy. The older girls, Christine and Cornelia, were fully occupied in helping their mother with the bundles and in taking turns carrying baby Charlotte, a toddler not yet two years old.

      How discouraged and angry Hugh must have been when they finally reached Schenectady and the Brouwer relatives refused to help them. Selling a piece of silver to a merchant at least gave them good Dutch food to fill their stomachs for a short while. They were finally rescued and hidden away by old merchant friends of John for a few months of rest, but all of them were aware of the rebel hatred of "Tory traitors" and were determined to find some way to get to Canada. The last few pieces of hidden silver plate and all of the salvaged best dresses and finery of Mary and the girls were sold to help provide the needed bribes to get a pass and make the journey to Canada possible. Ten years later Capt. John, ever the honorable Scot, listed as debts the expenses owed to John Glen of Schenectady and Richard Duncan of Albany for the feeding and care of his family and expenses for their escape to Canada.

      Outfitted in their sturdiest shoes and warmest clothing Hugh finally headed the group of women and straggling children on the trail north from Albany to Fort Ticonderoga, a trail fought over by both Loyalist and Rebel troops in the two years previous, and also frequented by Indians of unknown sympathies. It was early Autumn with warm days for walking, but nights that could be bone chilling in the open without adequate shelter or blankets. They ate sparingly of the food they carryied for they knew it might be hard to find sympathetic farmers along the road. The early days on the trail are again a trial for Mary in her poor health.

      When they had traveled beyond the area where Hugh had visited farmers and friends with his father, it became a daily trial to attempt to identify the political sympathies of settlers along the way so they would know if it would be safe to ask for food or shelter because they were constantly at risk of being reported to the local Militia. Hugh was especially at risk because he was nearly 14 years old and it was common practice for the Americans to conscript into the rebel army, the male children of Tories over 12 years old.

      The sore-footed, bedraggled family finally passed the front lines of the Americans and arrived at the forested shore of Lake George only to find no escort waiting to take them across the bay and up the river to Canada. There were no boats available of any kind, and they were in a no man's land frequented by hostile Indians. For six long days, shivering with cold and with little to eat, they lay hidden in the dense undergrowth, so near, and yet so far, from sanctuary in Canada. To their immense relief, late on the seventh day they were joined by another party of escaping Tory women and children, and found an escort who was able to provide transportation for all of them. Even then they did not escape without one last fright, for as they were taken by canoe across Lake George to the British boats they were discovered and closely pursued by a canoe manned by a war party of Indians.

      One can only imagine their joy when they at last reached Fort St. John and were met on the landing by John. It must have been with immense relief that Hugh lay down his burden of responsibility for his mother and siblings. And when the story of their trials was related in detail, Hugh must have felt great reward in the praise and approval from his father. Indeed, it was probably at that moment that John acceded to Hugh's request to join the army, finding him matured way beyond his tender years from the past three year ordeal. Hugh signed the enlistment roll of the First Battalion of the King's Royal Regiment of New York on 10 Oct 1778, just five days short of his 14th birthday.

      Hugh would have been warmly welcomed into his father's First Battalion Company of the King's Royal Regiment of New York as it was made up almost entirely of the old Scottish friends, neighbors, and tenants of the Munros - many of them disbanded veterans of the Seven Years War. They would welcome this eldest son of their Captain, and would be kind in teaching him the necessary Army drills and Manual of Arms, as well as the unpublished "Manual of Skills" so necessary for rank and file survival.

      Complete records were not preserved of the enlisted men in the King's Royal Regiment, but some muster and provision rolls were saved that list Hugh in Captain John Munro's Company. His early duties would probably have been at Fort St. John on the Richelieu River. With the onset of winter in 1778, Captain John was ordered to Montreal to find and supervise housing for some of the New York Loyalists. He moved Mary and his children there for their protection and care.

      In Oct 1780 Captain John was detailed to take fifty men and a party of Indians and Rangers down to Albany where he was to join Colonel Sir John Johnson who was raiding through the Mohawk Valley. Together they were to sweep north through the settlements burning and destroying the field crops and forage of the rebels, encourage able bodied Loyalists to join up, and, hopefully, capture a few important officers and rebels for the exchange of imprisoned Loyalists. It is likely that Hugh was among the soldiers on this excursion, traveling over the same route on which he had shepherded the family two years before.

      Hugh must have fared well with the men of Captain Munro's Company as he rose to the rank of Ensign on 13 Nov 1781, and, at the age of 19, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 24 Oct 1783. Along with the rest of the officers of the First Battalion he was reduced to half pay at the end of 1784 and subject to recall if the Army had need of him.

      By 1785 Hugh wass residing at L'Assumption, an old french village on the horse-shoe bend of the L'Assumption River. It was long known as "la Portage" by both the French and the Coureurs de Bois of the Fur Trade, as canoes were beached at the north side of the river bend, carried down the main street, Rue Portage, and launched again on the south side, thus avoiding the intervening falls. L'Assumption became an important hub for fur trading and commerce for the area east of Montreal. Hugh's mother, Mary, and the rest of the family had been settled here before his father sailed to England to hopefully gain reparation for the lands and fortune he lost to the American rebels in New York and Vermont. Once again, as the oldest son, Hugh feelt the responsibility for the family.

      As a commissioned officer and the son of Captain John Munro, Hugh was a desirable single guest to grace the dinner tables and evening socials of the well placed families in village. Under British rule it was a political necessity for the French to make friends and trade connections with influencial English Loyalists. The business and social elite at L'Assumption included the Leroux d'Esneval and LaRocque families, now united by the marriage of Angelique to Francois Antoine LaRocque. LaRocque soon found Hugh a most desireable employee, and an amiable dinner companion and guest. The Larocque Company was building a prosperous trade in lumber and wheat, and Hugh, as its English representative, was a great asset when dealing with the British merchants in Montreal. By the time his father returned to L'Assumption in 1787 and prepared to move his growing family to promised land grants on the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence River, Hugh was firmly established with the LaRocque firm.

      Hugh had been educated and trained to manage the family estates and a tremenous task awaited the Munros in Upper Canada where they would be starting over in unsettled lands. Already disappointed in his claims to the British government, John could not have been happy when Hugh announced that he was staying at L'Assumption with the LaRocque firm. Indeed, he must have felt it a real betrayal of his duty to him, his father, and to the family. John was nearly 60 years old, had limited funds, and needed the help of his sons in this new endeavor. More than that, he had counted on Hugh to set the pace for his brother, Cornelius was 20 but not overly ambitious, Harry was totally immersed in his books and studies to be a doctor, and John Jr., at 14, was just too easy going and indecisive to train for any leadership.

      It is not hard to imagine the argument that must have raged between this war-weary, army-hardened, tough old Scot and his equally stubborn, independant eldest son. At 23, Hugh was two years past his legal majority. Was he to be expected to give up the job he valued, the friends who respected him as an individual, and the life he had built for himself, to return to living in a virtual wilderness, clearing land and grubbing in the dirt to plant a crop ? He acknowledged his duty to the family, but, in return, had he not paid full measure ? What of the lost years of his youth spent carrying the burden of an abandoned family in New York ? This was a new country. He had given it nearly seven years of military service - did he not then deserve, at last, to make a decision to lead his own life as he saw fit ? How could his father criticize his work as a merchant when he, himself, had built his fortune in America beginning as a merchant in Albany ? Perhaps his father was too old to see the opportunities and genteel life he enjoyed in Montreal and L'Assumption. He was now fluent in French and he enjoyed their life style. He had no need to live in an all English community.

      In the end, John and the family left for the new lands in Upper Canada, and Hugh continued his life in L'Assumption. An uneasy, unsettled silence continued between father and son.

      As the LaRocque business grew and prospered, Francois felt the need to widen his influence, and was soon involved in the political scene, leaving more of the merchant duties to Hugh. At last, in 1792, he was elected to represent the L'Assumption district at the first Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. Alas, before he was able to attend even one session he fell ill and died on 2 Nov 1792 at the age of forty-one. He left his young widow with two young sons age six and eight, and a thriving business managed by Hugh.

      With Francois only a short six months in his grave, the widow LaRocque and Hugh journeyed down the L'Assumption River to Montreal to plight their troth before the Reverend Delisle in the Anglican Church on 4 May 1793. On 12 Oct of the same year Angelique gave birth to their first child, a daughter who died just after her birth. She was buried in the family plot beside the four little LaRocque infants.

      At the age of 28 Hugh took over the LaRocque business and ran it successfully for twenty years before selling it to Angelique's brother, Laurent Laroux. Called back for army duty at erratic intervals, Hugh served during the war with the United States in 1812 as a Captain. Having sold the business, he moved his family to the village of Saint-Esprit, northwest of L'Assumption, where, as a retired officer living on half pay, he became the local Magistrate and Justice of the Peace.

      Except for the death of their daughter Lucie at the age of 13, these were tranquil years for Hugh and Angelique. Their five surviving children found their places in the world. Hugh, Jr. left on his great adventure to the Far West. Horatio was married and established as a farmer. The daughters, Marie Angelique and Charlotte, were married and gone. Only the youngest child, Emilie, lives at home with her parents.

      Hugh became almost totally immersed in the French community and culture. He maintained a close relationship with his older sister Christine, and his brother Doctor Henry, who both married French spouses and lived in Montreal with growing families. They served as god-parents for each other's children, and attended the many festive family Catholic christening and marriage ceremonies. He maintained a more distant relationship with his youngest sister Charlotte and her famous French husband, Chartier Alain de Lotbiniere, who dropped his French title as Marquis in deference to the new British ownership of Canada.

      Sharing as they did a pride as prickly as a Scottish thistle, it is doubtful that Hugh and his father comletely resolved their long-standing dispute before John's death in Oct 1800. Hugh had already divorced himself from the Upper Canada location by selling his Crown land grants there to his brother, Henry. John, however, could not carry his anger beyond the grave, and willed a share of land to Hugh's son equal in size to that willed to each of his other grandchildren. He also directed Hugh, as the eldest son, to be given his valued minature portrait. Finally humbling himself in a letter enclosed with his will, he stated his children were "all equally loved by their poor old father," and begged them all to be "friendly and kind with one another."

      Hugh had gone to Upper Canada to bury his father in 1800, and returned to bury his mother in 1815. His brother Cornelius was prematurely taken in death in 1806, his sister Cornelia widowed in 1809 with the death of the seemingly indestructable fur trapper Allen Patterson. Dr. Philip Mount left the eldest sister, Christine, a bereaved widow in 1816, and out in far Bas-Caraquet, New Brunswick, even the baby of the family, William Johnson, was not spared by the grim reaper from an untimely death in 1820. Also Charlotte was to find that neither wealth nor advantages could buy health and longer life for the great de Lotbiniere, who died in 1822. By 1825 only Hugh, Henry, and John Jr. were left of the five brothers, and the three sisters were all widows.

      Now it was Hugh's turn to mentally review the many adventures of his sixty one years as he lay seriously ill with an "inflamation of the breast." He must have derived the most comfort from his bride of thirty-two years as they had comforted each other during tragic periods in their life together, the deaths of parents and other family members, but most of all the early deaths of five of their own ten children. Although attended by local physicians his condition only continued to worsen, and he sliped away from the family gathered about his bed on 22 Sep 1825. Having converted to the Roman Catholic faith, he was attended by Father Arsenault and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at St. Ours du St. Esprit. Signing his death notice in the parish register were his brother, Dr. Henry Munro; his brother-in-law, Laurent Laroux; and his step-son, Francois Antoine LaRocque, Jr.

      Because there were two or three other Hugh Munros listed in Captain John Munro's Company, there has been some errors made in other references. This Hugh is not the same person as Hugh Munro [4778], born 1744 in Scotland, Enlisted in the British army 19 Jun 1776, served in Watt's Company 1776-1777, in McDonnell's Company 1781, in Munro's company 1781-1783, married Catherine Campbell and had two sons and two daughters in 1784.

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Genealogist, Clan Munro Association, USA [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S14] Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas, Henry Dallas Munro, GEDCOM file - prepared 8 Oct 1996 - RIN 82 (Reliability: 3).