Sir Charles MUNRO, XXVII of Foulis, 9th Baronet

Sir Charles MUNRO, XXVII of Foulis, 9th Baronet

Male 1795 - 1886

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  • Name  Sir Charles MUNRO, XXVII of Foulis, 9th Baronet  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Prefix  Sir 
    Suffix  XXVII of Foulis, 9th Baronet 
    Born  20 May 1795  [7
    Gender  Male 
    Died  12 Jul 1886  Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Buried  Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Person ID  I30  Munro
    Last Modified  17 Mar 2015 

    Father  George MUNRO, of Culrain,   b. 12 Nov 1769,   d. 19 Dec 1845, Edinburgh, , Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Margaret MONTGOMERY,   b. Abt 1771,   d. 1847 
    Married  1792 
    Family ID  F1607  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Lady Amelia BROWNE,   b. 14 Jul 1803,   d. 14 Sep 1849 
    Married  20 Jun 1817  Dublin, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Marion Ross MUNRO,   b. Est 1818,   d. 16 Jan 1908
     2. George Frederick MUNRO,   b. Est Nov 1822
    >3. Sir Charles Robert MUNRO, XXVIII of Foulis, 10th Baronet,   b. 20 Oct 1824,   d. 29 Feb 1888, Edinburgh, , Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location
    >4. Harry MUNRO,   b. 20 Aug 1830, Brighton, , Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1876
    >5. Frederick Ledsum MUNRO,   b. 15 Oct 1832, Bayswater, , Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Aug 1905
     6. Gustavus Francis MUNRO,   b. 19 Oct 1834,   d. 19 Mar 1908, Bordighera, , , Italy Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Arthur Wallace Ledsome MUNRO,   b. 5 May 1836,   d. Oct 1887
     8. Amelia Agnes MUNRO,   b. Est 1839,   d. Jul 1916
    Last Modified  27 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F1610  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Harriette MIDGLEY,   b. Est 1808, , , Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jul 1886, Southport, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  14 Jan 1853 
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F2444  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • **********
      (The following is from the "Clan Munro Magazine" - NO. 26, 2012 - "Sir Charles Munro - The Ninth Baronet" - by Hector Munro of Foulis)

      ĞiğSir Charles was born on 20th May 1795, the eldest son of the immpoverished George Munro of Culrain and lineal descendant of General Sir George Munro, K.B. of Newmore, third son of Colonel John Munro, II of Obsdale. Colonel John was the son of George Munro, fourth son of Rober Mor Munro of Foulis (d. 1588) by his second wife, Catherine Ross of Balnagown. It was this relatively distant connection to the House of Foulis which ultimately led to Charles becoming nearest direct male heir and thus clan chief in 1848 and successor to Foulis the following year.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğHe was educated in Edinburgh, and entered the British army as ensign in the 45th Regiment. He served under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular Campaign from 1810, when aged only 16, to the conclusion of the war in 1815. Charles was accompanied to Portugal by Alexander Munro, son of the minister in Edderton, Ross-shire, who remained there after the war, married an Irish girl, and became the progenitor of many families of Munro descent in that country.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğCharles was slightly wounded at the storming of Badajoz and was awarded a medal with seven clasps - for Rodrigo (18th January 1812), Badajoz (6th April 1812), Salamanca (22nd July 1812), Nove (13th December 1813), Orthes (17th February 1814) and Toulouse (10th Apr 1814). This medal still hangs below his portrait in Foulis Castle.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğThe 29th edition (1867) of Burke's Peerage and Baronetage states that Charles served in the war of independence in South America, commanded the 1st Regiment of English lancers, in the service of Venezuela in 1817 and in 1818, served under the celebrated patriot General Simon Bolivar as a general in the Colombian army at the battle of Agnotmar, when the Spanish army surrendered.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğCharles was involved in recruiting men for an enterprise under the auspices of the Venezuelan agent Luis Lopez Mendez, and, no doubt, as a young soldier on half-pay in May 1817, kicking his heels after years of active service, he would have been keen to get involved. Two people with the name Munro (there is some evidence the other may have been Charles's father, George) can be found in connection with a unit named 2nd Hussars of Venezuela, which sailed on board a ship the ĞuğIndianĞ/uğ, from Portsmouth on the 30th November, 1817, and which days later sank off Ushant with the loss of all aboard.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğAmongst those who were mustered aboard on the 22nd November were the two Munros and a Captain George Elsom. For some reason, perhaps unsure of her seaworthiness, the three disembarked and survived. One of the Munros undoubtedly was Charles, for in a letter written to his son many years later, he recalls how he and Elsom, after the loss of the ĞuğIndianĞ/uğ, made efforts to reform the 2nd Hussars. Elsom duly sailed again, apparently sent ahead by Charles, who was now referred to as a 'Colonel' and, having reached South America and approached Bolivar, received permission from him to bring out an expedition. Elsom returned to London in August 1818, but Charles withdrew from this project and joined with another adventurer, MacGregor, who was busy raising a vast expedition for del Real, the agent of the independent forces Nueva Granada.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğMacGregor appointed "Colonel Charles Munro of his 1st Light Infantry to the command of the 1st Division of the Army of Independent Government of Nueva Granada and the transports Monarch, Onyx and Petersburg and others (then lying in the Thames) till their arrival at the rendezvous." But it was MacGregor alone who sailed down the Thames on 17th November 1818. About this time, there seems to have been a dispute between del Real and Lopez Mendez who declared publicly that del Real had no authority whatsoever.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğThis could have influenced Charles, for three days later 'Colonel' Charles Munro wrote a note to the Venezuelan agent Mendez: "...In consequence of Colonel Munro being satisfied that Brigadier General MacGregor acts without the authority of any government of South America, he has decided to withdraw from this unauthorised military adventure and join the United Provinces of Venezuela and Nueva Granada under Bolivar and Lopez Mendez." He goes on to say that he would use his utmost efforts to bring the merchants engaged by MacGregor to act for Lopez Mendez, and, in return, asked that Lopez Mendez agree to his formation of a unit of 500 men and if possible to provide arms and clothing; but that seems to have been the end of his involvement with any South American expedition.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğAs for Charles' claim that he fought at the battle of Agnotmar, it seems most unlikely. Burke's appears to be the only reference to him ever having reached South America, details no doubt supplied to them by Charles himself. A recognised authority on the participation of the British contingent in Bolivar's army is on record as stating there is no such place in South America, nor is there any resemblance to it among the places where the Spanish forces were defeated by Bolivar's Colombian army. We will see later that Charles developed a penchant for self-aggrandisement, and this may be why he appears to have spun a yarn.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğCharles married his first wife, Amelia, daughter of Frederick Browne, Bandmaster of the 14th Light Dragoons, on 20th June, 1817 in Dublin. She bore him at least eight children, six sons and two daughters.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğCharles' father, George as a minor, had been cheated out of his rightful inheritance, the 15,000 acre Culrain estate, by Sir Hector Munro of Novar who, after acting as a trustee, obtained permission from his fellow trustees to resign and then proceeded to purchase the estate from them, for what was considered the wholly inadequate sum of £5,000 (modern-day equivalent of £500,000), in a blatant breech of faith. Undoubtedly, the young Charles was brought up on tales of this outrage, which must have had a profound influence on the father and the son's actions later in life, when they saw the possibility of succeeding to the greater prize of Foulis Estate and the Chieftainship of the Clan.

      It was well known in Ross-shire and beyond that in 1776 Sir Harry Munro of Foulis, 7th Baronet, after gathering in much (an estimated 36,000 acres) of the ancient Munro lands previously conveyed or leased out under the old system of wadsets and tacks, had drawn up a Deed of Entail, not only detailing who exactly was to succeed to Foulis and in what order of precedence"...For support and continuance of my family and name..." commencing with his own sons Hugh and George and lawful, (i.e. legitimate) heirs male of their bodies, whom failing (lawful) heirs female etc. This was followed by a list of the male members of the leading Munro cadet families, starting with Culcairn and follwed by Culrain, Novar, Fyrish, Achany, Teaninich and Auchenbowie, whom failing the females of the same, but also severely restricting heirs and successors from selling or burdening the Estate with debt.Ğ/iğ
      Sir Hugh, Sir Harry's sole surviving son and successor, had only one daughter, Mary Seymour, who was born out of wedlock on 14th May 1796. He had subsequently married her mother, Jane Law, in London in 1801. But Jane had been tragically drowned in the Cromarty Firth, just below Foulis Castle, in 1803, and with the absence of any furthermarriage by Sir Hugh, doubts were naturally raised as to Mary's legitimacy.

      Rumours circulated in the North that not only might Mary be illegitimate, but also that Sir Hugh might not even be her father. To quell these once and for all, in 1816 Sir Hugh raised an action against Duncan Munro of Culcairn, the supposed instigator of the rumours and the next in line to succeed. So commenced the great lawsuit to test Mary's legitimacy which was to cripple Foulis for generations to come.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğThe cost of defending this particular round of legal action appears to have been shared by the three cadets most likely to benefit, Culrain, Culcairn and Fyrish, although Culcairn and Fyrish were later reimbursed. The legal action continued on and off until 1820, in which year Duncan Munro of Culcairn died without leaving a male heir, but with his death the expectations of both Charles and his father, George Munro of Culrain and now next in line, were considerably raised.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğIn 1826, in order to secure his daughter's position further, Sir Hugh sought legal confirmation of his rights as proprietor of Foulis Estate, but was opposed in this by George Munro of Culrain and others. With the absence of any male heirs of Sir Hugh, succession to the Nova Scotia baronetcy was not in any doubt. With only male heirs eligible to succeed, the title and estate would be separated on Sir Hugh's death, the baronetcy and chieftainship of the clan going to the landless George Munro of Culrain and the estate to MaryĞ/iğ.

      ĞiğBut if doubts of Mary's legitimacy remained, the estate also might go to the Culrains. It was, therefore, felt prudent to prove beyond doubt that Mary was lawful heiress to Foulis and that this would be easier to achieve during her father Sir Hugh's lifetime. So, in 1831, Mary Seymour raised an action against all those who had a right to succeed, one after the other, in terms of her grandfather Sir Harry's entail.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğIn the same year, Charles was introduced to solicitors Smith and Kinnear, who agreed to act for him if he granted a Trust Disposition of his future interest of Foulis Estate as security. This he did in 1833. It was not until 1837 that the Lords Ordinary of the Court of Session in Edinburgh finally found against Mary. This judgement was immediately appealed to the House of Lords and reversed by them on 10th August 1840 -- thus finally securing under Sots law that Mary was legitimate and the rightful heiress to Foulis.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğOn 5th September 1843, Charles was arrested and thrown into the County Gaol of Surrey. It is clear from the Balance Sheet produced in the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors on 30th November of that year, that Charles and his father George had, from about September 1829 onwards, been issuing Promissory Notes and granting Bonds to all and sundry, payable on the death of Sir Hugh and in case of their succeeding as heirs of his entail.Ğ/iğ
      In his submission, besides making wild claims, no doubt in an attempt to impress the English court, Charles said that he and his father were not only next in succession to Sir Hugh, but also to Lord Ankerville (Ross) and Sir Hector Munro of Novar. To cap it all, Charles ended by stating that he and his father were next heirs to the forfeited earldom of Ross, which title he might one day have restored to to himself along with the present Crown Lands of Scotland!

      The aggregate amount of Charle's debts in the schedule came to a staggering £78,110 14s 6d (approximate modern-day equivalent of £5,530,000) out of which Charles said he had only received £3,063 2s 0d mainly in the form of legal services. In 1839, Charles had granted Smith & Kinnear a bond for £3,000 (approximate modern-day equivalent of £198,000) to pay for the action in the Court of Session, and there were other debts as well.Ğ/iğ

      ĞiğIn the end, Mary's was a Pyrrhic victory. For by the time she succeeded to Foulis on the death of her father in May 1848, the castle had been emptied of furniture and the property shorn of all the beautiful woods which once adorned it, cut down by her father to help fund his legal expenses and purposely to run down the estate. By January 1849, less than a year after her father, Mary, too was dead. Her principal protagonist, Charle's father George Munro of Culrain, himself did not live to see his family succeed to Foulis, for he died in Edinburgh on 19th December 1845. So, in 1849, it was Charles who succeeded to both the baronetcy and the impoverished estate.

      It had all been futile and pointless. The cost to both sides of such a lengthy litigation was enormous; it had continued on and off for 24 years. The virtually penniless Culrains funded their legal expenses by granting their lawyers bonds of ever-increasing amounts over Foulis, on the growing expectation they would eventually succeed.

      Charles was born on 20 May 1795, and was educated at Edinburgh. He entered the British army as Ensign in the 45th Regiment, and served with much distinction under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular Campaign from 1810 to the conclusion of the war in 1815. In the General Orders of Madrid, the Duke of Wellington described Sir Charles as "one of the bravest officers in the British army." He was badly wounded as one of the "forlorn hope" at the storming of Badajoz.

      As an acknowledgement of his distinguished services he was awarded a medal with six clasps--for Rodrigo (18 Jan 1812), Badajoz (6 Apr 1812), Salamanca (22 Jul 1812), Nive (13 Dec 1813), Orthes (17 Feb 1814) and Toulouse (10 Apr 1814).

      He also served in the War of Independence in South America, and in 1817 commanded the 1st Regiment of English Lancers in the service of Venezuela. In 1818 he commanded a division in the Columbian army under the celebrated patriot, General Simon Bolivar. He fought at the head of his division at the decisive battle of Agnotmar, when the Spanish Army surrendered to Bolivar liberating South America from Spanish control.

      On 20 Jun 1817, Sir Charles married Amelia Browne, the daughter of Frederick Browne of the 14th Light Dragoons. Sir Charles was a Captain in the army at the time.

      On Mary Seymour Munro's death in 1849, the estates as well as the title and the representation of the clan and family passed to Charles Munro, eldest son of George Munro of Culcairn and Culrain, lineal descendant of General Sir George Munro, K.B., of Newmore, third son of Sir Robert, 21st Baron, and 3rd Baronet of Foulis. Charles became the 27th Baron and 9th Baronet of Foulis.

      Lady Munro died on 14 Sep 1849, and was interred in Kensal Green Cemetery. On 14 Jan 1853, Sir Charles remarried. His second wife was Harriette Midgley, the daughter of Robert Midgley, Essington, Yorkshire. Charles and Harriette had no children.

      Sir Charles died 12 Jul 1886 when he was 92 years old, at Southport, England, where he had lived for several years. He was buried at Southport. Lady Munro survived him for only five days. She died at the same place on 17 Jul 1886 at the age of 78 years and was buried in the same grave as her husband.

      He was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles.

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Genealogist, Clan Munro Association, USA [1, 9]

  • Sources 
    1. [S247] History of the Munros of Fowlis, Alexander Mackenzie, M.J.L., (Published in Inverness, Scotland by A & W Mackenzie (1898)), p. 155-157 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S645] Clan Munro files - Boggs, Elizabeth Monroe, Elizabeth Monroe Boggs, Pedigree of the Munro Family - undated (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S823] Clan Munro e-files - Munro, Chuck, Chuck Munro, E-mail from Chuck Munro - 17 May 2012 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S783] Wikipedia,, ( : continuously updated), accessed 18 May 2012), Munro Baronets (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S691] Clan Munro Magazine, Clan Munro (Association), No. 26 - 2012 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S953] Clan Munro e-files - Munro, Enrique, Enrique Munro, E-mail from Enrique Munro - 14 Mar 2015 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S247] History of the Munros of Fowlis, Alexander Mackenzie, M.J.L., (Published in Inverness, Scotland by A & W Mackenzie (1898)), p. 155 (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S247] History of the Munros of Fowlis, Alexander Mackenzie, M.J.L., (Published in Inverness, Scotland by A & W Mackenzie (1898)), p. 157 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S690] The Highland Clans, Sir Ian Moncreiffe, (1967 - Bramhall House - London - New York), p. 159 (Reliability: 3).