Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore

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About Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore (1602–1693) was a 17th century Scottish soldier and member of parliament from the Clan Munro, Ross-shire, Scotland. He was seated at Newmore Castle.

Lineage

George was a great-grandson of chief Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis. George was the third son of Col. John Munro, 2nd of Obsdale, who in turn was a son of George Munro, 1st of Obsdale, younger son of Munro of Foulis. George's elder brother was Sir Robert Munro, 3rd Baronet of Foulis who became chief of the Clan Munro in 1651. As a cadet of the Munro of Obsdale family, George is also sometimes referred to as George Munro of Obsdale and as he later owned the lands of Culrain is also sometimes referred to as George Munro of Culrain.

Thirty Years' War

Munro grew up a bold, powerful and fearless man, playing a conspicuous part in the history and feuds of his time. He entered the army and accompanied his famous uncle, General Robert Monro and his great-uncle, chief Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis to the Continental Thirty Years' War, in which he very rapidly, highly distinguished himself. In 1629 when the war broke out between Sweden and Austria, George Munro tendered his services to Gustavus Adolphus, under whom he served with distinction. At the Battle of Lutzen, on 6 November 1632, George Munro, 1st of Newmore commanded the left wing of the Swedish army. The Swedish army was victorious and the Imperialists were forced to retreat. However after Lutzen, arguing ensued amongst many of the officers of the Swedish army and as a result they were defeated at the Battle of Nördlingen. The petty differences on the part of those in command led to no properly defined plan of attack. Munro was so disgusted with these matters that he returned home to Scotland.

Irish Confederate Wars

Munro fought in the wars in Ireland under his uncle Robert Monro who commanded the Scottish Covenanter army. Between 1642 and 1646 George and his uncle Robert were generally successful against their enemies, the O’Neils. During that time the Munros put down a rebellion in Ulster in 1642 and captured Belfast in 1644.

General Robert Monro was defeated in the 1646 Battle of Benburb and in September 1648 Carrickfergus Castle was surrendered to George Monck, and Robert Monro was imprisoned by Oliver Cromwell in the Tower of London. George Munro then returned to Scotland where he supported the Scottish Parliament which was seeking the restoration of Charles I to the English throne.

Civil War in Scotland

The Scottish royalists were defeated at the Battle of Preston (1648), although George Munro was not present. This was because of an argument that had ensued because he had refused to serve under James Livingston, 1st Earl of Callendar who was the second in command under James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton. George Munro had an intense dislike for Callender, and Callendar saw no reason why Munro should be allowed an independent command. However, after the battle Munro and his men joined the remnants of the defeated royalist Scottish army and returned to Scotland.

Before the defeat of the Duke of Hamilton’s royalist army at Preston, the Earl of Lanark had raised three regiments of royalist horse, which were now under his command. These, with the accessions of force which were daily arriving from different parts of the kingdom, were quite sufficient to have put down the insurrection in the west; but instead of marching, Lanark, to the surprise of every person, proceeded through East Lothian towards the eastern borders to meet up with Sir George Munro, who was retiring upon Berwick before the army of Cromwell.

The Earl of Lanark declined to attack David Leslie, Lord Newark, acting contrary to the advice of George Munro and his other officers. According to Dr. Wish art, Lanark’s advanced guard, on arriving at Musselburgh, attacked some of covenanter David Leslie’s outposts, who defended the bridge over the River Esk, and Lanark’s advanced guard, though inferior in number, immediately put them in great disorder, and killed some of them without sustaining any loss. This success was reported to the Earl of Lanark, and it was represented to him, that by following it up immediately, while the enemy continued in the state of alarm, he might, perhaps, obtain a bloodless victory, and secure possession of the city of Edinburgh and the town of Leith. However Edinburgh had already been taken by the Whig party in what was known as the Whiggamore Raid.

Ever since the Earl of Lanark’s march to the borders to meet Munro, Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll had been busily employed in raising men in his own territory to assist the Covenanters. Shortly afterwards, Munro and his clansmen who acted as the Earl of Lanark’s advance force defeated the forces of the Marquess of Argyll at the Battle of Stirling (1648). Munro moved in on his own initiative and succeeded in entering Stirling before any of Argyll's commanders were aware of his presence. Munro even personally kicked down a postern door to chase out Argyll's men. Argyll lost about 200 men in the battle. After this victory, Munro urged Lanark to continue and attack David Leslie but he was overruled and in the coming weeks the Earl of Lanark made peace with the Marquess of Argyll and David Leslie.

Knighthood

In 1649 Munro visited Charles II in Holland where he received the honour of knighthood with a new commission from the exiled King.

Return to Ireland

In 1649 Munro returned briefly to Ireland where he opposed Cromwell's Irish campaign and supported the royalist siege of Derry. George Munro left the siege on 7 June 1649 and proceeded to Coleraine which he also laid siege to and successfully captured. He then left Coleraine on 17 July 1649 and rejoined the siege of Derry. The besiegers built a fort at the Knock of Ember which they named Fort Charles in recognition of the king. The fort was itself besieged by the Parliamentarians who were repulsed by George Munro and his forces. The siege of Derry however was not successful and Munro was forced into a final return to Scotland in April 1650 as a result of the rout of the Scottish royalist army at the Battle of Lisnagarvey.

Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654

After the defeat of the royalists in England, Oliver Cromwell came to occupy Scotland but many of the Highlanders waged a war against him. The royalist uprising, led by William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn in support of the exiled King Charles II began in 1651. General John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton, a veteran of the wars against Cromwell, was appointed commander-in-chief of the royalist forces, and both he and Glencairn agreed to unite their respective forces at Dornoch in Sutherland. Munro served as an officer in General Middleton’s force.

However the two factions of the royalist force engaged in petty disputes and quarrels between each other. This eventually led to a duel between Munro and the Earl of Glencairn himself, with broadswords (known in Scotland as claymores), in which both were wounded.[6] Soon afterward Glencairn was placed under arrest by the orders of Middleton and his sword was taken from him. However the following day two junior officers from the two camps had a duel of their own in which one was killed and the other was later arrested and hanged. The royalist rising of the Highlanders and Lowlanders although having various successes in skirmishes against Cromwell was not enough and ended by the fall of 1654.

Restoration

The Restoration of King Charles II took place in 1660 and Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore commanded the King’s forces between 1674 and 1677.

Member of Parliament

In 1661 George Munro was elected member of Parliament for Ross-shire and continued to represent that constituency until 1663. He represented the county of Sutherland from 1669 until 1674 and was again returned to Ross-shire in 1685 until 1686. He was elected for the same county in 1689 and continued to represent it until his death in 1693.

George died in 1693 at his seat Newmore Castle and was succeeded by his eldest son, Hugh Munro, 2nd of Newmore.

Family

George married firstly his cousin, Anne Munro daughter of his uncle Major-General Robert Monro, and had one child:

  • Hugh Munro, 2nd of Newmore.

George married secondly in 1649 Christian Hamilton, daughter of Sir Fredrick Hamilton of Manner and sister of Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne, descended from Mary, eldest daughter of King James II of Scotland. George and Christian had the following children:

  • John Munro. (died 1682).
  • George Munro, 1st of Culrain. (From who the present chiefs of the Clan Munro are descended).
  • Ann Munro. (Married first Donald Mackay, Master of Reay - second son of John Mackay, 2nd Lord Reay. She married secondly Lauchlan Mackintosh, 19th of Mackintosh.)
  • Jane Munro. (Married Alexander Sinclair of Brins, in Caithness).
  • Isobel Munro (Married Robert Gray, 6th of Skibo).
  • Lucy Munro. (Married James Sinclair-Sutherland, 2nd of Swinnie.)
  • Helen Munro. (Married firstly Angus, eldest son of Angus Mackay of Bighouse. Married secondly, Captain Andrew Munro of Westertown, second son of Sir John Munro, 4th Baronet).
  • Catherine Munro. (Married George Munro of Lemlair).
  • Florence Munro. (Married Andrew Munro of Logie)."

SOURCE: ikipedia contributors, 'George Munro, 1st of Newmore', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 April 2013, 21:38 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_Munro,_1st_of_Newmore&oldid=552627369> [accessed 29 April 2013]

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