The Info List - Roger Hale Sheaffe

--- Advertisement ---

Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, 1st Baronet
(15 July 1763 – 17 July 1851) was a Loyalist General
in the British Army
British Army
during the War of 1812. He was created a Baronet
in 1813 and afterwards served as Commander and acting Lieutenant
Governor of Upper Canada. There is conflicting information to statements regarding his military accomplishments (1812) in the "Letters of Veritas" in and around page 50.


1 Early life 2 Military career 3 War of 1812 4 Subsequent career 5 Family 6 Dates of rank 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Roger Hale Sheaffe
Roger Hale Sheaffe
was born at Boston, Massachusetts, the third son and eighth child of Susannah Child (1730–1811), daughter of Susannah Hatch and Thomas Child and William Sheaffe (1705–1771), a graduate of Harvard University
Harvard University
who became Deputy Collector of Customs at Boston.[1] Her father was an Englishman
of the same family as Richard Child, 1st Earl Tylney. He owned considerable property in his native Lincolnshire
but emigrated to Boston
where he co-founded Trinity Church, in 1733. One of Sheafe's sisters, Margaret, married Robert Livingston, of Clermont Manor, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Another sister, Susanna, married Captain Ponsonby Molesworth, grandson of Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth. A third sister married Benjamin Clarke Cutler, brother of Mrs Samuel Ward.[2] Shaeffe was educated at the Boston
Latin School with his cousin Sir Isaac Coffin, 1st Baronet.[3] His father died penniless in 1771 and his mother opened a boarding house to support her 10 children. One of the residents there was Lord Percy, later the 2nd Duke of Northumberland, the leader of the British forces in Boston
during the American War of Independence. Lord Percy greatly aided the family during the War and was so struck by the qualities and the leadership potential of Shaeffe that he sent him to a military academy in London. Lord Percy became Shaeffe's lifelong friend and benefactor, purchasing his first commission as Ensign in 1778 in the 5th Regiment of Foot. He later purchased a lieutenancy.[4] Military career[edit] Sheaffe served with his regiment in Ireland from 1781 until 1787, when it was posted to Canada. In Detroit and at Fort Niagara, he served under Lieutenant
Governor John Graves Simcoe, who had a high opinion of him. He was commissioned Captain in 1795. He first served under Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Brock
Isaac Brock
in the 49th Regiment of Foot
49th Regiment of Foot
in 1798; they served together in the campaign against the Batavian Republic
Batavian Republic
in 1799 and in the Baltic in 1801. The 49th was posted to Canada in 1802. As Lieutenant-Colonel, Sheaffe commanded the garrison at Fort George, where he faced an attempted mutiny. Despite his own notable achievements, Sheaffe was often compared unfavourably with the popular and charismatic Brock. Sheaffe had been Brock's second in command prior to their time in Canada, and continued in that role upon their arrival. Shortly after arriving at their new station, a mutiny was attempted by some of Sheaffe's men. Brock hurriedly came to the aid of his subordinate, ended the mutiny without conflict, and arrested the perpetrators. They claimed they took their actions directly as a result of Sheaffe's belligerence, but were subsequently executed after a court-martial. Brock warned Sheaffe to stop working the men too hard and to stop punishing men harshly for small infractions. Sheaffe nevertheless attained the rank of Colonel in 1808, and Major- General
in 1811. This last promotion actually hurt Sheaffe financially, as he transferred from a full-pay commission as Colonel of the 49th to half pay as an unassigned general officer on the staff. War of 1812[edit]

Sheaffe's house at 12 Inverleith Row, Edinburgh

Sheaffe returned to Canada from a visit to England in July 1812. The next month, the War of 1812
War of 1812
broke out. Sir George Prevost, the Governor General
of Canada and commander in chief of the forces there, appointed Sheaffe to command the troops at Fort George on the Niagara River. While Brock was absent, dealing with an American army at the Siege of Detroit, Sheaffe was required by Prevost to negotiate an armistice with the American forces on the opposite side of the river. Prevost may have believed that peace could be negotiated quickly, but by the time the armistice ended, the Americans had been substantially reinforced. Early on 13 October the Americans began crossing the Niagara at Queenston, a few miles south of Fort George. Brock galloped from Fort George to Queenston, arriving just in time to see the Americans capture the commanding heights and a British heavy gun battery. He sent orders to Sheaffe to bring reinforcements, but before they could arrive he led two frontal assaults against the heights. During the second, he was shot dead. Sheaffe arrived on the battlefield at 2pm. In contrast to Brock's actions, he waited for reinforcements before leading his force on a wide detour to the top of the heights, so as to shield them from American artillery. He then meticulously drew up his force before attacking at 4pm. The Americans, terrified of the Mohawks who had also joined the battle, tried to flee but were trapped against the river, and surrendered. One thousand prisoners were taken, for a cost of 50 casualties. Sheaffe was appointed Lieutenant
Governor and commander in Upper Canada in succession to Brock, but was unpopular with the people he was to defend, and often with his own soldiers. During the later months of 1812 he was unable to transact business with the Legislature due to illness and other military commitments, forcing Prevost to make a personal visit to Upper Canada
Upper Canada
in February 1813. In April, Sheaffe was present in York, the provincial capital, to deal with the civil authorities. York was weakly defended and Sheaffe had only four companies of regulars, passing through en route to Fort George and other posts. On 27 April, an American force supported by gunboats and other armed vessels attacked. In the Battle of York, Sheaffe's outnumbered troops were driven back to the edge of the town. Sheaffe decided to preserve his regulars and ordered a retreat to Kingston, having destroyed the fort and a sloop of war under construction in the dockyard. The militia were left to be taken prisoner, while the town was looted by the Americans and several buildings were set on fire. Many prominent citizens of Upper Canada
Upper Canada
denounced Sheaffe's conduct at York, and Sir George Prevost
George Prevost
relieved Sheaffe of his military and civil appointments in Upper Canada, putting him in charge of the troops in Montreal. Subsequent career[edit]

36 Melville Street, Edinburgh, Sheaffe's final home

grave of Roger Hale Sheaffe
Roger Hale Sheaffe
in New Calton Cemetery

Later in the year, Sheaffe was recalled to Britain. Here he subsequently had a successful military career, being promoted to Lieutenant- General
in 1821 and full General
in 1835. He and his family lived in Penzance
and Worcester, and when he retired he moved to Edinburgh. In the 1830s he is listed as living at 12 Inverleith Row in north Edinburgh.[5] He died at his home in 36 Melville Street on 17 July 1851, and is buried in New Calton Cemetery, beside his daughters Frances Julia and Agnes Emily. He had been awarded a baronetcy in January 1813 as a reward for the victory at Queenston Heights, but as none of his children survived him, the title died with him but his coat of arms was also bestowed on his dead brother's children in perpetuity.[6] Family[edit] In 1810, at Quebec City, Sheaffe married Margaret, daughter of Isabella Child and John Coffin (1729–1810), a relation of his mother's from Boston. Lady Sheaffe's sister was the mother of Mrs Benjamin Joseph Frobisher, half-sister of Mrs George Hamilton. They had six children, all of whom predeceased their parents:

Frances Julia Sheaffe, b. 1812 in Canada, d. 1834 in Edinburgh
(buried beside him). Agnes Isabella Sheaffe, b. 1814 in London, died in infancy. Agnes Emily Sheaffe, b. 1817 in Worcester, d. 1832 in Edinburgh (buried beside him). Percy Sheaffe, died as a young man. Another son and daughter both died in infancy.

His younger brother, William, and his Wife Mary, died leaving 4 young children. Roger adopted them as his own and brought them up. The boys joined the army and William arrived in Australia as a lieutenant on a convict ship in 1834 with his wife and baby. Their 2 elder children were left in England to be cared for by Roger and Margaret. All the Australian Sheaffes are descended from William and Rosalie. Dates of rank[edit]

Ensign - 1 May 1778 Lieutenant
- 27 December 1780 Captain - 6 May 1795 Major - 13 December 1797 Lieutenant
Colonel - 22 March 1798 Colonel - 25 April 1808 Major General
- 4 June 1811 Lieutenant
- 19 July 1821 General
- 28 June 1838


^ Diary of Anna Green Winslow ^ A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Henry Colburn. 1839.  ^ Amory, Thomas C. (Thomas Coffin) (1886). The life of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, baronet, his English and American ancestors;. University of California Libraries. Boston : Cupples, Upham and company.  ^ "Early Canada Historical Narratives -- SHEAFFE & QUEENSTON HEIGHTS". www.uppercanadahistory.ca. Retrieved 2018-02-24.  ^ " Edinburgh
Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. p. 171. Retrieved 2018-02-25.  ^ Stephen has researched the family history to the 1400's - His book "SHEAFFE Family History is in numerous libraries throughout the world.

External links[edit]

Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe
Roger Hale Sheaffe
– on Sheaffe Family Website by Paul Sheaffe (all information taken from "Sheaffe Family History" by Stephen W Sheaffe) Early Canada Historical Narratives: Sheaffe & Queenston Heights

Government offices

Preceded by Sir Isaac Brock Lieutenant
Governor of Upper Canada 1812–1813 Succeeded by Francis de Rottenburg

Military offices

Preceded by Sir George Don Colonel of the 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot 1729–1751 Succeeded by Lord Frederick FitzClarence

Baronetage of the United Kingdom

Preceded by New creation Baronet(of Boston, MA)1813–1851 Succeeded by Title extinct

v t e

Governors of Ontario

Post-Confederation (1867–present)

Stisted Howland Crawford D. A. Macdonald J. B. Robinson Campbell Kirkpatrick Gzowski Mowat Clark Gibson Hendrie Clarke Cockshutt Ross Mulock H. A. Bruce Matthews Lawson Breithaupt MacKay Rowe W. R. Macdonald McGibbon Aird Alexander Jackman Weston Bartleman Onley Dowdeswell

Province of Canada (1841–67)*

Clitherow Jackson Bagot Metcalfe Cathcart J. Bruce E. W. Head Monck

Upper Canada (1791–1841)

Simcoe Russell Hunter Grant Gore Brock Sheaffe de Rottenburg Drummond Murray F. P. Robinson Smith Maitland Colborne Bond Head Arthur Thomson

British Province of Quebec (1759–91)*

Amherst Murray Carleton Haldimand Carleton (2nd time)

* The Crown's representative from 1759 to 1791, and from 1841 to 1866 held the office and rank of