Isaac Brock was born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands on October 6th 1769, the same year that saw the birth of both the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. The son of a rich merchant, John Brock, who owned privateering vessels that roamed the North Atlantic during the American War of Independence, Isaac was well schooled both in Guernsey and Southampton, England.
His family bought Isaac his first commission aged just 15, and shortly after purchased his first promotion. His first overseas posting was to the West Indies, where he fell ill and had to return to Britain. Later he saw action in the Netherlands at Egmont-Op-Zee and subsequently at the Battle of Copenhagen with Admiral Nelson.
Isaac was posted with the 49th Regiment of Foot to the North American dominion of the Canadas in 1802, then split into two provinces, Upper and Lower Canada. While in Lower Canada he busied himself with enforcing discipline and improving defences, and by the time he was posted permanently in Upper Canada in 1811 he had spent time in overall command of the British forces in the country. His time in Canada is too well documented elsewhere to summarise here, but please follow the links (right) for more information.
The War of 1812
Brock is principally remembered as ‘the Saviour of Upper Canada’ for his heroic defence of the province with only a small force of British Regulars, in alliance with the Canadian Militias and bands of First Nations warriors. He humiliated the US Army of the Northwest under General Hull at Detroit, and was killed at Queenston Heights repelling an attack by the Army of the Center under General Stephen Van Rensselaer.