Sheaffe, Roger Hale (DNB00)

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SHEAFFE, Sir ROGER HALE (1763–1851), general, born in Boston, North America, on 15 July 1763, was the third son of William Sheaffe, deputy collector of his majesty's customs at Boston, by Susannah, eldest daughter of Thomas Child of Boston. On 1 May 1778, through the influence of Earl Percy, he received an ensigncy, and on 27 Dec. 1780 a lieutenancy in the 5th foot. He served in Ireland from January 1781 to May 1787, and in Canada from July 1787 to September 1797. Under the orders of Sir Guy Carleton, first baron Dorchester [q. v.], instructed by Lieutenant-governor John Graves Simcoe [q. v.], he was employed on a public mission in 1794 to protest against certain settlements made by the Americans on the south shore of Lake Ontario. On 5 May 1795 he obtained his company in the 5th foot, on 13 Dec. 1797 a majority in the 81st foot, and on 22 March 1798 a lieutenant-colonelcy in the 49th. He served in Holland from August to November 1799, in the expedition to the Baltic from March to July 1801, and in Canada from September 1802 to October 1811. The rank of brevet colonel was conferred on him on 25 April 1808, and that of major-general on 4 June 1811. He again served in Canada from 29 July 1812 to November 1813. On 13 Oct. 1812 the troops of the United States took Queenstown on the Niagara, but on the same day Sheaffe, on the death of General Sir Isaac Brock, assuming the command of the British forces, recaptured the town, the Americans losing heavily in killed, wounded, and prisoners. In the following year, on 27 April, he defended the town of York (now known as Toronto), when the losses of the Americans in taking the place exceeded the total numbers of those opposed to them. Sheaffe continued to command in the upper province and to administer its government until June 1813, and on his retirement received flattering testimonials from the executive council. For his services he was, on 16 Jan. 1813, created a baronet of Great Britain, and further rewarded by the colonelcy of the 36th foot on 20 Dec. 1829, and his nomination as a general on 28 June 1838. He had a residence at Edswale, co. Clare, but died in Edinburgh on 17 July 1851, when his title became extinct. He married, in 1810, Margaret, daughter of John Coffin of Quebec; she died at Bath on 1 May 1855.

[Royal Military Cal. 1820, iii. 166–8; Dod's Peerage, 1851, p. 426; Gent. Mag. June, 1855, p. 661; Annual Register, 1812 p. 202, 1813 p. 180; Appleton's American Biogr. 1888, v. 489, with portrait.]

G. C. B.