1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brock, Sir Isaac
BROCK, SIR ISAAC (1769–1812), British soldier and administrator, was born at St Peter Port, Guernsey, on the 6th of October 1769. Joining the army at the age of fifteen as an ensign of the 8th regiment, he became a lieutenant-colonel in 1797, after less than thirteen years’ service. He commanded the 49th regiment in the expedition to North Holland in 1799, was wounded at the battle of Egmont-op-Zee, and subsequently served on board the British fleet at the battle of Copenhagen. From 1802 to 1805 he was with his regiment in Canada, returning thither in 1806 in view of the imminence of war between Great Britain and the United States. From September 1806 till August 1810 he was in charge of the garrison at Quebec; in the latter year he assumed the command of the troops in Upper Canada, and soon afterwards took over the civil administration of that province as provisional lieutenant-governor. On the outbreak of the war of 1812 Brock had to defend Upper Canada against invasion by the United States. In the face of many difficulties and not a little disaffection, he organized the militia of the province, drove back the invaders, and on the 16th of August 1812, with about 730 men and 600 Indians commanded by their chief Tecumseh, compelled the American force of 2500 men under General William Hull (1753–1825) to surrender at Detroit, an achievement which gained him a knighthood of the Bath and the popular title of “the hero of Upper Canada” From Detroit he hurried to the Niagara frontier, but on the 13th of October in the same year was killed at the battle of Queenston Heights. The House of Commons voted a public monument to his memory, which was erected in Saint Paul’s cathedral, London. On the 13th of October 1824, the twelfth anniversary of his death, his remains were removed from the bastions of Fort George, where they had been originally interred, and placed beneath a monument on Queenston Heights, erected by the provincial legislature. This was blown up by a fanatic in 1840, but as the result of a mass-meeting of over 8000 citizens held on the spot, a new and more stately monument was erected.
His Life and Correspondence by his nephew, Ferdinand Brock Tupper (2nd edition, London, 1847), still remains the best; later lives are by D. R. Read (Toronto, 1894), and by Lady Edgar (Toronto and London,1905). (W. L. G.)