THE EARTHLY POSSESSIONS OF SIR ISAAC BROCK
History deals with and serves life.
COURT OF PROBATE IN UPPER CANADA
ESTATE OF SIR ISAAC BROCK,
[FILED 10 NOVEMBER, 1813]
To His Honour Roger Hale Sheaffe, Esq.
The petition of James Brock, now of York in the Home District, Esquire, and John Baskerville Glegg of the same place, do swear that we believe that the late Major-General Sir Isaac Brock died without a wife or a will.
We, therefore, will administer all and every goods of the deceased and pay his debts so far as his goods will extend, and that we will exhibit a full and complete inventory of the same goods of the deceased and tender a true account of our administration into the court of probate when it shall lawfully be required.
That Isaac Brock, late Major-General commanding His Majesty's Forces in Upper Canada, departed this life on the thirteenth day of October last at Queenston in the District of Niagara, without making any will or Testament and possessed of Goods and Chattels rights and credits to the value of Five pounds and upwards in several Districts of the Province.
That petitioner being the nearest of Kin to the said deceased now resident in the province, he is advised by counsel that he is best entitled to the Administration of all and singular the Goods and Chattels, rights and credits which were of the said Isaac Brock in his lifetime.
Wherefore, Your Honourable Petitioner humbly prays that letter of Administration thereof may be granted to him, the said James Brock and to Captain J. B. Glegg, Military Aide de camp of the said Major-General Isaac Brock, upon giving the usual security duly to administer the same, a Schedule of which said Goods and Chattels is hereunder annexed.
Captain James Brock
In the estate of Sir Isaac Brock, Major-General
Petition of Capt. James Brock, Esq.
4 decanter stands
Light Blue china
Furnishings et al.
HORSES and tack
SO HELP US GOD
Some of Brock's possessions were sold at auction. Major General Roger Hale Sheaffe bought many of them for 602 pounds. His purchases included a mustard pot, bedroom carpets and more than 200 bottles of wines, beer and spirits. Glegg purchased a cream pot and some pillow cases, a bedstead and and 2 dozen bottles of port. Brock's library was sold to leading citizens of the province including the Reverend John Strachan. It appears, however, that not all of Brock's books ended up in private libraries. In November 1812 shortly after his burial about fifty books were added to the Niagara library bringing its total to 827 at that time.
More personal items such as Brock's dress tunic, a sash, a cravat and the jacket he wore at his death were sent home [*] to the family. Many of these were later donated by Brock's grandnieces to Canadian museums. An auction on 4 January 1813 of the remaining articles raised 329 pounds. Brock's salary was sent home to pay off debts incurred in connection with his purchases of various military commissions. Glegg assured Willaim Brock, Isaac's brother, that Brock had left no natural children. He had, however, provided for a young ten-year old boy named Ellis and placed him in a good school. Ellis's father, a captain in the 49th Regiment, had drowned in 1809. Land Grant - Brock would also have been eligible for a grant of land in Upper Canada but no reference was made to him receiving it or to his ever owning any property in Canada. [*] Mary Beacock Fryer in her book Bold Brave and Born to Lead records this ancedote regarding the effects of Brock sent to his family in Guernsey. According to Beacock, on November 10, 1812 the British schooner Simcoe accompanied by the small schooner bearing Brock's personal effects was approached in a threatening manner while en route to Kingston by the American commodore Isaac Chauncey in the brig Oneida. Before Chauncey could fire on the vessels, the officer of the Simcoe hailed him and appealled to him to spare the small vessel bearing Brock's effects. Chauncey acceded to the appeal and allowed the vessel to proceed unharmed to Kingston.
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