The War Of 1812

Sir Isaac Brock

The Early Life of Isaac Brock

Brock was born on the Channel Island of Guernsey at St. Peter Port. He was the eighth son of John Brock. At age ten he was sent to school in Southampton but spent one year in Rotterdam learning French. At an early age, Brock was already being singled out as an exceptional youth. Tall, robust and athletic, he was also described as having a kind and gentle temperament. Brock was never married although he enjoyed the company of women. Despite his lack of extensive education, he appreciated the importance of it. He spent his leisure time closed off in his room, reading books.

Financial Disaster

Financial disaster had struck the Brocks in 1811. The general’s brother William was senior partner in a London firm of bankers and general merchants which failed. William had advanced Isaac some £3,000 to purchase his commissions in the 49th, with no intention of ever requiring payment; but the loans had been entered, without Isaac’s knowledge, in the firm’s books. He now unexpectedly found himself faced with a demand for payment which he could not meet, but he made the whole of his new civil salary over to his brother Irving, to begin discharging the debt or to relieve distress in the family, as he thought best.