See study by S. H. Adams (1957).
At the end of 1812, the British learned that the Americans were building warships at Sackett's Harbor, New York, and laid down two sloops of war in response. Construction of the Sir Isaac Brock began at York.
The new ship was a sister ship to HMS Wolfe, a frigate being built at Kingston. Although construction on both ships began around the same time, as the end of April, 1813 approached, the Wolfe was very nearly ready to be launched while the Sir Isaac Brock was still many weeks away from being complete. The Sir Isaac Brock was partially planked on its starboard side and not even close to that far along on its port side. Most of the responsibility for the delay in readiness could be laid on the shoulders of shipyard Superintendent Thomas Plucknett.
It had a registered weight of 637 tons, and was rated as having 24 guns. In fact, the rating system often omitted carronades, and the Sir Isaac Brock would have had 30 guns or even more in service. (The Wolfe was completed with a medley of whatever guns were available).
Late in the afternoon 26 April, 1813, the American flotilla was sighted off York, with a strong embarked force of infantry and artillerymen. The next day, the Battle of York was fought. The outnumbered British regulars and militia were forced to fall back. The Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Major General Roger Hale Sheaffe, ordered his men to retreat to Kingston, but also dispatched officers to set the Isaac Brock on fire to prevent it falling intact into enemy hands.
The Americans were enraged to find that ship had apparently been set ablaze while negotiations for surrender with the local militia were still taking place. When eventually, a surrender was arranged, the Sir Isaac Brock had been reduced to charred timbers.
Named after Major General Sir Isaac Brock, commander of forces in British North America and hero of the War of 1812, Brockville is the oldest incorporated municipality (1832) in Upper Canada (now Ontario).(Brief article)
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