Monro (Munro), Sir George (d. 1694), army officer, was third son of Col. John Monro of Obsdale, Ross-shire, northern Scotland, and his wife Catherine (née Gordon). He entered Swedish military service in 1637, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel, but in 1640 joined other officers returning to Scotland to serve with the covenanting armies. In 1642 he was awarded the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Scottish army dispatched to Ulster to assist in the suppression of the Irish rising, commanded by his uncle Maj.-gen. Robert Monro (qv). He had married Robert Monro's daughter, Anne (1621/2–1647); of their seven children, only two were alive at her death (2 March 1647). In 1649 he married Christian, daughter of Sir Frederick Hamilton (qv) (d. 1647), with whom he had at least one son and seven daughters. From October 1642 to 1648 he was in command of the Scottish garrison at Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, where one local clergyman lamented the impoverishment of ‘the formerly spoiled & exhausted citizens & inhabitants’ by the troops under the ‘surly mercenary’ Monro (TCD MS 866). With the Scottish army suffering constant shortages of money and supplies, he was dispatched to lobby either the Scottish government or the parliament of England, the army's nominal paymasters, in 1644, 1645, and 1647. He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1644. In June 1646 he was en route to a rendezvous with the main body of the Scottish army, under his uncle's command, when the latter went down to a crushing defeat at Benburb at the hands of the Ulster catholic general, Owen Roe O'Neill (qv).
By 1646 tensions had emerged between the English parliamentarians, victorious in their conflict with Charles I, and their Scottish allies, and Monro showed a readiness to negotiate with the marquess of Ormond (qv), the royalist lord lieutenant of Ireland. In 1648 he was named to lead part of the Scottish army back to Scotland to serve in a planned invasion of England in the king's interest. Awarded the rank of major-general, he clashed with the other senior officers, and his veteran troops (perhaps almost 2,000 strong) were well in the rear of the main body of the army that was defeated at Preston on 17 August. His contingent proved valuable in shielding the defeated party, who faced hostility from an opposing faction within Scotland. Monro and his men occupied Stirling and negotiated terms for their disbandment at the end of September 1648. He fled to the Netherlands and the court in exile of Charles, prince of Wales, soon to succeed as Charles II. He was commissioned commander-in-chief of the residual Scottish army in Ulster, which had all but disintegrated at this stage, and dispatched back to Ireland in early 1649. Ormond knighted him, perhaps in January 1649, and added the command of a predominantly Irish and catholic force which was to quash supporters of the English parliament in north Connacht and Ulster, and apparently also of all forces raised or to be raised in the ‘country commonly called the Laggan’ (Carte MS 22, f. 527) in north-west Ulster. He duly reentered Ulster and, having secured Enniskillen and captured Coleraine (May 1649), followed the common pattern of his career in quarrelling with the commander of the local protestant forces in east Ulster, Hugh, Viscount Montgomery of the Ards (qv). The two men cooperated to the extent of capturing Carrickfergus in July 1649 but Monro's arrival brought to the fore tensions between the aims of Ormond's royalist alliance and the presbyterian inclinations of many of those serving in Montgomery's forces. Monro angrily denounced the presbyterian ministers as straying beyond the bounds of their spiritual duties in stirring civil disaffection, and even threatened their apprehension and trial, but presbyterian discontent led to the melting away of many of those formerly in arms. On 6 December 1649 he and Montgomery suffered a serious defeat at Lisnestrain near Lisburn at the hands of Sir Charles Coote (qv) and detachments of the army of Oliver Cromwell (qv). Monro fell back on Enniskillen, which he surrendered to Coote in April 1650.
Monro crossed to Scotland, but was banished thence and again went into exile in the Netherlands. The 1652 English act for the settlement of Ireland named him as ‘excepted’ from pardon for life or estate. He returned to Scotland in 1654 to participate in a royalist uprising but once again became embroiled in quarrels with his fellow commanders, leading to a duel with the earl of Glencairn. He experienced mixed fortunes after the restoration of Charles II, with concerns expressed about his loyalty, a bout of detention in 1665, appointment to the Scottish privy council and as major-general in 1674, but removal from his command in 1677. He secured election to the Scottish parliament as a shire commissioner for Ross-shire (1661–3, 1685–6, 1689–90) and for Sutherland (1669–74). When he was called back to the colours as major-general in October 1688 by the collapsing regime of James II (qv), the victorious Williamites reappointed him as general and privy councillor in 1689. He died 26 February 1694. Monro was energetic but irascible; the causes he had served benefited from his single-minded pursuit of military priorities, but hardly from his quarrelsome disposition.