Shrapnel, General Henry Needham Scrope
b. 1812-07-26
d. 1896-06-01
General Henry Needham Scrope Shrapnel was the eldest son of Henry Shrapnel, the inventor of the Shrapnel Shell.1 Hoping to benefit from his father’s services to the State, Shrapnel wrote a letter to the Duke of Newcastle requesting financial aid for his family’s relocation to Canada from Ireland, where it was more difficult to support a large family.2 Shrapnel’s father had received a pension from the State as compensation for his inventions; unfortunately, the pension wasn’t a very large sum and ended with his death in 1842.3 While Colonial Office officials commented that the chance of finding any [employment]…is 'remote', Shrapnel and his family did return to Canada during the 1860s, where he was Barrack Master in Quebec.4
Shrapnel was born on 26 July 1812.5 He married Louisa Sarah Joisiffe (born 4 November 1818) on 19 August 1835, and they had several children.6 Shrapnel held several positions in the military including cornet in the 3rd Dragoon Guards, Captain in the Second Somerset Regiment of Militia, and Barrack Master at King William’s Town, South Africa, as well as India, Bermuda, Ireland and several stations in Canada including Quebec.7 It was during his time in Ireland that Shrapnel sent the despatch requesting assistance to move back to Canada, where he had previously held a Barrack Master post.8 After his time as Barrack Master in Quebec and retirement in 1871, Shrapnel served as an immigrant agent for the Canadian government.9 He died in Orillia, ON on 1 June 1896 almost penniless.10
Shrapnel ostensibly sent two despatches, dated one day apart, to the Duke of Newcastle requesting financial aid.11 However, as was pointed out by the Colonial Office staff in the minutes on this despatch, both writers couldn’t be the same person since the letters were sent from Halifax, NS and Dundalk, Ireland.12 The CO staff speculated whether they [were] both Sons of General Shrapnel and claimants on the Nation, or [if] one of them [was] advancing pretensions to which he is not Entitled?13 Ultimately, the CO staff decided to return answers devoid of encouragement to both applicants.14 While the identity of the second writer, who signed his name simply as Henry Shrapnel, is unknown, the first writer can be confirmed as the real Henry Needham Scrope Shrapnel since the positions he describes match those in his family archives.15
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Shrapnel, Henry

Places in this document

Halifax

Nova Scotia

Quebec

The Colonial Despatches Team. Shrapnel, General Henry Needham Scrope. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/shrapnel_h.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)