- "Mere survival is not enough. Full bellies, warm clothing... Freedom from want is the greatest freedom of all."
- ―George Monro, regarding his dream for the Colonies, 1756.[src]
George Monro was born in Clonfin, County Longford, Ireland, to a Scottish military family. His father was Colonel George Monro, famous for his victory at the Battle of Dunkeld in 1689. Monro became a lieutenant in Otway's Regiment in 1718, and was eventually inducted into the Templar Order.
By 1750, Monro had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Around this time, Grand Master Reginald Birch had become frustrated with Lawrence Washington's lack of progress in the American Colonies. Birch sent Monro to work with Washington, stating that while the Colonel was to be his subordinate, he was still his better in every way. After the deaths of Washington and James Wardrop, Monro worked for Haytham Kenway, who eventually became Grand Master of the Colonial Rite. In 1751, he inducted Christopher Gist and Jack Weeks into the Order.
Working with Shay Cormac
In 1755, Monro's men rescued the Assassin Shay Cormac after he betrayed the Brotherhood and was left for dead by his former comrades. Shay was subsequently taken to the home of Barry and Cassidy Finnegan, whose deceased son had been a Templar and assistant to Monro. While tending to Shay's injuries, Monro found the Voynich manuscript on his person and took it for himself.
After he had recovered, Shay managed to oust an Assassin-allied gang from their headquarters in New York, where he and Monro were formally introduced. Despite his previous affiliations, Monro recognized Shay's potential and was convinced he would excel within the Templar Order, even sharing his hopes for Shay with Haytham. Wearing away at Shay's skepticism, Monro eventually gained Shay's confidence, with the two agreeing to work together to rebuild the city.
Back at the Finnegans' home, Monro asked Shay to rescue Gist, who had been captured by members of the same gang Shay had defeated earlier, and gave him some firecracker darts the criminals had made to use as a distraction. Monro, Gist and Shay later reconvened in Albany, where Gist revealed the criminals' base of operations was located at the nearby Fort La Croix.
Fearing that the French were planning an assault on New York, Monro convinced Shay to help them capture the fort. After Shay's ship, the Morrigan, was fitted with the necessary equipment, they mounted an attack on the criminals' headquarters, successfully weakening its defenses. While Shay went inside to finish the job, Monro returned to New York.
Sometime later in New York, Monro explained to Shay that the criminals' boss had hired Benjamin Franklin to create poisonous gases and the means to use them. Contrary to what Le Chasseur told Shay, Monro claimed that the outlaws were planning to use the gases against the populace.
Fearing that his former ally Hope Jensen was involved, Shay agreed to investigate. He managed to acquire a grenade launcher, which the Colonel recommended he use to destroy the criminals' poison factory at an abandoned brewery. Upon completing his mission, he was congratulated by known Templars William Johnson and Jack Weeks, which revealed Monro's allegiance to the Order.
Siege of Fort William Henry
By 1757, Monro had given up on his assignment of uncovering the manuscript's meaning and entrusted the Piece of Eden to Shay, as he himself had been assigned to command Fort William Henry, which was being threatened by French soldiers and Abenaki braves under the command of General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. The fortress came under siege on 2 August, with Monro eventually surrendering seven days later. As part of the terms of surrender, the Colonel and his men were allowed to keep their muskets and one cannon, but no ammunition, and were released the next morning to be allowed passage to Fort Edward.
However, unbeknownst to the British, the Abenaki plotted to ambush the Colonel and his men as they retreated. The Assassin Kesegowaase decided to use this to his advantage and led the attack in the hopes of assassinating Monro, though his plans were sabotaged when Shay came to the Colonel's rescue. Surviving the ambush, Shay, Monro and the remaining troops reached the Morrigan and sailed away to safety.
Following the Siege at Fort William Henry, Monro met with Shay near Onaquaga. There, Weeks informed them that Kesegowaase was planning to attack Albany. Shay volunteered to help Monro's British and Oneida allies while he prepared the city's defenses.
On 3 November 1757, Kesegowaase and his men began their attack on Albany. Monro took command of Fort Frederick and was once again rescued by Shay. On the behest of his protégé, Monro headed for the Morrigan with the manuscript in his possession. However, along the way, Monro was attacked and fatally wounded by the Assassin Liam O'Brien, who took the manuscript and left Monro to die in a burning house.
After assassinating Kesegowaase, who informed him of Liam's plan, Shay arrived to carry Monro out of the house, but could not save the dying Colonel from his wounds. Before his death, Monro passed his Templar ring to Shay, entrusting him to recover the manuscript and continue fighting for the Templar Order in his stead.
Personality and characteristics
- "When I am issued new recruits burdened with regrets, I tell them the surest way to lose them is with gunpowder."
- ―George Monro to Shay Cormac, 1756.[src]
Monro was a gentle and dutiful man, with an utmost belief in the Templar cause. He saw himself as a benevolent protector of the citizens of the colonies through his service in the British Army, rather than someone who would lord over and govern them. Monro also strived toward improving the colonists' lives through urban renewal, suggesting a similar course of action to Shay shortly after their meeting.
Despite Shay's prior affiliation with the Assassins, Monro saw past it, treating Shay with compassion and expressing faith in his abilities, while also praising his accomplishments and dedication to the Templar cause. Shay in turn saw Monro as an honest and honorable man, and held him in high regard. This mutual respect and camaraderie ultimately led to Shay's acceptance of Templar ideology and his induction into their ranks.
- During his induction into the Templar Order, Shay was presented with a pair of uniform cuffs and a sash identical to those worn by Monro, which he would incorporate into his own outfit later on. These cuffs were also similar to those worn by the early versions of Spanish and British soldiers in Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag.
- In 2015, his name was on a list of known British Templars used by the Templar Isabelle Ardant.