(June 25, 1783–July 16, 1813) English Army Officer
A dashing leader, Bisshopp served as an infantry officer as well as inspector general of the Upper Canada militia during the War of 1812. He conducted numerous successful raids along the Niagara frontier before losing his life in a protracted skirmish.
Cecil Bisshopp was born in Parham House, West Sussex, on June 25, 1783, the son of a baronet and former member of Parliament. He belonged to an ancient, landed family and, as the only surviving son, stood to inherent an impressive fortune. However, Bisshopp was drawn quite early to the military profession, and in September 1799 he obtained an ensign’s commission in the prestigious First Foot Guards. Over the next 10 years he functioned capably, serving as private secretary to Adm. Sir John Borlase Warren at St. Petersburg and accompanying expeditions to Spain and the Netherlands. By dint of good service, Bisshopp rose to brevet major in January 1812, and the following month he transferred to Canada as inspecting field officer of the Upper Canada militia. That distant region was considered a backwater compared to military theaters in Europe, and assignment there was most unwelcome to ambitious young officers. But Bisshopp muted his disappointment and shouldered his responsibilities dutifully, declaring, “Were it not for the extensive command I have and the quantity of business I have to do, I should hang myself.” When the War of 1812 against the United States commenced on June 18, 1812, the young soldier suddenly found himself with more than enough work to keep him occupied.