Daily Life in New France

Soldiers

Retirement

Release certificate for soldiers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine, circa 1750

Caption: Release certificate for soldiers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine, circa 1750

Prior to the eighteenth century, old soldiers who had served in New France did not have any "health insurance" or pension upon their release from the service. Six deniers were deducted from every livre of a soldier's wages to support pensioners, but the system was not well organized. An attempt was made to take care of older soldiers by keeping them with the troops as long as possible, but what could be done with those who were too disabled or ill to serve? These men were reduced to relying on the generosity of monks and nuns, or in the worst cases, to living as beggars.