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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1700

Resource Type > Image

Natives going to meet the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana in 1792

Type: Image

This painting shows an encounter on 11 June 1792 between native canoes and the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana. Mount Baker can be seen in the background. On this date in Guemes Channel (near present day Anacortes, Washington), a Spanish expedition paused to make astronomical observations that would correctly fix their longitude. Their mission was to chart the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and search for the Northwest Passage. The painting is the work of José Cardero, the expedition's official artist. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Frigate under construction, around the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

This contemporary print show the hull of a frigate being covered with planks. To form the skin of the hull, shaped planks are being made and then attached to the ship's ribs. Note the finished plank being hoisted into place by a derrick at centre. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders, Royal Navy

Type: Image

Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders (circa 1715 - 1775) commanded the British fleet during the 1759 siege of Quebec.

Site: National Defence

HMS Asia in Halifax harbour, 1797

Type: Image

This watercolour of the 64-gun ship of the line HMS Asia in Halifax harbour is the work of Royal Navy lieutenant George Gustavus Lennock. Britain always maintained a strong naval presence in the American side of the North Atlantic. Warships based in Halifax insured the security of sea lanes and protected fishing fleets against mostly American and French privateers and the occasional pirate. In wartime, they would also be deployed in raids on the American coast or as far as the French West Indies. (Library and Archives Canada, C-151103)

Site: National Defence

During their expeditions the Spanish sometimes had to use their muskets and cannons to keep the Amerindian at bay

Type: Image

This 1792 drawing shows an incident during the Spanish expedition sent to map Vancouver Island. The Europeans are using their muskets and cannon fire from their ship to keep the Natives at bay. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Battle between the French frigate Atalante and the English fleet in 1760

Type: Image

When General Lévis's French army broke its siege of Quebec in May of 1760, the retreating force was accompanied by a number of small vessels. When the British attempted to capture these ships, the French warships sacrificed themselves to cover the retreat. Seen here is Captain Jean Vauquelin's frigate Atalante, run aground but still fighting after her companion Pomone was sunk.

Site: National Defence

Ships of Cook's expedition at Nootka in 1778

Type: Image

This engraving is based on a drawing by John Webber, the official artist of Captain Cook's third Pacific voyage of 1776-1779. HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery are shown anchored in Ship Cove off Nootka Sound. The expedition paused there in April 1778 for a refit. A series of astronomical observations were made from a temporary observatory on shore. The tents and instruments of the observatory can be seen at left. Several Nootka dugouts can be seen, filled with locals observing the visitors. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Careening in the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

After several months at sea, ships' hulls became encrusted with small mollusks and worms, damaging them and slowing down the ships. Ships then had to be careened. This long and tedious operation, done at the naval yards of Quebec City and Louisbourg, consisted of inclining the ship and 'heating' its hull, that is, burning the crust off the planks with torches. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Plan of a gunboat built during 1774

Type: Image

Such armed boats were prevalent on the Great Lakes and would usually be manned by the Provincial Marine. The plan shows only the bow section of the vessel, with the slide for a gun carriage at centre. Also to be seen is the mast, which would allow the boat to be sailed when movement over long distances was needed. In action, oars would often be used. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Interior view of the Navy warehouses, around the mid­eighteenth century

Type: Image

This mid-18th century Spanish print gives an impression of the sort of storehouses that were necessary to support the building of warships, such as took place at Quebec between 1739 and 1759. Similar facilities would have existed at Louisbourg to supply the needs of French warships stationed there. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence