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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Resource Type > Image

Date > 1700 > 1780-1789

Lieutenant Esteban José Martínez Fernández y Martínez de la Sierra, Marina real, circa 1785

Type: Image

Martínez (1742-1798), shown here in the full dress uniform of a lieutenant in the Marina real (the Spanish navy) was a key figure in the Spanish exploration of the northwest coast of America. In 1774, he was second in command of the Spanish frigate Santiago, which made the first recorded contact with the Haida in the Queen Charlotte Archipelago. In 1790, Martínez was the officer who almost sent Spain and Great Britain to war with his conduct during the diplomatic standoff at Nootka. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Men of the King's Royal Regiment of New York settling in Johnstown in 1784

Type: Image

This contemporary watercolour shows a encampment of Loyalist veterans and their families at Johnstown (present-day Cornwall, Ontario) in 1784. Some of these men of the King's Royal Regiment of New York still wear their red coats. (Library and Archives Canada, C-002001).

Site: National Defence

Loyalist soldier, 1776-1783

Type: Image

Several corps of Loyalists connected with Canada wore this pattern of red uniform with green facings. Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, formed in 1776 to accompany General Burgoyne's expedition are noted in red faced green. The Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers, raised by Nova Scotia Governor Francis Legge were also recorded in these colours in 1783 by a German officer. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor General of Canada, circa 1770

Type: Image

Sir Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) served as Governor General between 1778 and 1784. He had to safeguard Canada while keeping the pressure on the Americans' northern frontiers just as his British garrison was being reduced. He therefore used German mercenary troops as garrisons while promoting raids deep into American territory by parties of Loyalists and Mohawk Indians. This portrait shows him in the uniform of a field officer of the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot in the early 1770’s. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Militiamen raising the May pole in front of their captain’s house

Type: Image

The tradition of raising the May pole in front of the Militia captain's house, which began in the era of New France, went on in French Canada until the middle of the 19th century.

Site: National Defence

Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777

Type: Image

Among the German mercenary troops arriving at Quebec in 1776 was a unit of cavalry from Brunswick. Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig (or 'Prince Ludwig's Dragoon Regiment') was supposed to be given horses in North America, and wore high leather riding boots. Still waiting for horses, they marched south with General Burgoyne's army in 1777 and were captured after the British defeat at Saratoga. Recruits sent from Brunswick allowed the regiment to be reformed at Quebec in 1781. This man's uniform is in the traditional cornflower blue of the Brunswick dragoons. He holds a swallow-tailed cavalry flag called a guidon. Its pole is made in the form of a joisting lance, a fashion of the time. In the centre of the guidon is white horse of Niedersachsen, the crest of the Dukes of Brunswick. Confusingly, a very similar white horse of Hanover was used on British flags at this time. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Officer, régiment Armagnac, Hudson Bay, 1782

Type: Image

A detachment of the régiment Armagnac was part of the small army accompanying the Compte de Lapérouse's ships into Hudson Bay in 1782. The unit was part of d’Estaing’s French army in the West Indies, and took part in the siege of Savannah amongst other actions. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Officers and midshipmen, Royal Navy, 1787-1812

Type: Image

This early-20th century print shows the development of Royal Navy officers' uniforms during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The grouping to the left has the 1787-1795 uniforms, that at right the 1795-1812 uniforms. The officer in scarlet belongs to the Royal Marines, circa 1795. The Admiral (fourth from the right) is Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). To the left stands a captain, to his right a lieutenant. Second from right is a midshipmen (naval officer in training) with the distinctive white collar patches of his rank. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Soldier, Butler's Rangers, 1778-1783

Type: Image

Butler's Rangers were uniformed in green, with red facings. This man, dressed for campaigning, wears his lapels buttoned over. There is record of a leather cap worn by the unit, but reconstruction shows an unofficial substitute - a kerchief. There is also some information that Butler's men wore green smocks on some occasions. All in all, this famous (or infamous) regiment must have presented a very mixed appearence in the field. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

'Cat of nine tails' whip

Type: Image

The ‘cat of nine tails’ was a whip used to flog soldiers. This one was used in the British 83rd Regiment of Foot. The length of the wooden stick was 43cm (1' 5"), its tails 53cm (1' 9"), and it weighed 141,75 g. (5 ounces). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence