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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life > Discipline, Justice and Punishment

Resource Type > Image

'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

Adjutant's enquiry, 1840

Type: Image

The soldiers' minor offences were dealt with by the adjudant in the regiments of the British Army. This sketch by Sir J.E. Alexander was made in Canada. (Library and Archives Canada, C-098856)

Site: National Defence

Navy archer, mid-18th century

Type: Image

Not to be confused with the archers of the Maréchaussée, Navy archers were escorts, bodyguards and armed agents of the Intendant, the chief financial administrator of a French province or colony. They arrived in New France when the first Intendant was appointed in 1665. Reconstruction by Francis Back. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Judicial torture at a 16th century Inquisition tribunal

Type: Image

Europeans were also acquainted with the savagery of torture. It was routinely used by judicial authorities to obtain confessions from suspects. Such practices were occasionally resorted to by tribunals in New France. Public executions of the guilty in Europe could also be horrendous torture spectacles. Religious Inquisition tribunals practiced it mercilessly on supposed heretics in the name of Christianity as shown in this print.

Site: National Defence

Officers at a regimental court martial, circa 1835

Type: Image

The accused soldier at this regimental court martial is at right with a soldier wearing a shako acting as a provost and a sergeant reading the charges.

Site: National Defence

Military Justice

Type: Image

‘Military Justice’ for major crimes could be gruesome in the 17th and 18th centuries as seen by this print of circa 1690.

Site: National Defence

Scenes at Laprairie 1812-1813

Type: Image

A military execution, most likely for desertion, at the time of the War of 1812. (Library and Archives Canada, C-037591)

Site: National Defence