History Browser

Search Results

Organization > National Defence

Subject > Politics and Society

Date > 1700 > 1760-1769

Drummer, Compagnies franches de la Marine, New France, 1755-1760

Type: Image

This drummer of the Compagnies franches wears the livery of the king of France, with its distinctive lace - crimson with an embroidered white chain pattern. Drummers were often distinctively dressed to make them easy to spot in the heat of battle. This was because the only practical way of transmitting orders to a large group of men before the perfection of portable radios was by means of distinctive drum beats. Officers had to be able to find a drummer quickly, even in a confused mass of soldiers, hence the special uniform. Reconstruction by Eugène Lelièpvre. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Gunner, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1751-1764

Type: Image

This British artilleryman wears the blue coat of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. Gunners in most European armies wore dark-coloured clothing to disguise the dirt and grime that soon disfigured anyone firing artillery using gunpowder propellant. The yellow lace was added to the uniforms in 1750, and this pattern of clothing was worn from 1751 to 1764. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The Navy's Troops Outside North America

Type: Document

The French Ministry of the Navy was responsible for warships, coastal defence and management of the colonies. As a result, it maintained troops in France and the West Indies as well as in North America.

Site: National Defence

Military Bands

Type: Document

The British likely introduced the military band to Canada. These regimental musicians were paid for by individual units. Instrumentation favoured flutes, clarinets and percussion. The bands played a strong role in the social life of garrison towns throughout Canada.

Site: National Defence

Private, 58th Regiment of Foot, 1757-1762

Type: Image

The 58th Regiment of Foot was one of several British units sent to America in 1757 in preparation for the attack on Louisbourg. Although the siege did not begin until 1758, the regiment saw the capture of the fortress and was present at the capture of Quebec the following year. This soldier is shown in marching order, carrying his pack and haversack. His red coat shows the black regimental facings of the 58th Foot on its cuff and lapels. The uniform is unusual for British infantry of the period because the regimental lace is yellow instead of the normal white, and the coat lining (seen on the turned back coat tails) is buff instead of white. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Harsh Terms of Surrender

Type: Document

Since the fortifications of Montreal were too weak to withstand a siege by the British in September 1760, French commanders Vaudreuil and Lévis were forced to surrender. The terms were harsh, with the defenders being refused the honours of war.

Site: National Defence

Private, light company, 48th Regiment of Foot, 1759-1760

Type: Image

During the Seven Years' War, the British infantry regiments in North America converted one of their ten companies into a 'light company.' These men were trained to fight in the forests. Like the other units, the light infantry of the 48th Regiment of Foot modified their uniforms to match their new role. Coats were cut short to make movement easier in the bush. All of the white regimental lace was removed to make the men less conspicuous. The large tricorn hats were cut down to make caps that would stay on when moving in the woods. All in all, this uniform of 1759-1760 is much different from the one worn by the men of the 48th when they were involved in General Braddock's disasterous defeat at the Battle of Monongahela in 1755. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Lévis Besieges Quebec

Type: Document

In April 1760, General Lévis advanced on Quebec. General Murray, commanding the defending British garrison, forced out the civilian population and destroyed suburbs that masked the fortifications. Then, to prevent the French from establishing themselves outside the city, Murray attacked.

Site: National Defence

Grenadier, 17th Regiment of Foot, 1750s

Type: Image

The 17th Regiment of Foot arrived at Halifax in 1757. It took part in the siege of Louisbourg as part of Brigadier James Wolfe's brigade. The 17th’s grenadiers were surprised by a French sortie on 9 July 1758. Their captain, Lord Dundonald, and part of the company were killed. The regiment was later part of General Amherst’s army, advancing up Lake Champlain in 1759 and down the Richelieu River in 1760. It fought at Île-aux-Noix and was at the surrender of Montreal in September 1760. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence