Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1500 > 1540-1549
Subject > Soldiers, Warriors and Leaders
A slide show presentation of Native American dress from the 16th to mid-18th century.
Archers and crossbowmen were commonly found on ships and in the early overseas settlements of the first half of the 16th century. Such soldiers were most likely part of the early Portuguese forays to Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)
Introduction by W.A.B. Douglas, Director Directorate of History, Program Chairman. Articles in a variety of languages including: English, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Greek.
This history on our Aboriginal Peoples and their contribution to Canada’s rich military heritage is the latest in a series of books prepared by the Director of History and Heritage commemorating especial military experience.
Authors : P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ph.D., R. Scott Sheffield, Ph.D., John Moses, Maxime Gohier
The soldiers accompanying early expeditions worked for private businesses, not for the state. Many were veterans of European wars, or gentlemen seeking land or gold.
Cartier's expedition got along poorly with the Iroquois at Quebec. Discovery of what was falsely thought to be gold led to discord between Roberval and Cartier. Eventually, the fortified settlement was abandoned.
Portable firearms such as the one used by this harquebusier became common in European armies during the 16th century even though they were complicated to handle and slow to fire. Pikemen, crossbowmen, archers and swordsmen continued to be present on battlefields in the old as well as the new world.
Three types of costumes common to all Amerindian tribes are shown. Reconstruction by David Rickman. (Canadian Department of National Defence)
Some 200 ‘rondelles’ - round shields carried by infantry swordsmen, more commonly called ‘rondaches’ - formed part of the armament sent to Canada in 1541. Swordsmen still formed an important part of infantry contingents in mid-16th century European armies.
Such armour was found on the Spanish galleons going to Labrador in the second half of the 16th century. (Museo Casa Pizzaro, Trujillo, Spain)