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Date > 1600 > 1680-1689

Subject > Armed Forces > Land Forces

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

Canadian Militia Prior to Confederation

Type: Document

This report discusses the growth and development of the Canadian Militia from its beginnings in early New France until Confederation in 1867.

Site: National Defence

Compagnies franches de la Marine in Canada

Type: Document

The organization of the Compagnies franches de la Marine in New France varied depending on the type of company and the period involved. However, one constant was that the companies were kept up to strength in officers, and were usually short of common soldiers.

Site: National Defence

Pay

Type: Document

A soldier's pay was never high, and very seldom adjusted as the cost of living increased. From 1797 to 1867, the rate was a shilling (12 pence) a day, from which deductions were made for food, clothing and other expenses. Little money would be left to spend as a man wished.

Site: National Defence

The Military Wedding

Type: Document

During the 18th and 19th centuries, marriage for the common British soldier was governed mostly by custom. Marriage involved 'leaping over the sword', where bride and groom did just that in the presence of the man's companions. Official permission was needed in theory, but seldom given.

Site: National Defence

Soldiers' Wives

Type: Document

As units moved from posting to posting within the British empire during the 18th and 19th centuries, some soldier's wives (up to 6 per company) were transported with their husbands at government expense. Before each move, a lottery was held. Losers were abandoned without support.

Site: National Defence

Compagnies franches de la Marine in Acadia

Type: Document

Originally a detachment from Canada, the troops in Acadia were eventually reorganized to the standard model. Their strength was kept well up because of the colony's isolation.

Site: National Defence

Compagnies franches de la Marine in Plaisance

Type: Document

The garrison of Placentia was often short of men at first - only 9 men remained of a company in 1690, the rest having become fishermen or labourers for the local inhabitants. Later on, this extreme weakness was overcome.

Site: National Defence

Navy Bombardiers

Type: Document

The French Navy had its own units of artillery, serving shipboard and on land as needed. Detachments from these were to be found at times in New France.

Site: National Defence

Recruitment

Type: Document

Most of the British army was recruited in Great Britain. By the mid-19th century, half of the men were English or Welsh, one third Irish and the remainder Scottish. Recruits were (in theory) volunteers signed up by a regimental recruiting party, and service was for life (until 1847).

Site: National Defence