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Date > 1700 > 1760-1769

Subject > Politics and Society > War Art, Literature and Music

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

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

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

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

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

To the Sound of the Drummer's Beat

Type: Document

Fortified towns like Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Louisbourg were all governed by military staffs. The lives of French soldiers and Canadian civilians alike were regulated by the different drum beatings of the garrison, from La Diane at dawn to La Retraite at sunset.

Site: National Defence

Entertainment

Type: Document

During the 18th and 19th centuries, alcohol and prostitutes were not the only forms of entertainment available to British soldiers. Cards and dice were popular, as was singing and playing music. The army tried to encourage reading, and it set up schools for the illiterate majority.

Site: National Defence

Real Stories - Our Past in Miniatures - Possibly John Montresor - Miniature Portrait - ca. 1765

Type: DocumentImage

Miniature portrait of Captain John Montresor. Between 1758 and 1760, Montresor was present at Louisbourg, the siege of Quebec, and the capitulation of Montreal. Includes access to descriptive archival record for the artwork.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders, Royal Navy

Type: Image

Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders (circa 1715 - 1775) commanded the British fleet during the 1759 siege of Quebec.

Site: National Defence