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Date > 1700 > 1770-1779

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

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

Loyalist soldier, 1776-1783

Type: Image

Several corps of Loyalists connected with Canada wore this pattern of red uniform with green facings. Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, formed in 1776 to accompany General Burgoyne's expedition are noted in red faced green. The Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers, raised by Nova Scotia Governor Francis Legge were also recorded in these colours in 1783 by a German officer. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Private, The Royal Highland Emigrants, 1775-1776

Type: Image

The Royal Highland Emigrants, the artificers and the sailors defending Quebec City in 1775-1776 all had, according to Lt. William Lindsay of the Quebec ‘British’ Militia: ‘buff vests and breeches, and the Royal [Highland] Emigrants, Seamen, and Artificers in green, with scarlet facings, cape [collar] and cuffs’. The Highlanders received their government tartan kilts, red coatees faced with blue and bonnets in 1777. In 1779, the regiment was made part of the British regular army as the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). By 1782, the kilts had obviously worn out as they had been turned into ‘Plad [sic] trousers’ and ‘tartan trousers’. So, in effect, trews had been made out of the kilts. New kilts were not issued as, by May 1784, ‘Breeches in lieu of half plaid’ were being issued to the men shortly before the battalion was disbanded in June. Reconstruction by Charles Stadden. (Parks Canada)

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

Private, Royal Fencible Americans, Fort Cumberland, 1775-1776

Type: Image

During the siege of Fort Cumberland (formerly the French Fort Beauséjour) during the winter of 1775-1776, the soldiers of this newly raised unit had no uniforms; old blankets and even barrack rugs were pressed into service. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada: A Multi-Purpose Structure

Type: Document

The site at Coteau-du-Lac represented a major point of transit for British military logistics efforts. Between 1781 and 1814, the army developed large-scale infrastructures on the site, which testify to the importance the colonial authorities attached to improving and protecting transportation and communications along the route linking Montréal and Kingston.

Site: Parks Canada

Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor General of Canada, circa 1770

Type: Image

Sir Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) served as Governor General between 1778 and 1784. He had to safeguard Canada while keeping the pressure on the Americans' northern frontiers just as his British garrison was being reduced. He therefore used German mercenary troops as garrisons while promoting raids deep into American territory by parties of Loyalists and Mohawk Indians. This portrait shows him in the uniform of a field officer of the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot in the early 1770’s. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Militiamen raising the May pole in front of their captain’s house

Type: Image

The tradition of raising the May pole in front of the Militia captain's house, which began in the era of New France, went on in French Canada until the middle of the 19th century.

Site: National Defence

Fort Prince of Wales

Type: Image

This aerial view shows Fort Prince of Wales, just across the Churchill river from present-day Churchill, Manitoba. Its construction began in 1717. The fort was taken without a fight by a French expedition to Hudson Bay in 1782. It was said to be the only sizeable bastioned stone fort on the Arctic Ocean. Its walls were restored in the 1950s. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Louis XV, King of France from 1715 to 1774

Type: Image

King Louis XV of France (1710–1774) is shown wearing the royal robes. Around his neck are the collars and insignia of two orders of chivalry - the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece, and the French Order of Saint-Louis. The white 8-pointed cross of the latter order was awarded to many Canadain soldiers during the French regime in Canada. (Library and Archives Canada, C-000604)

Site: National Defence