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Resource Type > Image

Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts

Date > 1700 > 1750-1759 > 1756

Grenadier of the régiment de Guyenne (left) and a corporal from the régiment de Béarn (right), circa 1756.

Type: Image

These men wear the special Canadian version of their regimental uniform, made to specifications of the Ministère de la Marine (the Ministry of the Navy - responsible for French colonies). At left is a grenadier of the Régiment de Guyenne. His moustache marks him as a member of the elite grenadier company, since other French soldiers of the period had to be cleanshaven. His uniform looks much like the European pattern, save for the lack of collar to his grey-white. The Canadian uniform of the régiment de Béarn showed more changes. It had blue cuffs and waistcoat, pewter buttons, and silver lace - very distinct from the red collar, cuffs and waistcoat, brass buttons, and gold lace worn in Europe. The corporal of the régiment de Béarn (right) wears loops of silver lace on his cuffs as a mark of his rank. Reconstruction by Eugène Lelièpvre. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

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

Soldiers, French régiment de la Reine and régiment de Languedoc, circa 1756

Type: Image

These French soldiers of the régiment de La Reine (left) and régiment de Languedoc (right) wear a special Canadian version of their regimental uniform. When units of the troupes de la Terre (the French metropolitan army) were sent to New France in 1755, they were issued with uniforms more suitable for colonial service, made to specifications from the Ministère de la Marine (the Ministry of the Navy - responsible for French colonies). In this illustration, both men wear their grey-white coats (made without collars for Canada), but it was expected that when in the field, these would be left behind and only the waistcoat would be worn. For La Reine, the use of red waistcoats (as opposed to the blue used in Europe) was one of the obvious distinctions seen in the Canadian uniform. Languedoc's uniforms were identical in colour to their normal European pattern. 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

The 'French Gate' at Fort Niagara.

Type: Image

Construction of the so-called 'French Gate' began at Fort Niagara in 1756. Note the coat of arms - from 1725, the royal coat of arms of France was ordered to be put up over the main gates of towns and forts in New France. The fort itself dates back to the 1720s, and was expanded substantially at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Several of the original French structures still stand, incorporated within later British and American works. The whole site is now a New York state park.

Site: National Defence

Private, 50th (Shirley's) or 51st (Pepperell's) Regiment of Foot, 1754-1756

Type: Image

Shirley's and Pepperell's Regiments were units of the British army raised in Massachusetts at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Both were largely captured by the French in 1756 while part of the garrison of Oswego. The units were disbanded. This American colonist wears the red coat of a British regular, with red regimental facings. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Frigate under construction, around the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

This contemporary print show the hull of a frigate being covered with planks. To form the skin of the hull, shaped planks are being made and then attached to the ship's ribs. Note the finished plank being hoisted into place by a derrick at centre. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, Marquis de Montcalm (1712-1759)

Type: Image

General the Marquis de Montcalm was sent to New France in 1756 as a replacement for the recently captured Baron de Dieskau. His time in the colony was marked by feuds with the local authorities. A brave soldier who won some notable victories, he died shortly after prematurely leading his men into battle on the Plains of Abraham. Copy of an original portrait preserved in France. (Library and Archives Canada, C528)

Site: National Defence

New England militiaman, 1750s

Type: Image

Most American militiamen enlisted in provincial service during the 1750s had uniforms but not all did. For instance, although the officers of Colonel Frye’s Massachusetts Regiment posted at Fort Cumberland (now Fort Beauséjour, New Brunswick) were seen by British Captain Knox to wear blue uniforms with red facings and gold buttons, ‘the ordinary soldiers had no uniforms nor do they affect any regularity’. This man wears civilian clothing of the period, and is shown reloading his musket with a powder horn. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

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