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Date > 1600 > 1640-1649

French artillery, 1640s

Type: Image

Artillery installed in the early forts defending the towns of New France was usually mounted on this type of carriage. A gunner is shown clearing the vent with a thin spike. The forked pike carried by one of the gunners was used to hold a slow match to ignite the powder in the gun's vent. This caused the ignition of the powder charge in the barrel and the firing of the cannonball.

Site: National Defence

Cross of Malta carved in a stone bearing the date 1647

Type: Image

When the Château Saint-Louis in Quebec was built, this Cross of Malta was carved in a stone bearing the date 1647. Charles Huault de Montmagny was governor at that time. He was knight of the Order of Malta as was at least one other of his officers in Canada. The stone was found in 1784 during renovations to the governor’s residence and eventually incorporated into a courtyard entrance of the Château Frontenac Hotel.

Site: National Defence

Soldiers playing cards, 1630s

Type: Image

Wherever they were from, soldiers would often be found playing cards, whether in an inn as shown, or in the field using a drum as a card table. Gambling was often part of the game. Soldiers in Canada were no different than anywhere else although they would not have worn the boots with spurs seen in this illustration of soldiers in France.

Site: National Defence

Mme Françoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645)

Type: Image

In the 1640s, the French settlements in Acadia were subject to a bitter feudal conflict between Charles Menou d’Aulnay and Charles de Saint-Etienne de La Tour, the two noblemen who claimed sole authority over the colony. While de La Tour was absent in April 1645, Menou d’Aulnay attacked his fort on the St. John River (now at St. John, NB) with 200 men and artillery. Mme. Françoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645) rose to the occasion and led the fort’s small garrison of about 45 men for three days. The fourth day, the fort finally fell by treason. Mme de La Tour was spared the massacre that followed, but died three weeks later of unknown but probably natural causes. This brave and determined woman was one of Canada’s first heroines as well as the first European woman to raise a family in present-day New Brunswick. There is no known portrait of her. This idealised illustration is from a Second World War recruiting poster by Adam Sherriff-Scott. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Mohawk warriors attack the party of Father Jogues, 1646

Type: Image

Father Isaac Jogues, Friar Jean de Lanlande and a number of Huron converts were attacked by Mohawk warriors on the Richelieu River in October 1646. Captured and taken to an Iroquois town, they were killed on October 18. The Iroquois made travel on most waterways a very dangerous endeavour at this time; the small French garrison had no effective way to counter this.

Site: National Defence

The fort of Ville-Marie in 1645

Type: Image

Work on the fort started in 1642, and it stood until demolished in 1672. While details are lacking, the fort is known to have been built on a square plan with bastions at each corner. This 19th century drawing shows its possible appearance.

Site: National Defence

French soldiers with matchlock muskets, 1640s

Type: Image

In the 17th century, an increasing majority of soldiers were armed with firearms. These French troops of the 1640s have matchlock muskets.

Site: National Defence

Parks Canada National Photo Collection

Type: Image

This impressive photo collection gives you a chance to see more than 40 000 beautiful images of Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Search by keyword, type of heritage area, province or territory, name of heritage area.

Site: Parks Canada