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Date > 1600

Matchlock musket, circa 1665

Type: Image

This is the sort of weapon that the men of the régiment de Carignan-Salières carried during their service in Canada. Squeezing the trigger lever (seen sticking out below the weapon) made the serpentine (the curved metal arm at right) snap downwards. Attached to the top of the serpentine (but not seen here) would be a slowly-burning piece of string called a 'slow match'. When the serpentine snapped down, the burning match would drop into the priming pan (at centre). In this small depression sat a small amount of gunpowder. This would explode when the match hit it, and the explosion would carry inside the matchlock's barrel, setting off a second charge of gunpowder. This final explosion would fire a bullet down the barrel (part of which is seen at right). This process could go wrong in a number of ways, but was very noisy and impressive when it worked. (Parks Canada)

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

'Cat of nine tails' whip

Type: Image

The ‘cat of nine tails’ was a whip used to flog soldiers. This one was used in the British 83rd Regiment of Foot. The length of the wooden stick was 43cm (1' 5"), its tails 53cm (1' 9"), and it weighed 141,75 g. (5 ounces). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

St Croix Island

Type: Image

St. Croix Island, site of Samuel de Champlain and Pierre de Mont’s first settlement in the summer of 1604.

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

Reconstruction of the 1605 Habitation of Port Royal

Type: Image

This reconstruction of Champlain's 1605 Habitation was opened in 1941. It is now a National Historic Site run by Parks Canada.

Site: National Defence