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Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts > British Colonial Period, 1760-1867

Date > 1700 > 1710-1719

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

Demobilization and Retirement

Type: Document

Before reforms in the mid-19th century, most British soldiers left the army only when their regiment was disbanded in the aftermath of a war. When this occurred in Canada, men were offered land to encourage them to settle in the colony. Pensions were rare, and worth little.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Militia Prior to Confederation

Type: Document

This report discusses the growth and development of the Canadian Militia from its beginnings in early New France until Confederation in 1867.

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

Mutinies and Desertion

Type: Document

Despite the ferocious punishments they were subject to during the 18th and 19th centuries, mutiny was very rare amongst British troops. Desertion, on the other hand, was a constant problem, and grew worse as travel to the United States became easier during 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

Records of the 4th International Colloquy on Military History (Ottawa 23.25 VIII 1978) Date of Publication: 1979

Type: Document

Introduction by W.A.B. Douglas, Director Directorate of History, Program Chairman. Articles in a variety of languages including: English, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Greek.

Site: National Defence

Social Changes

Type: Document

The new British way of defending colonies led to great social changes in Canada during the late 18th century. With no professional colonial army to join, the elite of Canadian society lost much income and influence. As well, British soldiers developed no roots in the colony.

Site: National Defence

Amusements

Type: Document

Outside their unit's Mess, British officers had other recreations when stationed in Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. Amateur theatrical productions and musical concerts were put on by officers. Many painted in watercolours, and fishing, hunting and horse racing were also popular.

Site: National Defence

Pay

Type: Document

A soldier's pay was never high, and very seldom adjusted as the cost of living increased. From 1797 to 1867, the rate was a shilling (12 pence) a day, from which deductions were made for food, clothing and other expenses. Little money would be left to spend as a man wished.

Site: National Defence