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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Date > 1800

An old Patriote of 1837

Type: Image

This image of an aged Patriote of 1837 is famous in Quebec. It was created in 1887 as one of a series of 110 by Henri Julien as part of his work as staff illustrator for the "Montréal Star". Much later, the image became a symbol for the Quebec independence movement. Apart from its fame, it is also a good reconstruction of the appearance of a Patriote, agreeing with drawings made at the time. This man wears the everyday clothing of Lower Canadians of the period. The famous ceinture flèche, (literally 'arrow sash') around his waist is an item copied by the French Canadian voyageurs from the Amerindians. (Library and Archives Canada, C-017937)

Site: National Defence

Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Baron Aylmer; Governor General of Canada, 1830-1835

Type: Image

Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Baron Aylmer (1775-1850) is shown wearing the uniform for colonial governors. Governors and governor generals wore army general’s uniforms until 1824 when assigned a special blue and scarlet military-style dress uniform last worn by Governor General Roland Michener in the early 1970s. Aylmer had a distinguished military record during the Napoleonic Wars. One interesting coincidence is that he served briefly in the Netherlands with the 49th (the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot under command of Isaac Brock, future hero of the War of 1812. Not an experienced politician when he was sent to take up the governorship, Aylmer was caught in the middle of a bitter ethnic conflict in Lower Canada. In the end, despite wanting to convince French Canadians of his good intentions, the Governor had set in train events that would lead to the Rebellion of 1837. (Library and Archives Canada, C-004809)

Site: National Defence

Trooper, Royal Montreal Cavalry, 1824

Type: Image

This 1824 silhouette of a trooper of the Royal Montreal Cavalry unit is one of the earliest known images of a Canadian unit. These militia light cavalry were dressed in the same style as British light dragoons. The uniform was blue faced with scarlet and trimmed with gold buttons and lace. The original silhouette is in the collection of the Musée d'Argenteuil, Carillon, Quebec. The Royal Montreal cavalry was recruited from the Anglophone middle class of Montreal, and was something of a military wing of the Montreal Hunt Club.

Site: National Defence

From Colony to Country - War of 1812 - Troops and Traditions - Armies, Regiments, Soldiers and Uniforms

Type: Document

A brief listing of books and articles about the armies, regiments, soldiers and uniforms of the War of 1812. Includes British and American publications, with references to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Regiment de Watteville, the 104th Regiment of Foot, the New Brunswick Regiment, and the New Brunswick Fencibles. This bibliography is part of "From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History."

Site: Library and Archives Canada

Officer and gunner, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1840

Type: Image

This unit always had several companies posted in Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1840 for example, officers and men wearing the uniforms shown could be seen in Halifax, St. John’s (Newfoundland), St. John (New Brunswick), Quebec, Montreal, Chambly, Drummondville, Kingston and Toronto with detachments in smaller towns and outlying forts.

Site: National Defence

Coat of Captain William Wells, Grenville Regiment, Upper Canada Militia, circa 1820

Type: Image

From 1814 until the 1830s, militia infantry officers in Upper Canada were supposed to wear, apart from a few exceptions, a scarlet uniform faced with dark blue, trimmed with gilt buttons and gold lace edging the collar and cuffs. This surviving coat of circa 1820 belonged to Captain William Wells (1809-1881) of the Grenville Regiment. It is preserved at Fort Wellington National Historic Site. Wells himself was a prominent Reform politician.

Site: National Defence

Interpreter, Indian Department, 1812-1815

Type: Image

Officers and interpreters of the British Indian Department in Canada were often found in action with warriors during the War of 1812, the most famous instance being possibly at Beaver Dams in June 1813. At that time, the department’s uniform scarlet was faced with green. Interpreters, not being commisioned officers, did not have epaulettes. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Private Charles Traveller, 70th (the Surrey) Regiment of Foot, 1841

Type: Image

This self-portrait of Charles Traveller, a soldier of the 70th (the Surrey) Regiment of Foot, is one of the few known paintings by a common soldier of the era. Traveller, shown accompanied by his dog, painted the picture in Laprairie in 1841. At the rear, from left to right: the soldiers' barracks (resembling a barn), the officers' barracks (resembling a villa), the light infantry and grenadier companies of the 70th in ranks, the guardhouse and the regimental band. Traveller wears the winter dress uniform of a private of the light company of the 70th. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Officer with regimental colour, 9th (the East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, 1814

Type: Image

The 1st battalion of the 9th (the East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot was sent from the Duke of Wellington's victorious army in Spain to serve in Canada during 1814-1815. This was not the first time in the country for the regiment, which had been part of Burgoyne's army during the American Revolutionary War. This contemporary illustration shows an officer with the regimental colour (in the regiment's yellow facing colour). The 183 centimetre square colour itself is partially furled to make it easier to carry. Accompanying the officer is a colour-sergeant armed with a spontoon. The rank was created in 1813 as the senior non-commissioned officer in an infantry company. These men had a special duty of protecting the colours in action, and were distinguished with a special rank badge worn on the right arm.

Site: National Defence

Trooper, 1st Troop of Volunteer Militia Cavalry of the County of York, circa 1855

Type: Image

Unofficial known as 'Dennison's Troop' after the family that led them for three generations, Toronto's volunteer cavalry unit dates back to 1822. The uniform shown in the photograph was dark blue, with silver lace and pale buff facings. It was adopted after the 1838 rebellion (when the unit was known as the Queen's Light Dragoons) and worn until 1871 (by which time it was The Governor General's Body Guard). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence