The Stewart Museum is renowned for its impeccable military demonstrations. During the summer months, it features some 18th century military interpretations in it's beautiful courtyard. Bring your lunch basket and be the witness of manoeuvres from the 78th Fraser Highlanders and/or the Compagnie franche de la Marine.
In 1962, at the Seattle World’s Fair, the 18th century Troupes de la Marine made their first appearance during an historical and military re-enactment. At the time, based on research conducted by David M. Stewart, president and founder of the Stewart Museum, the Royal 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Army donned the uniforms of a Compagnie Franche de la Marine.
The following winter, non-commissioned officers of the Royal 22nd Regiment put together a group of students from a number of colleges, schools and universities in the region. By 1963, this new troop had taken over at the Stewart Museum and was conducting historical re-enactments on a daily basis. The troop quickly earned an excellent reputation and indeed in 1967 was named the honour guard for the commissioner general of Expo 67.
Since 1962, more than 600 young people have taken part in showcasing this unique aspect of our heritage. Today, visitors can still admire the troop’s members as they perform re-enactments in the courtyard of the Stewart Museum. In their grey, white and blue uniforms, the Compagnie Franche de la Marine brings dynamism to their re-creation of the New France soldiers' manoeuvres.
The first Compagnies arrived in Quebec City in November 1683 with a mission to protect the fur trade. By 1688, 30 Compagnies had been deployed, each comprised of 50 to 65 men. In 1690, they were officially named the "Compagnies Franches de la Marine" and were remunerated through a special regulation in 1695.
From 1684, year of their first campaign against the Iroquois, they were of all battles until the final reddition of September 8, 1760.
The 78th Fraser Highlanders provide a unique and lively view of the life of 18th century Scottish soldiers in
Recreated in 1965 by Colonel J. Ralph Harper and David M. Stewart, founder of the
When handling their famous British Musket, Long Land Pattern Service Musket, the troop follows manoeuvres described by George Grant in The New Highland Military Discipline published in 1757 (displayed our History and Memory exhibition). Today’s interpretations are performed with bagpipes and drums and sometimes demonstrate the soldiers’ prowess with the
The regiment, which was active in Canada from 1758 to 1763, played a major role in the conflict between the French and British and fought in the battles that became synonymous with this period in Quebec history: Louisbourg (June 1758), Montmorency and Beauport (July 1759), Plains of Abraham (September 1759), Sainte-Foy (April 1760), Montreal (September 1760 - reddition), and St. John’s, Newfoundland (September 1762).
The regiment was disestablished in Quebec City in December 1763, and its soldiers received parcels of land as compensation. Many of them married French Canadian women and worked their land. Others became gentlemen farmers overseeing expansive estates and took up important public administration duties. Still others went on to make their fortunes in business, primarily in the fur and timber trades. The descendants of these Scotsmen travelled the continent, leaving lasting reminders of their explorations and notably giving their names to the Fraser and Mackenzie Rivers.