Weapons and Armour

Champlain often petitioned the King of France and the owners of the trading companies for weapons and military equipment.
Arquebusier, 1610
Detail of the engraving Yroquois’ Fort
Champlain, The Voyages, 1613
National Library of Canada

Here follows a list of the arms that were delivered to me by the clerks both of the Sieur de Caen and of Guers, Commissioner of my Lord de Montmorency, and by Jean Baptiste Varin and Halard, on Wednesday the eighteenth of August, 1621.

1 military tent in the form of a pavilion;
12 Halberds with whitewood handles painted black;
2 bronze petards, weighing 44 lbs. each;
2 arquebuses with wheel-locks, from five to six feet long;
2 others, with match-locks, of the same length;
2 helmets for men at arms, and 1 without the back part;
523 lbs. of good match, and
64 sets of armour for pikemen, without arm-guards;
187 more that was rotten;
2 barrels of lead in the form of musket balls, weighing 439 lbs.
50 common pikes;

Champlain, The Voyages, 1632

Weapons arrived in small quantities, and those that survived the voyage were often outdated. At the site of the second settlement, archaeologists discovered the trigger of a matchlock musket. The firing mechanism in this weapon was already obsolete in Champlain’s time.


    Last Updated: September 1, 2009