The following text is from Graeme Decarie as a follow-up to a previous post.
I just found some old census figures I have going back to Nouvelle France. They go from 1665 up to 1861. There is no mention of St. Laurent until 1739, when it had 165 families. Most of them would have farming families – and I have no indication of what the boundaries of St. Laurent were then.
And, right up to 1861, there is no mention of Cartierville, though some quite small settlements are named in the rest of the province.
78th Fraser Highlanders
For those few who care, a regiment of British soldiers who fought at Quebec was the 78th Fraser Highlanders. They were disbanded here – the only British regiment I have ever heard of that was disbanded outside Britain – probably because Britain was not anxious to disband a seasoned highland regiment to its home in Scotland at a time when the highlands was becoming rebellious.
They were settled at a place on the St. Lawrence called Fraserville where the soldiers settled down, and married the local, French women. That’s why the region is now full of French-speaking Quebecois with Scottish family names.
Oh, it’s not called Fraserville any more. It’s called Riviere du Loup. But the main street is still rue Fraser.
I learned of this because the regiment still exists. During the summer, its cadets are on duty at the old fort on St. Helen’s Island. As I write this, I am looking at the document signed by the Colonel of the regiment to appoint me as a Captain-Lieutenant of the 78th Fraser Highlanders. It was hard work with so many officers’ mess dinners at the Black Watch, and so many speeches to give on the birthday of Robert Burns, so many toasts to drink. But I got to wear a neat kilt and officer’s mess jacket. And when we drank a toast to the monarch, the glass of scotch was held over a glass of water because we were drinking to the real king of Scotland, Bonnie Prince Charlie. He spent much of his life in France – so we were drinking to the king across the water.
[End of text from Graeme Decarie]
At the Nov. 26, 2014 meeting in Kitchener of the MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s organizing committee, which will be reported upon in a Newsletter sent out to members of the MCHS 60s Reunion database, some considerable discussion was devoted to the potential role of bagpipe music at the upcoming Oct. 17, 2015 reunion at the historic Old Mill Toronto.
As well, the story of the 78 Fraser Highlanders reminds me of the key role that British regiments have played on so many levels in Canadian history. Last summer I visited the site of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm and also learned about the Battle of Chateauguay.
The two battles prompted the American side to abandon its efforts to conquer Canada during the War of 1812. The British side, which included British regulars, francophone soldiers, and First Nations warriors, was in each case vastly outnumbered but better trained, and led by more capable commanders.