Browse "British Colonial Forces"

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War of 1812

The War of 1812 (which lasted from 1812 to 1814) was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded several times by the Americans. The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States. The peace treaty of Ghent (1814), which ended the war, largely returned the status quo. However, in Canada, the war contributed to a growing sense of national identity, including the idea that civilian soldiers were largely responsible for repelling the American invaders. In contrast, the First Nations allies of the British and Canadian cause suffered much because of the war; not only had they lost many warriors (including the great Tecumseh), they also lost any hope of halting American expansion in the west, and their contributions were quickly forgotten by their British and Canadian allies (seeFirst Nations and Métis Peoples in the War of 1812).

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Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst

Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, British army officer (born 29 January 1717 near Sevenoaks, England; died 3 August 1797 near Sevenoaks). Jeffery Amherst was the commander-in-chief of British forces in North America during the Seven Years' War, which saw France surrender Canada to the British. Several streets and towns in North America — including Amherst, Nova Scotia, and Amherstburg, Ontario — were named in his honour. However, Amherst’s legacy is controversial, given his policy towards Indigenous peoples. This included his suggestion in 1763 to deliberately infect Indigenous peoples with smallpox during Pontiac’s War. In 2019, Montreal’s Amherst Street was renamed Atateken Street; Atateken means “brothers and sisters” in Kanien'kéha, the Mohawk language.

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Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and governor general of Canada from 1911 to 1916 (born 1 May 1850 in London, United Kingdom; died 16 January 1942 in Surrey, United Kingdom). As governor general, Connaught was involved in military recruitment and philanthropy in Canada during the First World War. He also established the Connaught Cup for marksmanship in the RCMP and made extensive renovations to Rideau Hall. His daughter, Princess Patricia, was the first honorary colonel-in-chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

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James Abercromby

James Abercromby, army officer (b at Banffshire, Scot 1706; d at Glassaugh, Scot 23 Apr 1781). A career soldier, he came to North America in 1756 and was appointed commander in chief of British forces.

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Adam Muir

Adam Charles Muir, military officer (b at Scotland 1766 or 1770; d at William Henry, Lower Canada, 11 May 1829).

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Richard George Amherst Luard

Richard George Amherst Luard, army officer (b in Eng 29 July 1827; d at Eastbourne, Eng 24 July 1891). A British military officer, he was general officer commanding the Canadian Militia 1880-84, following active service in India, the Crimea and China.

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Sir Archibald Campbell

Sir Archibald Campbell, soldier, colonial administrator (b 12 Mar 1769; d in Eng 6 Oct 1843). After a distinguished military career in India, Portugal and Burma, he became lieutenant-governor of NB in 1831. Aloof and authoritarian, he was soon at odds with the Reform group in the Assembly.

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Arthur Brooke

Arthur Brooke, career soldier (b at Ireland 1772; d at London 1843). Colonel Arthur Brooke is best remembered as one of the two key British commanders during the Battle of North Point (part of the Battle of Baltimore) in the War of 1812.

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Sir George Arthur

Sir George Arthur, soldier, colonial administrator (b at Plymouth, Eng 21 June 1784; d at London, Eng 19 Sept 1854). After an undistinguished military career and 2 minor colonial appointments, he became lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada in 1838.

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Sir William B. Thornton

Sir William B. Thornton, soldier (b at Ireland 1778 or 1779; d at Greenford, Middlesex, England, April 1840). William Thornton entered the British army as an ensign in the 89th Regiment of Foot in March 1796.

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Robert Heriot Barclay

Robert Heriot Barclay, naval officer (b at Kettle [Kettlehill], Scotland, 18 Sep 1786; d at Edinburgh 8 May 1837). Robert Barclay was only 11 when he began his naval career in 1798, joining the crew of the 44-gun ship Anson as a midshipman.

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James Barry

James Miranda Steuart Barry, FRS (probably born Margaret Anne Bulkley), military surgeon, physician (born c. 1789–99; died 25 July 1865 in London, England). Posted across the British Empire, Barry reformed medical standards in the British army. His final and highest-ranking position was as inspector-general of military hospitals in the Province of Canada in the 1850s. After his death, it was reported that Barry’s assigned sex at birth was female. This has sparked significant debate about his identity.

Note on pronouns: This article refers to James Barry with masculine pronouns, as this was how Barry referred to himself throughout his life.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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John Baskerville Glegg

John Baskerville (sometimes spelled Baskervyle) Glegg, soldier, military figure in the WAR OF 1812 (b Cheshire, Eng, 1773; d 1861). John Glegg was the second son in a landed family of Thurstaston Hall.

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Edward Baynes

Edward Baynes, soldier, military officer in the WAR OF 1812 (b unknown; d at Sidmouth, England, Mar 1829). Edward Baynes entered the army as an ensign in 1783.