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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada



By John Humphreys 

October 15, 1964

(Fortress of Louisbourg Report Number H F 5)



The only suggestion that the Royal Battery might possibly escape demolition occurred in the London Magazine for September 1760, which reported that all the fortifications at Louisbourg were to be demolished "except the battery towards the land side, which is to remain." [1]This vague reference might have been an `illusion to the Royal Battery; in any event the Royal Battery, along with the Island Battery, was one of the last structures at Louisbourg to be destroyed by the British demolition teams.

Towards the close of the demolition operation at Louisbourg, on 2 October 1760, Bastide wrote to Amherst that the "works" at the Royal Battery were "almost down", and that the "Navy Hospital" was preserved. [2] In this last phrase Bastide was probably referring. to the Royal Battery barracks, which he had suggested be converted into a naval hospital as early as 1758.[3] Bastide added, however, that a few "fourneaus" (i.e., explosive charges embedded in the walls would be needed to destroy the battery's towers. In consequence, a detachment of miners was sent from the town to the Royal Battery on 3 November to carry out this task, [4] and the two towers were in due time blown up, one apparently on November 3, the other on November 5.[5] The journal of the demolition states, without giving any technical details" that on 5 November the demolition of the Royal Battery was completed,[6] and this fact is confirmed in a similarly laconic manner by Bastide's report to Amherst dated four days later.[7]



1. London Magazine, September 1760, p.491.

2. WO 34 3.14 p.16, Bastide to Amherst, 26 October 1760.

3. CO 5 V.53 (MG11) pp.136-153, Bastide, in Amherst's letter to the Board of Trade, 28 August 1758.

4. Library of the Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich Arsenal, Book No. 10, Journal, of Demolition, pp.187-189.

5. Massachusetts Historical Society, Clough's Journall, 466.2/184.3/E172, p.200; / Massachusetts Historical Society, Louisbourg E172, Diary kept at Louisbourg 1759-1760 by Jonathan Procter of Danvers, Essex Inst. Hist. Coll. V.70, pp. 53-54.

6. Library of the Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich Arsenal, Book No 10, Journal of Demolition, p.189.

7. W034 V.14, pp. 23-24, Bastide to Amherst, 9 November 1760.