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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

Selection List: Public Archives of Canada ~ 
Manuscript Group 21; Manuscript Group 23; Record Group 08

H J 36


Fortress of Louisbourg


Fortress of Louisbourg



Peter Warren

MG 21-E-3

1. This collection consists of a letter from Warren to the Duke of Newcastle regarding troops and proposals for civil government, 1747. This is a transcript from Egerton MSS. 929, f. 168-172, and was selected and analyzed.

2. It contains recommendations for the defence and settling of Nova Scotia and the securing of Placentia and Louisbourg. Although Louisbourg is mentioned there is no concrete description of the town or its fortifications. The document is useful in that it gives an idea of the strategic role of British Louisbourg in North American defence.

3.The folio numbers on the cards are taken from those given in the margin of the transcript and not from any microfilm of the original in the Public Archives of Canada.

MG 21 E 3 Egerton Mss 929.

1. ff. 168-172: 1746/47, January 17 Peter to the Duke of Newcastle. He is expressing his opinion on the number of regular forces and naval to defend N.S. and secure Placentia and Louisbourg, and the Americans. Various details discussed.


Haldimand Papers

MG 21 (PAC) G 2

The Complete Collection of Haldimand Papers is found in the British Museum, Additional Manuscript Section. Total number of volumes in the original Series is ...

The PAC has 232 volumes (Add. MSS, 21661-21892) on transcript or microfilm copies.

Period of time covered: 1758-1785.

This correspondence, which covers the period of time spent by Haldimand in North America, deals with civil and military affairs relative to that place. In the Volumes consulted for the Louisbourg Restoration two significant letters have been found.

In this letter, which has been reproduced in full, reference is made to building materials being at Louisbourg, These include "wroght Stone, Sash Windows, and other materials for building.'' It is also indicated that these materials belong solely to the Crown.

Holland makes an important reference in his letter to the monument erected at Louisbourg 'n the ruins of the Citadel. He indicates that this monument was made "with the Hewen Stones of the Ruinous Fortifications. No exact description is given.

1. pp. 14-16 (15-16): 1759. March 24: Monypenny to Haldiinand(?) He informs Haldimand (?) of the arrival of the troops for the r-endezvous at Louisbours for the Quebec expedition, naming the officers.

2. pp. 142 (ff. 151-2): 1761. April 22: Amherst to Haldimand. He is recommending a Captain Brown and noting the imminent departure of Whitmore and Vaughan.

1. pp. 21-22 (ff. 22) 1758, March 15. J. Robertson to Haldimand. This concerns preparations being made regarding transportation of man and materials for the siege of Louisbourg

2. pp. 23-24 (ff. 24) 1758, March 19. Robertson to Abercroribie. This contains further instructions to Abercrombie who is to go to Philadelphia and oversee the preparations for the transportation of men and materials for the siege of Louisbourg.

3. pp. 27-28 (f. 28) 1758 n.d. Orders to Haldimand from Abecromby. These relate to the procuring and outfitting of ships, necessary to transport men and naterials for the expedition against Louisbourg, which project Haldimand is to oversee. He lists the necessities that each master will have to provide 

4. pp. 34-36 (ff. 36-37) 1758, March 29: Abercromby to Haldimand. He informs him of the plans of operation and the distributian of troops to North America

5. p. 48 (f. 44), 1758, April 4. Abercromby to Haldimand. He is informed of the arrival of Sir Charles Hardy at Halifax and the expectancy of Capt. Gordon with some frigates. He  requests Haldimand to proceed as quickly as possible in making the transports and provisions ready, and requests a report.

6. pp. 51-52 (ff.-47-48) 1758, April 17: Abercombie to Haldinand. He is informed of the movements of the various ships and of the necessity of speed. The route of the transports is also given.

7. p. 54 (f. 51) 1758, April 22: Abercrombie to Haldimand: He acknowldges the notification that the embarkation has taken place and approves steps to keep him informed.

8. pp. 216-218 (f. 235) 1768, June 29: Robertson to ... This deals with the quartering, billeting, & movement of troops and the general disposition of the troops in North America. Louisbourg is to have no troops.

1. pp. 7-12 (ff. 5-10) 1762y June 5: State of the Fortifications at Quebec. A note that Cant. Holland has been ordered to take an accurate survey - they note his presence at Louisbourg

2. pp. 84-100 ( ff. 43-50) n.d. Heads of enquiry relative to the state of Canada. L. of T. & P. They note the export of flour to Louisbourg.

1. pp. 68-71 (f. 57) 1768. May 8. Orders of Deputy Adjutant General. The orders regulate the reviewing of troops - refer to those in N.S. and C.B.

1. pp. 34-46 (f. 23-25) 1760, May 14. Copy of Mr. Chauncy Townsend's .contract for victualling H.M. Forces in Nova Scotia and in Nfld.

2. p. 53 (f. 37) n.d. Etat des offciers et soldats des Troupes détachés de laMarine servant en Canada Péris sur l'Isle du Cape Breton dans le Cartel l'Auguste allant de Ctiebec en France en Novembre 1761.

3. p. 337 (f. 218-119) 1775, June 17: Return of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, and Privates Killed and Wounded of H.M. troops at the Attack of Regiments and entrenchments on the Height of Charles Town. Some of the 59th reg't who were in Garrison at Louisbourg - Lt. Haynes; Lt. Dalryrymple.

4. p. 335 (f. 216-217) n.d. June 10: Said to be General Officers (in the Revolutionary Army). Louisbourg veterans are listed.

1. p. 83 (f . 83) 1774, Sept. 8. Gov. Legge to Guy Carleton. The letter informs Carelton that vessels at Louisbourg are loading materials belong to H.M.; the suggestion is mead that these materials might be reclaimed at Quebec as there was no authorization for their removal.

1. pp. 8-9: 1758, May 21: R. Ross to Haldimand(?). He informss him of the arival of the three Reg'ts embarked by the latter. The -events of the voyage are related and the forthcoming trip to Louisbourg is anticipated.

2. pp. 25-29 (ff. 23-24) March 26, 1759: to Mr. Appy. It contains information regarding the war effort on the North America continent. The suggestion is made that troops be sent to relieve the Louisbourg Garrison.

3. pp. 98-99 (ff. 90-91) 1766, April 8: F.W. DesBarres to Haldimand. References are made to Holland and the C.B. survey. Encouragement of settlers on Isle St. Jean.

4. pp. 147-152 (ff. 128-151) 1769, Feb. 7: Des Barres to Haldimand. He refers to the plan of Isle Royalle which Holland has sent to England.

5. p.169-171: 1767, April 29: Th. Mills to Haldimand. A reference is made to Holland who is evidently going to Quebec from Louisbourg.

6. pp. 252-262: 1768, Jan. 20: Sam. Holland to .... He refers to the monument which has been erected on the ruins of Louisbourg out of the hewn stones there.


Anson Correspondence, MG21-H-9

I. This collection consists of letters received on military and naval matters. 1745-1755. All the documents are in transcript form, extracts taken from Add. MSS.15955-15957. Many of the letters are from Rear-Admiral Peter Warren. 1745-1748. A total of 17 items was collected.

2. References to Louisbourg and Cape Breton are most frequent when the following topics are being discussed:

3. The collection includes some letters written by Knowles, Lawrence, and Warren from Louisbourg during the period 1745-1748. These letters give interesting details of the garrison life at that time, but there is little or no reference to concrete details of the fortifications. The strength and regularity of the fortifications at Louisbourg are mentioned in Warren's letter to Anson dated 2 April 1745(OS).

4 One selection consists of a reference to a plan of Louisbourg at Ottawa in the form of the photostat of a colored Ms.

5.The folio numbers on the cards were taken from those in the margin of the transcripts, not from any microfilm of the originals in the Public Archives of Canada.

Anson Correspondence MG 21 H 9 

1. pp. 6-9 (ff. 127-130) 1747, 15 May (OS) Lord Vere Beauclerk to George Anson. This letter is mainly European news and mentions proposed naval operations in the East Indies (?). He mentions that there is nothing settled about Cape Breton or Knowles.

2. pp. 14-15 (ff- 135-136) 1747, 3 August (0S) Duke of Bedford to George Anson. He writes his sentiments with regard to Louisbourg and Nova Scotia and mentions stoppages on account of the victualling contract.

3. pp. 18-22 (ff. 284-285) 1745, 10 August (0S)  Thomas Griffin to Lord Anson. This letter concerns naval news including mention of several vessels with prisoners from Cape Breton.

4. pp. 24-25 (ff. 23-24) 1755, 14 July Hardwicke to George Anson. He speculates on the where-abouts of the French fleet mentioning Louisbourg. He notes Boscawen's plans.

5. pp. 26-31 (ff. 136-139) 1747, 30 April (OS) Charles Knowles to Lord Anson. He was forced to Leave Louisbourg for health reasons and now may attack the West Indies taking a Louisbourg regiment, as no one can attack there in the winter. He suggests alternative employment.

6. pp. 32-34 (ff. 139-140) 1747, 10 September (09) Charles Knowles to George Anson, dated Louisbourg. He thanks Anson for obtaining for him the command at Jamaica and hopes his conduct at Louisbourg will meet with Anson's approval, etc.

7. pp. 39-43 (ff 176-177) 1748, 12 October (OS) Charles Lawrence to Anson, dated Louisbourg. He speculates where they will spend the winter and complains about Louisbourg, and gives some local gossip.

8. pp. 44-48 (ff 190-192) 1746, 1 May (OS). Henry Legge to George Anson. He speculates on the destination of the Brest fleet and speaks of numerous matters irrelevant to Louisbourg.

9. pp. 52-58 (ff. 217-220) 1746, 25 July (OS) Admiral Richard Lestock to George Anson dated "Royal George" at Spithead. He asks for Anson's favour in connection with a promotion he desires, during which he mentions the command of Cape Breton. He mentions taking his lieutenants with him when he sails.

10. pp. 63-75 (ff. 147-151) 1745, April 2 Peter Warren to* George Anson. He discusses the various difficulties and advantages of the taking of Louisbourg.

11. pp. 76 80 (ff. 152-155) 1745, April 2: Peter Warren to Anson.  He expresses various opinions on the American situation. He is sending his opinion on the advantages of taking Louisbourg.

12. pp. 81- 84 (ff. 156-159) 1745, June 19 Peter Warren to George Anson. Louisbourg is taken; there is fear of French forces trying to retake the town; several plans for the government of Louisbourg are mentioned.

13. pp. 85-88 (ff. 162-163) 1745, Oct. 2 Peter Warren to George Anson. He has asked Sandwich to solicit his recall from Louisbourg for reasons of health. Arrangements being made for various returns to England and their replacement.

14. pp. 89-94 (ff. 164-168) 1745, November 23 Peter Warren to George Anson. He describes conditions at Louisbourg, and  makes plans for the spring.

15. pp. 95-97 (ff. 170-171v) 1745/6, Jan. 18. Peter  Warren to Anson. He is enclosing bills for the Louisbourg garrison. His health is poor. Various other matters are discussed.

16. pp. 107-108 (ff. 322-323) 1748, Aug. 11 Charles Watson to George Anson. Various appointments ha has made; he is on the way to Louisbourg.

17. p. 109 (ff. 324-324). n.d. Plan of Louisbourg, Coloured Mss. Photostated. At Ottawa.




1. This item consists of Bastide's report on the fortifications, of Nowfoundland and c. 1750. King's Maps CXIX, 107B. Photostat of a true copy. This item was selected and analyzed.

2.The only reference to Cape Breton occurs when Bastide suggests that coals could be supplied to Newfoundland cheaply from the French mines on Cape Breton. There is no reference to Louisbourg.

1. no page nos.1749/50, March 5. J.H. Bastide - copy of an abstract of abuses and misconducts in Newfoundland set down by J.H. Bastide. He refers to the Cape Breton coal mines as a supply of cheap coal for Newfoundland.


Captain William Parry


1. This collection consists of orders addressed to Parry while he was in command of HMS "Kingston", 1757-1760. Also a journal of the expedition against Louisbourg, 28 May-26 July,1758, and a few official letters written by Parry. The whole is in transcript form. A total of over 30 items was collected,

2.The journal of the siege of Louisbourg,28 May-26 July gives interesting details of the attack, but contains no general description of the town or fortifications.

3.The orders selected cover a period from 6 March 1757 to 23 September 1758. However, most of the orders are concerned with rather insignificant details of supply and victualling. They are issued at various locations (Gabarus Bay, Louisbourg Harbour, etc.) as the expedition progresses. They may be useful in reconstructing some of the actual events of the siege.

4.The folio numbers on the cards are taken from those in the margin of the manuscripts, and not from any microfilm of the originals in the Public Archives of Canada.

1. p. 7 (f. 42) 1757, March 6 F Holburne. A list of signals sent to Capt. Perry

2. pp. 25 (f. 49v) 1758, 'May 30. Ed. Boscawen to Capt. Parry ordering him to put himself under the command of Commodore Phillip Durell.

3. p. 26 (f. 49v) 1753, June 8 Ed. Boscawen to Capt. Parry ordering him to receive and victual all prisoners sent on board by Boscawen's order.

4. p. 26 (f. 50) 1758, June 9 Ed. Boscawen to Parry orders to assist in the landing of equipment.

5. p. 27 (f. 50) 1758, June 9 Boscawan to Parry. He is to receive the wine for his crew.

6. p. 27 (f . 50) 1758. June 18 Order  from Boscawen to Parry. He is to assist the "Northumberland" into the bay.

7. p. 28 (f . 50y) 1758, Jun, 19 Order from Boscawen to Parry. He is to receive four puncheons of callavances from Mr. Mauger's schooner

8. p. 28 (f. 50v) 1758, June 26 Order from Boscawen to Parry. He is to receive vinegar and beds from the 'Unity' and 'John and Thomas' for the use of his ship.

9. p. 29 (f. 51) 1758, June 26 Order from Boscawen to Parry. He is ordered to send his purser on board the 'Duke of Cumberland' for slops as described.

10. p. 29 (f. 51) 1758, Jane 30, Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive butter from the 'Gorham'

11. p. 30 (f. 51) 1758, June 30 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive goods as specified.

12. p. 30 (f. 51v.) 1758, July 6, Order from Boscawen to Parry to deliver shot ashore. 

13. p. 31 (f. 51v) 1758, July 8 Boscawen to Parry ordering him to land specified shot at White Point.

14. p. 31 (f. 52) 1753, July 17 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive provisions from the 'Providence Encrease'.

15. p. 32 (f . 52) 1759, July 27 Order from Boscawen to Parry to supply specified ships with specified lengths of cable.

16. p. 33 (f. 52v) 1758, August 3 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive provisions from the 'Dublin.'

17. p. 32(f. 52v) 1758, August 4 Order from Boscawen to Parry, to receive on board from the 'Terrible' some provisions.

18. p. 33(f. 53) 1758, Aug. 4. Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive provisions of bread from the 'Fair American'

19. p. 34(f. 53) 1758, Aug. 4. Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive provision from the 'Sally.'

20. p. 34 (f. 53v.) 1758. Aug. 4 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive provisions from the specified ships.

21. p. 35 (f. 53v) 1758, Aug. 7 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive wine from the 'Echo".

22. p. 36 (f. 54) 1758, Aug. 8 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive Captain Charlton and servant.

23. p. 35 (f. 54) 1758, Aug. 8 Order from Boscawen to Parry to receive French prisoners - specified.

24. p. 36 (f. 54v) 1758, Aug. 11. Order from Boscawen to Parry to discharge from his ship to the 'Echo' by pay lists all his sick seamen left at Louisbourg or Halifax.

25. p. 36 (f. 54v) 1758. Aug. 12. Order from Boscawen to Parry to fetch three live bullocks. 

26. p. 37 (f. 54v) 1758, Aug. 9. Order from Boscawen to Parry to put himself under command of Captain Rodney of the 'Dublin'.

27. p. 37 (f. 55). 1758, Aug. 10 Order from Rodney to Parry repeating the above. [Order from Boscawen to Parry to put himself under command of Captain Rodney of the 'Dublin'.]

28. p. 38(f. 55) 1758, July 25. Order from Boscawen to Parry. He is is to send his barge and pinnace manned and arm-ed to the 'Namur' that afternoon.

29. p. 38(f. 55v) 1758, Sept. 14 Order from Rodney to Parry to procceed to Plymouth.

30. p. 39 (f. 55v) 1758. Sept. 23. Order from Henry Harrison to Parry to retake the ships (transport) which cane with him from Louisbourg under his convoy into Spithead.

31 pp. 74-83(ff. 82-88) 1758, May 28-23 July Captain William Parry An Account of the Expedition against Louisbourg Anno Dom. 1758 under the Command of Admiral Boscawen, Major General Amherst Brigadier General Whitmore, Brigadier Lawrence, Brigadier Wolfe.


Reports on Stores and Expenditures,


1. The section of this collection consulted (Landsdowne MSS.885, f.111-114), consists of the report of West and Lekeup to the Lords of the Treasury on the demands from New England for the expedition against Cape Breton. One item was collected.

2. There are no direct descriptions of Louisbourg or its fortifications.

3.The folio numbers which appear on the cards were taken from those in the margin of the transcripts and not from any microfilm of the original in the Public Archives of Canada.

1.  ff. 111-114: 1747, Dec. 29 (J. West and P. Lekeup) Report on the demands from New England for the expedition against Cape Breton made to the Lords of the Treasury. Discussion of expenses.


J. and S. Dayrolles


1. This collection consists of the extracts from official diplomatic correspondence and reports on points in dispute between England and France, and on the French army and navy, 1747-1755. The only two sections of this series consulted were Add. MSS. 15669, f.167-169, and Add. MSS. 15874, f.219-232, both of which were selected and analyzed. Both are in transcript form.

2.The first of these is an extract of a letter from Paris dated 7 July 1747 and concerning the French fleets. There is no direct reference to either Louisbourg or Cape Breton in the letters but the letter seems to refer to a French counter-attack against English-held territory in North America, possibly Louisbourg.

3.The second is a review of the points of dispute between Britain and France in 1754, Cape Breton is mentioned briefly in a purely geographical context in reference to the old boundaries of Nova Scotia,

4.No reference is made to Louisbourg or its fortifications.

5. The folio numbers given on the cards are taken from those in the margin of the transcripts and not from any microfilm of the originals in the Public Archive's of Canada.

1. Vol. IV, BM Add. Mss. 15869. ff. 167-169v: 1747, July 7 (J. And S. Dayrolles) It concerns the French fleet (extract). A suggestion of renewal of activity against the English in Canada.

2. Vol. IX BM Add. Mss. 15874. 1754, January (J. and S. Dayrolles) General state of the Points depending between the courts of Great Britain and France, with Relation to the Limits of Nova Scotia, to the Neutral Islands and to the Examination of Sea Prizes. - the reference to C.B. occurs in the section dealing with the Nova Scotia boundaries.

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