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Alain D.





Joined: 04 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Dec, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Arms of 15th-16th Century Canada         Reply with quote

I've been thinking recently about early Canada from John Cabot's 1497 voyage on the Matthew to Champlain's landing in 1603 and wondering about the weaponry explorers and seasonal fishing vessels brought with them, particularly on the Matthew in 1497 and with Jacques Cartier in the 1530s and 40s.

I've always assumed that besides swords they would have carried crossbows and perhaps arquebuses, but are there any actual inventory records providing more concrete evidence? John Day's letter c. 1497-98 notes that during Cabot's brief landing, "Since he was with just a few people, he did not dare advance inland beyond the shooting distance of a crossbow." While the crossbow reference could just be used as a measure of distance here, my guess is that it was more literally referring to the range of the crossbows on board the ship protecting the landing.

Are there any other references which indicate more clearly what arms specifically were used on board these early exploring vessels? Or perhaps weapons that were brought for protection during seasonal fishing expeditions to Newfoundland during the 16th century?

For comparison, these two threads discuss Spanish arms in 16th century America:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...us+america

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...us+america


As great as the Norse and Vinland are, that's probably a completely separate discussion.

-Alain
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Arms of 15th-16th Century Canada         Reply with quote

I think you're right. Arquebuses and crossbows have been brought by English explorers to what is now Canada back then. But I am not sure whether these weapons were brought along by them during seasonal fishing expeditions in Newfoundland or not.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

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