Prince William, Duke of Cumberland
Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was the third and youngest son of King George II of Great Britain and Ireland and his wife, Caroline of Ansbach. He was Duke of Cumberland from 1726, he is best remembered for his role in putting down the Jacobite Rising at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which made him immensely popular throughout Britain. He is referred to by the nickname given to him by his Tory opponents:'Butcher' Cumberland. Despite his triumph at Culloden, he had a unsuccessful military career. Between 1748 and 1755 he attempted to enact a series of army reforms that were resisted by the opposition and by the army itself. Following the Convention of Klosterzeven in 1757, he never again held active military command and switched his attentions to politics and horse racing. William was born in Leicester House, in Leicester Fields, London, where his parents had moved after his grandfather, George I, accepted the invitation to ascend the British throne, his godparents included the King and Queen in Prussia, but they did not take part in person and were represented by proxy.
On 27 July 1726, at only five years old, he was created Duke of Cumberland, Marquess of Berkhamstead in the County of Hertford, Earl of Kennington in the County of Surrey, Viscount of Trematon in the County of Cornwall, Baron of the Isle of Alderney. The young prince was educated well. Another of his tutors was his mother's favourite Andrew Fountaine. At Hampton Court Palace, apartments were designed specially for him by William Kent. William's elder brother Frederick, Prince of Wales, proposed dividing the king's dominions. Frederick would get Britain; this proposal came to nothing. From childhood, he showed physical courage and ability, became his parents' favourite, he was made a Knight of the Bath aged four. He was intended, by the King and Queen, for the office of Lord High Admiral, and, in 1740, he sailed, as a volunteer, in the fleet under the command of Sir John Norris, but he became dissatisfied with the Navy, instead secured the post of colonel of the First Regiment of Foot Guards on 20 February 1741.
In December 1742, he became a major-general, the following year, he first saw active service in Germany. George II and the "martial boy" shared in the glory of the Battle of Dettingen, where Cumberland was wounded in the leg by a musket ball. After the battle he was made a lieutenant general. In 1745, Cumberland was given the honorary title of Captain-General of the British land forces and in Flanders became Commander-in-Chief of the allied British, Hanoverian and Dutch troops despite his inexperience, he planned to take the offensive against the French, in a move he hoped would lead to the capture of Paris, but was persuaded by his advisors that this was impossible given the vast numerical superiority of the enemy. As it became clear that the French intention was to take Tournai, Cumberland advanced to the relief of the town, besieged by Marshal Saxe. In the resulting Battle of Fontenoy on 11 May 1745, the Allies were defeated by the French. Saxe had picked the battleground on which to confront the British, filled the nearby woods with French marksmen.
Cumberland ignored the threat of the woods when drawing up his battle plans, instead concentrated on seizing the town of Fontenoy and attacking the main French army nearby. Despite a concerted Anglo-Hanoverian attack on the French centre, which led many to believe the Allies had won, the failure to clear the woods and of the Dutch forces to capture Fontenoy forced Cumberland's force onto the retreat. Following the battle Cumberland was criticised for his tactics the failure to occupy the woods. In the wake of the battle, Cumberland was forced to retreat to Brussels and was unable to prevent the fall of Ghent and Ostend; as the leading British general of the day, he was chosen to put a decisive stop to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, a direct descendant of James VII of Scotland and II of England, in the Jacobite rising of 1745. His appointment was popular, caused morale to soar amongst the public and troops loyal to King George. Recalled from Flanders, Cumberland proceeded with preparations for quelling the Stuart uprising.
The Jacobite army had advanced southwards into England, hoping that English Jacobites would rise and join them. However, after receiving only limited support such as the Manchester Regiment, the followers of Charles decided to withdraw to Scotland. Cumberland joined the Midland army under Ligonier, began pursuit of the enemy, as the Stuarts retreated northwards from Derby. On reaching Penrith, the advanced portion of his army was repulsed on Clifton Moor in December 1745, Cumberland became aware that an attempt to overtake the retreating Highlanders would be hopeless. Carlisle was retaken, he was recalled to London, where preparations were in hand to meet an expected French invasion; the defeat of his replacement as commander, Henry Hawley, roused the fears of the English people in January 1746, under a hail of pistol fire, "eighty dragoons fell dead upon the spot" at Falkirk Muir. Arriving in Edinburgh on 30 January 1746, he at once proceeded in search of Charles, he made a detour to Aberdeen, where he spent some time training the well-equipped forces now under his command for the next stage of the conflict in which they were about to engage.
He trained his troops to hold their fire until the enemy came within effective firing range, fire once, bayonet
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies; the outnumbered French depended on the Indians. The European nations declared a wider war upon one another overseas in 1756, two years into the French and Indian war, some view the French and Indian War as being the American theater of the worldwide Seven Years' War of 1756–63; the name French and Indian War is used in the United States, referring to the two enemies of the British colonists, while European historians use the term Seven Years' War, as do English-speaking Canadians. French Canadians call it the Fourth Intercolonial War; the British colonists were supported at various times by the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes, the French colonists were supported by Wabanaki Confederacy member tribes Abenaki and Mi'kmaq, the Algonquin, Ojibwa, Ottawa and Wyandot tribes.
Fighting took place along the frontiers between New France and the British colonies, from the Province of Virginia in the south to Newfoundland in the north. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River called the Forks of the Ohio, the site of the French Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the dispute erupted into violence in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which Virginia militiamen under the command of 22-year-old George Washington ambushed a French patrol. In 1755, six colonial governors met with General Edward Braddock, the newly arrived British Army commander, planned a four-way attack on the French. None succeeded, the main effort by Braddock proved a disaster. British operations failed in the frontier areas of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Province of New York during 1755–57 due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, effective Canadian scouts, French regular forces, Indian warrior allies.
In 1755, the British captured Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from Acadia, they ordered the expulsion of the Acadians soon afterwards. Orders for the deportation were given by Commander-in-Chief William Shirley without direction from Great Britain; the Acadians were expelled, both those captured in arms and those who had sworn the loyalty oath to the King. Indians were driven off the land to make way for settlers from New England; the British colonial government fell in the region of Nova Scotia after several disastrous campaigns in 1757, including a failed expedition against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry. William Pitt came to power and increased British military resources in the colonies at a time when France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces that they had in New France, preferring to concentrate their forces against Prussia and its allies who were now engaged in the Seven Years' War in Europe. Between 1758 and 1760, the British military launched a campaign to capture French Canada.
They succeeded in capturing territory in surrounding colonies and the city of Quebec. The British lost the Battle of Sainte-Foy west of Quebec, but the French ceded Canada in accordance with the Treaty of Paris. France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain, as well as French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Spanish Florida. France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Great Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in America. In British America, wars were named after the sitting British monarch, such as King William's War or Queen Anne's War. There had been a King George's War in the 1740s during the reign of King George II, so British colonists named this conflict after their opponents, it became known as the French and Indian War; this continues as the standard name for the war in the United States, although Indians fought on both sides of the conflict.
It led into the Seven Years' War overseas, a much larger conflict between France and Great Britain that did not involve the American colonies. Less used names for the war include the Fourth Intercolonial War and the Great War for the Empire. In Europe, the French and Indian War is conflated into the Seven Years' War and not given a separate name. "Seven Years" refers to events in Europe, from the official declaration of war in 1756—two years after the French and Indian War had started—to the signing of the peace treaty in 1763. The French and Indian War in America, by contrast, was concluded in six years from the Battle of Jumonville Glen in 1754 to the capture of Montreal in 1760. Canadians conflate both the American conflicts into the Seven Years' War. French Canadi
Moses Hazen was a Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Born in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, he saw action in the French and Indian War with Rogers' Rangers, his service included brutal raids, during the Expulsion of the Acadians and the 1759 Siege of Quebec. He was formally commissioned into the British Army, shortly before the war ended, retired on half-pay outside Montreal, where he and Gabriel Christie, another British officer, made extensive land purchases in partnership. During his lifetime he acquired land in Quebec, New Hampshire and New York, but lost most of his Quebec land due to litigation, with Christie and the negative effects of the Revolution. In 1775 he became involved in the American invasion of Quebec early in the American Revolutionary War, served with the Continental Army, in the 1775 Battle of Quebec, he went on to lead his own regiment, throughout the war, seeing action in the 1777 Philadelphia campaign and at Yorktown in 1781.
He was involved in litigation, both military and civil, petitioned Congress for compensation of losses and expenses incurred due to the war. He supported similar efforts by men from his regiment who were unable to return to Quebec because of their support for the American war effort. Moses Hazen was born in Haverhill, a frontier town in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, to an old New England Puritan family. Histories that mention Hazen sometimes indicate that he was Jewish, however a genealogist documents Hazen's lineage to England, where the family name was Hassen; some contemporaries of Hazen seem to have thought. Hazen was apprenticed to a tanner when the Indian War broke out. In 1756, he enlisted with the local militia, he first served at Fort William Henry near Lake George, where he first met, may have served under, Robert Rogers of Rogers' Rangers. Rogers recommended him for an officer's commission in a new company of the Rangers. In McCurdy's company, he saw action at Louisbourg, including the initial landings, when the action was quite fierce.
After Louisbourg, the company was stationed first at Fort Frederick, at Fort St. Anne, where the company was part of a campaign against Indians and Acadians that had taken refuge there from the ongoing expulsion of the Acadians; these raids were sometimes quite brutal. In one brutal incident, Hazen was responsible for the scalping of six men, the burning of four others, along with two women and three children, in a house he set on fire. Joseph Bellefontaine, a leader of the local militia and the father of one of the women, claimed that he was forced to witness this event in an attempt to coerce his cooperation with the rangers. General Jeffery Amherst, who did not hear of the incident until after he had promoted Hazen to captain, noted, "I am sorry that to say what I have since heard of that affair has sullied his merit with me as I shall always disapprove of killing women and helpless children."In January 1759, Captain McCurdy was killed when a tree felled by one of his men fell on him. In 1759, his company was at the siege of Quebec, where the company was engaged in scouting and raiding in the countryside.
In another notable atrocity that may have involved Hazen's company, a priest and thirty parishioners in a parish near Quebec were killed and scalped. Hazen fought at the 1760 Battle of Sainte-Foy, where he was wounded in the thigh. In February 1761, he purchased a commission as a first Lieutenant in the 44th Regiment of Foot in the British Army, he spent the remainder of the war on garrison duty at Montreal, retiring on half-pay in 1763. General James Murray wrote approvingly of Hazen in 1761, "He discovered so much still bravery and good conduct as would justly entitle him to every military reward he could ask or demand". During the siege of Quebec, Hazen had met Gabriel Christie a deputy quartermaster. Christie owned some land in the Richelieu River valley south of Montreal, wanted to expand his holdings. After the war and Hazen jointly purchased the seigneuries of Sabrevois and Bleury, located on the east bank of the Richelieu near Fort Saint-Jean, they leased land on the west side of river from the Baron of Longueuil.
These holdings gave them exclusive control over the land holdings around Saint-Jean, the northernmost navigable point reachable from Lake Champlain. Christie, still in military service, was away from the land, so Hazen developed the land while Christie provided the funding. Hazen constructed a manor house at Iberville, two mills, set about selling timber and other business endeavours. In 1765, Hazen was appointed a deputy land surveyor, a justice of the peace; as part of his business dealings, he offered General Thomas Gage in command of British forces in New York City and lumber for military
The Leeward Islands are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean. Starting with the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, they extend southeast to Guadeloupe and its dependencies. In English, the term Leeward Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain; the more southerly part of this chain, starting with Dominica, is called the Windward Islands. Dominica was considered part of the Leeward Islands, but was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the British Windward Islands in 1940; the name of this island group, Leeward Islands, dates from previous centuries, when sailing ships were the sole form of transportation across the Atlantic Ocean. In sailing terminology, "windward" means towards the source of the wind, while "leeward" is the opposite direction. In the West Indies, the prevailing winds, known as the trade winds, blow out of the northeast. Therefore, an island to the northwest, such as Puerto Rico, would be leeward of an island to the southeast, such as Antigua, conversely, Antigua would be windward of Puerto Rico, but leeward of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The early Spanish colonizers called Puerto Rico and the islands to the west Sotavento, meaning leeward. The islands to the south and east of Puerto Rico were called Islas de Barlovento, meaning "windward islands"; when the British gained control of many of the Lesser Antilles, they designated Antigua and the islands to the north as the "Leeward Islands". Guadeloupe and the islands to the south were designated as the "Windward Islands". On, all islands north of Martinique became known as the Leeward Islands. In 1940 Dominica was transferred to the British Windward Islands, is now considered to be part of the Windward Islands; however in modern usage in languages other than English, e.g. Spanish and Dutch, all of the Lesser Antilles from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad and Tobago are known as the Windward Islands; the islands along the Venezuelan coast, known in English as the Leeward Antilles, in languages other than English are known as the Leeward Islands. The islands are affected by active volcanism, notable eruptions have occurred in Montserrat in the 1990s and in 2009 to 2010.
At 1467 m, the highest point is La Grande Soufrière in Guadeloupe. The Caribs, after whom the Caribbean is named, are believed to have migrated from the Orinoco River area in Venezuela in South America to settle in the Caribbean islands about 1200 AD, according to carbon dating. Over the century leading up to Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean archipelago in 1492, the Caribs displaced the Maipurean-speaking Taínos, who settled the island chains earlier in history, by warfare and assimilation; the islands were among the first parts of the Americas to fall under the control of the Spanish Empire. European contact commenced with Christopher Columbus's second voyage, many of the islands' names originate from this period, e.g. Montserrat was named in honour of Santa Maria de Montserrat, after the Blessed Virgin of the Monastery of Montserrat, located on the Mountain of Montserrat, the national shrine of Catalonia.'Mont serrat' in Catalan means'saw mountain', referring to the serrated appearance of the mountain range.
The Leeward Islands became a British colony in 1671. In 1699, prior to the War of the Spanish Succession, Christopher Codrington became the governor of the Leeward Islands; the war lasted from 1701 to 1714. Daniel Parke II was the British governor of the Leeward Islands from 1706 to 1710, he was assassinated during a mutiny triggered by his self-enriching enforcement of Stuart imperialism. Although comparatively much smaller than the surrounding islands in the Caribbean, the Leeward Islands posed the most significant rebellion to the British Stamp Act. In 1816 the colony was dissolved, with its last governor being James Leith. In 1833, the colony was reformed. From 1833 until 1871, the Governor of Antigua performed the duties of the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Today the Islands are governed by a number of colonial administrations. From the northwest to the southeast, the islands are: Puerto Rican Virgin Islands: Vieques, Culebra U. S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Water Island British Virgin Islands: Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Anegada Anguilla Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Saint-Barthélemy Saba Sint Eustatius Saint Kitts Nevis Barbuda Antigua Redonda Montserrat Guadeloupe La Désirade Îles des Saintes Marie-Galante The Antilles British Leeward Islands Leeward Antilles Leeward Islands cricket team Windward Islands Digital Library of the Caribbean−dloc.org: "The Leeward Islands Gazette"—freely−openly available, with full page images and searchable text Digital Library of the Caribbean−dloc.org: "Antigua and Virgin Islands Gazette"—openly−freely available, with searchable text and full page images
Antigua known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish after an icon in Seville Cathedral, "Santa Maria de la Antigua" — St. Mary of the Old Cathedral; the name Waladli comes from the indigenous inhabitants and means "our own". The island's circumference is 87 km and its area 281 km2, its population was 80,161. The economy is reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market. Over 32,000 people live in the capital city, St. John's; the capital is situated in the north-west and has a deep harbour, able to accommodate large cruise ships. Other leading population settlements are All Liberta, according to the 2001 census. English Harbour on the south-eastern coast is famed for its protected shelter during violent storms.
It is the site of a restored British colonial naval station called "Nelson's Dockyard" after Captain Horatio Nelson. Today English Harbour and the neighbouring village of Falmouth are known as a yachting and sailing destination and provisioning centre. During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to play sports. On 6 September 2017, the Category 5 Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the buildings on the island of Barbuda. Residents were evacuated to Antigua; the first residents were the Guanahatabey people. The Arawak migrated from the mainland, followed by the Carib. Prior to European colonialism, Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit Antigua, in 1493; the Arawak were the first well-documented group of indigenous people to settle Antigua. They paddled to the island by canoe from present-day Venezuela, pushed out by the Carib, another indigenous people; the Arawak introduced agriculture to Barbuda.
Among other crops, they cultivated. They cultivated: Corn Sweet potatoes Chili peppers Guava Tobacco CottonSome of the vegetables listed, such as corn and sweet potatoes, still are staples of Antiguan cuisine. Colonists took them to Europe, from there, they spread around the world. For example, a popular Antiguan dish, dukuna, is a sweet, steamed dumpling made from grated sweet potatoes and spices. Another staple, fungi, is a cooked paste made of water. Most of the Arawak left Antigua about A. D. 1100. Those who remained were raided by the Carib coming from Venezuela. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, the Caribs' superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most Arawak nations in the West Indies, they enslaved cannibalised others. Watson points out; the indigenous people of the West Indies made excellent sea vessels, which they used to sail the Atlantic and Caribbean. As a result, the Arawak and Carib populated much of the Caribbean islands, their descendants live throughout South America Brazil and Colombia.
Christopher Columbus named the island "Antigua" in 1493 in honour of the "Virgin of the Old Cathedral" found in Seville Cathedral in southern Spain. On his 1493 voyage, honouring a vow, he named many islands after different aspects of St. Mary, including Montserrat and Guadaloupe. In 1632, a group of English colonists left St. Kitts to settle on Antigua. Sir Christopher Codrington, an Englishman, established the first permanent European settlement. From that point on, Antigua history took a dramatic turn. Codrington guided development on the island as a profitable sugar colony. For a large portion of Antigua history, the island was considered Britain's "Gateway to the Caribbean", it was located on the major sailing routes among the region's resource-rich colonies. Lord Horatio Nelson, a major figure in Antigua history, arrived in the late 18th century to preserve the island's commercial shipping prowess. According to A Brief History of the Caribbean, European diseases and slavery destroyed the vast majority of the Caribbean's native population.
There are some differences of opinions as to the relative importance of these causes. In fact, some historians believe that the abundant, but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to severe malnutrition of the "Indians" who were used to a diet fortified with protein from sealife. Others believe that the psychological stress of slavery may have played a part in the massive number of native deaths while in servitude. Sugar became Antigua's main crop in about 1674, when Christopher Codrington settled at Betty's Hope plantation, he came from Barbados. Betty's Hope, Antigua's first full-scale sugar plantation, was so successful that other planters turned from tobacco to sugar; this resulted in their importing slaves to work the sugar cane crops. According to A Brief History of the Caribbean, many West Indian colonists tried to use locals as slaves; these groups succumbed to disease and/or malnutrition, died by the thousands. The enslaved Africans adapted better to the new environment and thus became the number one choice of unpaid labour.
However, according to a Smith
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart were decisively defeated by Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, died with no living children. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I. Raising an army consisting of Scottish clansmen along with smaller units of Irish and Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment, Charles' efforts met with success and at one point began to threaten London. However, a series of events forced the army's return to Scotland, where they were soon pursued by an army raised by the Duke of Cumberland; the two forces met at Culloden, on terrain that made the highland charge difficult and gave the larger and well-armed British forces the advantage.
The battle lasted only an hour, with the Jacobites suffering a bloody defeat. Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were wounded in the brief battle. In contrast, only about 300 government soldiers were wounded; the Hanoverian victory at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil; the battle and its aftermath continue to arouse strong feelings: the University of Glasgow awarded the Duke of Cumberland an honorary doctorate, but many modern commentators allege that the aftermath of the battle and subsequent crackdown on Jacobitism were brutal, earned Cumberland the sobriquet "Butcher". Efforts were subsequently made to further integrate the comparatively wild Scottish Highlands into the Kingdom of Great Britain. On 23 July, 1745 Charles Edward Stuart landed on Eriskay in the Western Islands in an attempt to reclaim the throne for Great Britain for his exiled father James, accompanied only by the "Seven Men of Moidart".
Most of his Scottish supporters advised he return to France, but enough were persuaded and the rebellion was launched at Glenfinnan on 19 August. The Jacobite army entered Edinburgh on 17 September and James was proclaimed King of Scotland the next day. On 21 September, a government force was defeated at the Battle of Prestonpans; the Prince's Council, a committee formed of 15-20 senior leaders, met on 30 and 31 October to discuss plans to invade England. The Scots wanted to consolidate their position and although willing to assist an English rising or French landing, they would not do it on their own. For Charles, the main prize was England. Despite their doubts, the Council agreed to the invasion on condition the promised English and French support was forthcoming and the Jacobite army entered England on 8 November, they captured Carlisle on 15 November continued south through Preston and Manchester, reaching Derby on 4 December. There had been no sign of a French landing or any significant number of English recruits, while they risked being caught between two armies, each one twice their size.
Apart from a minor skirmish at Clifton Moor, the Jacobite army evaded pursuit and crossed back into Scotland on 20 December. Entering England and returning was a considerable military achievement and morale was high. French-supplied artillery was used to besiege the strategic key to the Highlands. On 17 January, the Jacobites dispersed a relief force under Henry Hawley at the Battle of Falkirk Muir, although the siege made little progress. On 1 February, the siege of Stirling was abandoned and the Jacobites retreated to Inverness. Cumberland's army entered Aberdeen on 27 February. Several French shipments were received during the winter but the Royal Navy's blockade led to shortages of both money and food; the Jacobite Army is assumed to have been composed of Gaelic-speaking Catholic Highlanders whereas in reality some of its most effective units were recruited from the Lowlands. By 1745, Catholicism was confined to remote areas of the Highlands and Islands and large numbers of those who joined the Rebellion were Non-juring Episcopalians.
While predominantly Scottish, it contained English recruits plus significant numbers of French and Irish professionals in French service. Regardless of nationality, regulars were treated as Prisoners of War and exchanged, rather than being tried for treason. One problem for the Jacobites was the difference between clan warfare, short-term and based o
Seigneurial system of New France
The manorial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land tenure used in the North American French colonial empire. Both in nominal and legal terms, all French territorial claims in North America belonged to the French king. French monarchs did not impose feudal land tenure on New France, the king’s actual attachment to these lands was non-existent. Instead, landlords were allotted land holdings and presided over the French colonial agricultural system in North America. Manorial land tenure was introduced to New France in 1627 by Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu granted the newly formed Company of One Hundred Associates all lands between the Arctic Circle to the north, Florida to the south, Lake Superior in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east. In exchange for this vast land grant and the exclusive trading rights tied to it, the Company was expected to bring two to three hundred settlers to New France in 1628, a subsequent four thousand during the next fifteen years. To achieve this, the Company subinfeudated all of the land awarded to it by Cardinal Richelieu — that is, parceled it out into smaller units that were run on a feudal-like basis, worked by habitants.
Despite the official arrangement reached between Cardinal Richelieu and the Company of One Hundred Associates, levels of immigration to French colonies in North America remained low. The resulting scarcity of labor had a profound effect on the system of land distribution and the habitant-seigneurial relationship that emerged in New France. King Louis XIV instituted a condition on the land, stating that it could be forfeited unless it was cleared within a certain period of time; this condition kept the land from being sold by the seigneur, leading instead to its being sub-granted to peasant farmers, the habitants. When a habitant was granted the title deed to a lot, he had to agree to accept a variety of annual charges and restrictions. Rent could be set in money, produce or labour. Once this rent was set, it could not due to inflation or time. An habitant was free to develop his land as he wished, with only a few obligations to his seigneur. A seigneur did not have many responsibilities towards his habitants.
The seigneur was obligated to build a gristmill for his tenants, they in turn were required to grind their grain there and provide the seigneur with one sack of flour out of every 14. The seigneur had the right to a specific number of days of forced labour by the habitants and could claim rights over fishing and common pastures. Though the demands of the seigneurs became more significant at the end of French rule, they could never obtain enough resources from the habitants to become wealthy, nor leave their tenants in poverty. Habitants were free individuals; the seigneur–habitant relationship was one where both parties were owners of the land, who split the attributes of ownership between them. In practice, the lands were arranged in long, narrow strips, called seigneuries or fiefs, along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, its estuaries, other key transit features; this physical layout of manorial property developed as a means of maximizing ease of transit and communication by using natural waterways and the few roads.
A desirable plot had to be directly bordering or in close proximity to a river system, which plot-expansion was limited to one of two directions—left or right. Estates in free socage were the most macro-level of land division in New France but, within them, there existed several tenurial subdivisions. Below the level of free socage was that of the villeinage. Throughout New France, several thousand estates in villeinage were developed. Furthermore, these villein tenancies were remarkably uniform in terms of size. Barring extreme cases, it is estimated that around 95% of all villein estates were between 40 and 200 arpents in size, though most were 120 arpents or less. Estates of less than 40 square arpents were considered to be of little value by villein socagers. To maximize simplicity when surveying, estates in villein socage were invariably distributed in rectangular plots following a rowed system, wherein the first row bordered the river, was the first to be filled, followed by the second behind it and so on.
The proportions of such rectangles coincided with the ratio of 1:10 for width and length, respectively. However, extremes all the way up to 1:100 are known to have occurred; this method of land division confers obvious advantages in terms of easy access to transportation and cheap surveying, but allowed socagers to live remarkably close to families on neighboring plots—often within a few hundred yards—creating something of a proto-neighborhood. Although legislation and enforcement varied depending on the period and administration, a socager’s rights of entitlement to their villeinage could not be revoked as long as they paid their duties and fees to the lord of the manor and satisfied the requirements of tenir feu et lieu; this stipulated that they were obliged to improve their landholdings or these would be confiscated. By ordinance of the Intendant in 1682, a socager could not hold more than two villeinages; the lord of the manor rented most of the land to tenants, known as censitaires or habitants, who cleared the land, built houses and other buildings, farmed the land.
A smaller portion of the land was kept as a demesne, economically significant in the early days of settl