Quebec Naval Shipyard

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HM Naval Yard, Quebec
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Ile aux Noix, Quebec in Canada
Site information
OperatorNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Controlled byFlag of the Navy Board 1801 to 1832.jpg Navy Board (1814-1832)
Board of Admiralty Flag 20th Century.png Board of Admiralty (1832-1834)
Site history
In use1814-1834
Installation information
Past
commanders
Resident Commissioner at Quebec

Quebec Naval Shipyard also known as Ile aux Noix Naval Shipyard was a British Royal Navy dockyard located Île aux Noix Island on the Richelieu River, Quebec, Canada. It was active from 1812 to 1834.[1]

History

On September 8, 1760. France finally ceded Canada to the British in the Treaty of Paris, signed on February 10, 1763. The strategic importance of Île aux Noix decreased as soon as the conquest of Canada was complete in 1760. Amherst had not thought it wise to preserve the French fortifications on Île aux Noix and therefore he ordered the razing of the entrenchments to salvage the construction materials, which might be reused at Crown Point.

After New France became a British colony, there was not much use for Île aux Noix as a military post. The French fort was destroyed. Yet after the American invasion of the province of Quebec in 1775-1776 by means of the Richelieu River, the British authorities decided to build a new fort on the island in 1778. It was used during the War of 1812. That fort was demolished to make place for Fort Lennox.

In 1775, the island was taken by American forces and used as a base by the American generals Philip Schuyler and Richard Montgomery for attacks on Montreal and Quebec. After being defeated at Quebec and abandoning Montreal, the Continental Army regrouped at the island in 1776 in its retreat from the province of Quebec. The site returned to British hands as an important frontier fort, now its southernmost on the Richelieu. Blockhouses were constructed in 1779 to resist further attack. A much more impressive fortification was built from 1779 to 1782.

During the War of 1812, the race for naval superiority in the area re-established the military importance of the island, which became the main support point for the British navy on this border. The flagship of the British squadron on Lake Champlain, HMS Confiance, a 36 gun 5th rate frigate, became the largest vessel ever constructed at Île aux Noix.

The postwar period provided another opportunity to rethink the defensive system on the Upper Richelieu in the light of the experience acquired in the War of 1812. This time the endless debate between Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and Île aux Noix brought the engineer officers into direct opposition to the naval officers. The engineers favoured Saint-Jean because of the many possibilities of bypassing Île aux Noix, while the naval officers, convinced by the experiences of the recent war, preferred Île aux Noix because of its advantages against an operation over water. The latter were further favoured by the activities of the Americans a short distance from the border, since the construction of Fort Montgomery provided the competent British authorities with an argument for supporting Île aux Noix.

Administration of the Naval Yard

Senior Officer of the Yard

Resident Commissioner at Quebec

Principal Officers of the Yard

Master Attendant, Quebec
  • 1814–1825, Mr M. Spratt.[2][3]
Master Shipwright, Quebec
  • 1814, Mr T. Strickland.[4]
  • 1825, Rob Moore.[5]
Naval Storekeeper, Quebec
  • 1814. James Walker.
  • 1815–1820, Mr E. Laws.[6]
  • 1823. Mr. M. B. Mends.[7]
  • 1825, Jas. R. Glover.[8]

Ships built at the Yard

  1. HMS Confiance, Fifth-Rate, Frigate.

Footnotes

  1. Office, Admiralty (December 1814). The Navy List. London: John Murray. p. 132.
  2. Navy List. Dec, 1814. p.132.
  3. The Royal Kalendar and Court and City Register for England, Scotland, Ireland and the Colonies: For the Year .... 1825. London: W. March. 1825. p. 167.
  4. Navy List. Dec, 1814. p.132.
  5. Royal Kalendar. p.167.
  6. Navy List. Dec, 1814. p.132.
  7. Admiralty, Great Britain (1823). The Navy List. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 123.
  8. Royal Kalendar. p.167.

Bibliography

  1. Admiralty, Great Britain (1823). The Navy List. London: H.M. Stationery Office.
  2. Brown, George W.; Halpenny, Francess G. (1966). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9780802033987.
  3. Day, John Frederick (April 2012). "British Admiralty Control and Naval Power in the Indian Ocean (1793-1815) (Volume 1 of 2)" (PDF). core.ac.uk. Exeter: University of Exeter. Retrieved 3 August 2019. Submitted for a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime History
  4. Office, Admiralty (December 1814). The Navy List. London: John Murray.
  5. The Royal Kalendar and Court and City Register for England, Scotland, Ireland and the Colonies: For the Year .... 1825. London: W. March. 1825.