1713

Treaty of Utrecht signed, ending the War of the Spanish Succession. By the terms of that treaty, jurisdiction over mainland Nova Scotia and Newfoundland passed from France to Great Britain. During the summer an expedition of about 150 people sailed from Plaisance (Placentia, Newfoundland) to Cape Breton where they established a settlement which came to be called Louisbourg.

1717

Louisbourg selected to become the seat of government and military stronghold of Isle Royale.

1719

Construction of the fortifications began with work on the King’s Bastion. Most of the labourers were soldiers from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine, who also garrisoned the town.

1722

The first contingent of troops of the Career Regiment, a mercenary unit of Swiss and German soldiers, arrived in Louisbourg, specifically to work on the fortifications.

1725

Le Chameau, a king’s ship carrying supplies money and dispatches, was wrecked just north of Louisbourg during a furious gale on the night of 25 August. Among he 310 people who perished were the Intendant of New France and several military officers.

1732-33

Smallpox epidemic swept through Louisbourg, more than tripling the normal mortality rate in the town, with 72 people dying in 1732 and 79 in 1733.

1734

Masonry lighthouse, the first in Canada and the second on the continent, was completed on the rocky promontory at the harbour entrance. Gutted by fire two years later, it was replaced by another lighthouse which was finished in 1738.

1737

Census of Louisbourg recorded the town’s resident population at 2,023 (65 per cent civilians and 35 per cent soldiers). During the summer months that number was augmented by hundreds of visiting fishermen, sailors and merchants.

1740

War of the Austrian Succession (King George’s War) began in Europe.

1743

Elite unit of artillerymen, the Canonniers-Bombardiers, established at Louisbourg.

1744

War declared between France and Great Britain in March. Canso captured in May and an unsuccessful attempt to take Annapolis Royal launched in late summer. English warships and privateers tied up French shipping to and from Louisbourg for several months. In December most of the troops in Louisbourg mutinied.        

1745

Louisbourg blockaded, besieged and captured by a British naval force and about 4,000 troops from New England. All but a handful of French colonists were deported to France. For the next four years Louisbourg was occupied by the English.    

1746

Abortive French attempt led by the Duc D’Anville to recapture Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia.

1748

Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle signed, ending the War of the Austrian Succession. One of the items in the treaty provided for the return of Cape Breton to French jurisdiction in return for the French giving up several strategic border towns in the Low Countries.

1749

Halifax founded by the British; Louisbourg re-occupied by the French.

1750

Astronomical observatory, probably the first in Canada, established on the King’s Bastion by the Marquis de Chabert.

1754-55

Hostilities between French and British commenced although war not officially declared. In 1755 Fort Beauséjour taken by the British and expulsion of the Acadians began. That same year reinforcements reached Louisbourg in the form of troops from the Artois and Bourgogne Regiments.

1754-56

War officially declared between France and Great Britain.

1758

Louisbourg garrison reinforced by arrival of troops of the Cambis and Volontaires Etrangers Regiments. Shortly thereafter the town was blockaded, besieged and captured for the second time. The British besieging force numbered 13.000 while the French troops and militia totaled about 4,000. Virtually all French inhabitants were deported to France following the capitulation.

1759

Québec City captured by the British.

1760

Montréal capitulated. At Louisbourg the fortifications were systematically demolished by the British.

1763

Treaty of Paris signed ending the Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War). France’s once vast North American empire was reduced to only the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off Newfoundland.

1928

Government of Canada declared the townsite and environs of 18th century Louisbourg to be a National Historic Site.


1961

Government of Canada initiated a multi-million dollar project to reconstruct one-quarter of the original town and fortifications.