The Compagnies Franches de la Marine were the main defence force of New France from 1683 to 1755. The French department of the navy had been using its own troops to defend French colonies since 1674, and it deployed these forces to New France in 1683 to protect the lucrative fur trade and the local French population. The Compagnies Franches de la Marine were superseded by the deployment of regular French army troops under General Montcalm in 1756, and they ceased to exist in Canada after the British capture of Montreal on 8 September 1760.
The Canadian Forces Naval Reserve revived the Compagnies Franches de la Marine as an historical re-enactment unit in 1992, and they have been touring the country every summer since.
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