Gouvernement du Canada - Commission des champs de batails nationaux Gouvernement du Canada - Canada

The National Battlefields Commission

Plains of Abraham





The British Army Bombardments

During the night of July 12 through 13, British gunners began bombarding Québec. Around 9 p.m., the sound of eleven artillery pieces could be heard and the destruction of the city began. The firing was not aimed at the French batteries but directed at the public buildings of the Upper and Lower Town. Throughout the month and until August, the shelling intensified. Moreover, the firing power was increased by adding cannons. From 11 artillery pieces, the British battery had progressively been increased to 29 pieces at the end of August88. The devastation was considerable and included the destruction of Québec's cathedral (July 22 and 23) and of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (August 8 and 9). The town was in ruins.

According to the Journal du Siège de Québec by Curé Récher, during the entire siege 40,000 cannonballs and nearly 10,000 bombs fell on the city. However, the number of casualties was not very high considering the magnitude of the bombardment. The damage was mostly material and involved churches, houses and public buildings89.