Bishop’s College “Drill Association,” Lennoxville, Was Not Authorised Dec. 6th, 1861.

The status quo, mainstream historian, Cadet Corps Roots account as fallows:— Bishop’s College Drill Association was formed in Lennoxville, Que. on December 6, 1861. Another 14 of the early “Drill Associations” or “Rifle Companies” stood up in Ontario and Quebec. Canada’s oldest continually serving cadet corps is No. 2 Bishop’s College School Cadet Corps in Lennoxville, Quebec, its roots firmly in the previous drill associations.

The above mainstream historian, on-line recycled account, is vague, questionable and debatable. Bishop’s College designated a Drill Association formed in Decr., 6th 1861, only unfolded in 1869; its seeds were firmly rooted in the Independent Rifle Companies, raised during the Trent Affair. As for “another 14 early Drill Associations or Rifle Companies stoop up, in Ontario and Quebec,” is misleading, erroneous. For Lower & Upper Canada by February 1862 over 60 Independent, Regular, Volunteer, “Rifle & Inf., Companies,” “Class A & B” were authorised. The amendment Section 11 consisted of; “professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions raised the above mentioned companies,” I only found two non-school’s DA.’s organised. Drill Associations were only assented by the militia act amendment, 9th June, 1862, with minimal interest from educational institutions, the majority preferred Rifle, Infantry, etc., Coy’s or were already authorized as active, independent, volunteer &c., pre amendment. This prompted a new regulation, obligating the Militia District Divisions and Sub-Divisions, of the “Sedentary Battalions, Companies,” too raise Drill Associations. By Dec., 1862 to 7th Feb., 1863, a total of 76 Drill Associations were authorised by GO., though 70 were allotted by Section 11. Circa 1867, post Fenian Raids, a push for University/College, Coy’s, authorised as Independent, Volunteer Militia, Rifle, Infantry, etc., restyled as Drill Associations, was afoot, included non-schools. Several factors for reorganisation: “Complying with Drill Associations Section 11: “Independent companies” of infantry composed of professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions……. Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.” Actually, just one factor influenced the Big Wigs, the amount of money saved by the government coffers.

Oddly, BCS historical accounts on their cadet corps roots, doesn’t support the Historical Click’s above status quo narrative. In “The Magazine Of Bishop’s College School Lennoxville, Que.,” 1961, page 11. “1861—Dec. 6 No. 2 Bishop’s College School Cadet Corps, R.C.A.C. was authorized by Militia General Orders of December 6, 1861 as the Volunteer Rifle Company of Bishop’s College, abbreviated in Militia forms to Bishop’s College Coy. Although Captain Christopher Rawson is credited with forming the Corps, it is possible that he was put up to it by some of the boys. On the same day that he was elected trustee of the school, the school corporation was informed of the wish of some of the pupils to form a “Rifle Corps.” It was permitted provided that it did not ‘interfere with other important duties.’ There were under 30 in the Corps. The Company was on the same footing as any “voluntary militia unit of the time”……..1865—The Pay List for this year shows 28 men in the Corps.” In BCS: From Little Forks To Mountain Hill, by J. Graham Patriquin 1978, styled as, Bishop’s College Volunteer Rifle Company Lennoxville….. Then page 43, styles it as…. The Bishop’s College Rifle Company volunteered to a boy.

In the Minutes of Corporation Meeting, Bishop’s College. Nov. 20, 1861: “Memorial from some of the pupils of the Junior Department respecting the formation of a Rifle Corps” . . . “It was resolved that, provided it be under such restrictions as shall satisfy the Rector and not interfere with other important duties, the Corporation approves the formation of such a Corps.” Return: February, 13th 1862, styled as “Bishop’s College Corps, Lennoxville.”

© Bishop’s College School. Canada's Bishop's College Rifle Company, 1867.

© Bishop’s College School. Canada’s Bishop’s College Rifle Company, 1867.



Regular Militia.

  1. We recommend that the Province be divided into such “Military Districts” as the Commander-in-Chief may, from time to time, direct.
  2. That each Military District be divided into “Regimental Divisions.”
  3. That in order to facilitate the enrolment, relief and reinforcement of an Active Force, each Regimental Division be divided into “Sedentary Battalion Divisions,” and subdivided into “Sedentary Company Divisions.”
  4. That each Regimental Division shall furnish one Active and one Reserve Battalion, to be taken as nearly as practicable in equal proportions from the male population ul’ Bach division, between the ages of 18 and 45.
  5. That each Company of an Active Battalion, together with its corresponding Reserve Company, be taken from within the limits of a defined territorial division, the boundary of which shall be identical with that of a Sedentary Battalion Division, or of a distinct portion of such division.
  6. That in order to accommodate the Sedentary Battalion Divisions to the organization of the Active Battalions, the limits of the former be, where necessary, re-arranged.

Volunteer Militia.

  1. We recommend that each of the principal cities of the Province, namely, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton and London, with such portions of the surrounding country as may, from time to time, be added to them by the Commander-in-Chief, shall constitute a Military District, to be divided into Regimental and Sedentary Battalion Divisions, as hereinbefore detailed; that they be allowed to furnish Volunteer Militia of the three arms in the proportions hereinafter detailed, in lieu of Active Battalions of Regular Militia. In the event of these cities failing to furnish their full complement of Volunteers, they shall, in part or altogether, fall under the General Regulations of the Regular Militia, in such manner as the Commander-in-Chief shall direct.
  2. That all the Regiments of Volunteer and Regular Militia shall be numbered from one upwards, the numbers to be drawn by lot.
  • T. GALT,
  • E. P. TACHE,
  • T. E. CAMPELL,

Secretary. Quebec, March 15, 1862.


  • Militia Act Amendment: Chapter 1, 26 Victoria, 1862.
  • [Assented to 9th June, 1862.]

 WHEREAS it is expedient to make the following provisions (Preamble) in amendment of chapter thirty-five of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, intituled: An Act respecting the Militia: Con. Stat. Canada, cap. 35. Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent, of the Legislative Council and Assembly of Canada, enacts as follows:


 Section 11. (Certain Companies may be organized, &c, but not paid): The Commander in Chief may sanction the organization of associations for purposes of Drill and of independent Companies of Infantry composed of professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions, or of persons engaged in or about the same, or of reserve men; but such Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.


© Bishop’s College School. Bishop's College Cadets 1808.

© Bishop’s College School. Bishop’s College Cadets 1908.


Return of Arms, Accoutrements, and Great Coats issued by the Military Store Department to the Volunteers of Canada, on requisition from the Militia Department.

Dated, February, 13th 1862, styled as: “Bishop’s College Corps, Lennoxville,” great coats… 55. While all others are styled as VMR, VRC, VIC, Drill Asso., others just Rifle, Infantry, Artillery, or Engineer Coys: Per-Say: 2nd Quebec Volunteer Rifle Company…..3rd Ottawa Volunteer Rifle Company….. Dunville VRC….2nd Cornwall VRC…2nd St. Catharines VRC….York VRC…… College Mason Inf. Coy…..Three Rivers Inf. Coy…&c., &c…

  • De SALABERRY, Lt.-Colonel. Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, L. C.
  • WALKER POWELL, Lt.-Colonel. Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, U. C
Canada Militia Returns Of Arms, Great Coats &c. 1862.

Canada’s Militia Returns Of Arms, Great Coats &c. 1862.



Under the provisions of the 11th Section of the amended Militia Law, 70 Drill Associations, composed of the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Sedentary Militia, have been organized as follows: say, Lower Canada, 34; Upper Canada, 42; all of which will be supplied with arms and instruction for purposes of drill. Judging from the number of rolls reaching the Department daily, it is fair to presume that during the next three months the total number of these associations will be considerably increased.

  • De SALABERRY, Lt.-Colonel. Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, L. C.
  • WALKER POWELL, Lt.-Colonel. Dep. Adjt. Genl. Militia, U. C.

The Adjutant General’s Office, Quebec, February 10th, 1863.

  • To His Excellency, the Governor General, &c, &c, &c. Quebec.


In the Return Of the Volunteer Infantry, in Canada, at present recognized by the Government, as called for by a Resolution of the Legislative Assembly, dated 28th April, 1862. The Return is divided, Lower and Upper Canada, provides the “Class,” type of corps, CO., amount of officers and men: Oddly the names of the Infantry, Rifle, companies, Battalions etc., are not provided.

For Bas-Canada, “M.D. 10. Lennoxville” consisted of 3 “Rifle Companies,” (by May styled as “2nd Rifle Coy Bishop’s College,” Lennoxville), was classified, “Class B” company, under the command of Capt. Yule, with 35 men, and 3 officers.

  • DE SALABERRY, Lt. Colonel, D. A. G. M. L. C.
  • JOHN W. NASH, Lt. Colonel, D. A. G. M. U. C.
  • MILITIA DEPARTMENT, Quebec, 3rd May, 1862.


Canada's Militia Returns for 1862.

Canada’s Militia Returns for 1862.



The Active Or Volunteer Militia Force List Of Canada, Apr. 30th 1863. p.27.

 Volunteer Militia Rifle and Infantry Companies.

Bas-Canada No. 10 M.D.

  • 1st Lennoxville Rifle Coy..Aut. by GO., June 19th 1861: CO Capt. Christopher Rawson, June 19th, 1961
  • 2nd Rifle Coy Bishop’s College..Aut by GO., Decr., 6th 1861: CO Capt. W.A. Yule, Decr 6th 1961.


 The Annual Volunteer & Service Militia List of Canada. 1st Feb. 1865.

 Volunteer Militia Infantry and Rifle Corps.

Bas-Canada: Lennoxville, Bishop’s College Rifle Coy. Decr., 6th 1861.


The Annual Volunteer and Service Militia List of Canada Mar. 31st 1866.

Volunteer Militia Infantry and Rifle Corps.

Bas-Canada, 6th Division: Lennoxville, Bishop’s College Rifle Coy. Decr., 6th 1861.


The Annual Volunteer and Service Militia List of Canada Mar. 31st 1867.

Bas-Canada, Independent Companies: Bishop’s College Rifle Coy… G.O….Decr., 6, 1866, (?) “ Lennoxville.”



© Bishop’s College School. Canada's Bishop's College Shooting Team, 1910.

© Bishop’s College School. Canada’s Bishop’s College Shooting Team, 1910.


The Annual Militia Lists of Canada for 1862, 64, 68 till 1870 are missing, burnt in the pre 1916 fire, or as claimed, never published. Bishop’s College Rifle Coy, Lennoxville, was “Class B” militia independent rifle coy, post 1867 classified a “Volunteer Company,” eluded the change until 1869. Several were left, and by 1870s all schools complied with now, Section 58 respecting the Militia Act, noted many rifle, infantry non-school Coy’s, reorganised with newly raised Active Militia Battalion’s. The General Order gazetted by the C.-in-C., redesignated as “The Bishop’s College Drill Association of Lennoxville.” For BCRC., the designation, “Independent,” the latter “Volunteer,” wasn’t officially styled into the name, considering Bishop’s was classified “Independent Company” in 1867. By the evidence provided from 1861-69, certainly not cadet corps roots: Connected to the first Drill Associations were, Sedentary Militia, no schools organized as ordered by Section 11., MA.A, 1862. Making the connection, “or rifle companies” as claimed by the historical click, is vague, considering viz; independent, volunteer, regular, active, rifle, and infantry, Coy’s. The above top page Mainstream history links on Cadet Corps Roots provided, I left out first part of their narrative, as fallows: “Trinity College Volunteer Rifle Company was formed June 1, 1861 in Port Hope, Ontario.”

The facts are: “Trinity College” was organised by MGO 1st June 1861 as an, “Independent Rifle Coy,” at “Weston” Ontario. By GO., 3rd June 1861 Trinity College, was designated a “Volunteer Militia Rifles Coy” and attached to  2nd Batt. Volunteer Militia Rifles Of Canada, No 9 Coy.  The battalion was reorganisation in late 1862, and redesignated 2nd Batt. VMR’s C or “Queen’s Own Rifles,” Toronto: No. 8 Company “Trinity College” WMR’s C., obviously not cadet corps roots.


 By the documents provided one can deduct, plausible first styled as fallows:—

  • “Bishop’s College Corps, Lennoxville,” from 1861-62.
  • “2nd Rifle Coy Bishop’s College,” Lennoxville, Apr. 1863-64.
  • “Bishop’s College Rifle Coy,” Lennoxville, ca1865- Feb. 26, 1869.
  • “The Bishop’s College Drill Association of Lennoxville,” Feb. 27 1869-?


Bishop’s College 1869 Gazetted GO as Fallows:—

The Canada Gazette, Ottawa, Saturday, Feb. 27th 1869.

The Canada Gazette, Ottawa, Saturday, Feb. 27th 1869.








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