Guest page by Noel Schutz:

Another Le Saint-Louis

I am researching for the Le Saint-Louis (Saint Louys in the Jesuit Relations) that arrived at Quebec on September 25th, 1667 as it is possible that La Salle arrived on that ship. It was an important ship as it contained three Jesuits, the largest single shipment of les filles du roy since the effort began, some 100 workmen, and cargo to provide supplies for the colony-including 14 or 15 horses. There is reason to believe that it sailed from Dieppe since the 84 King's daughters who arrived on this ship came from Dieppe and the horses, ancestors of the rugged Canadian horse, that were selected not only from the King's own stables, but from Normandy and Brittany. It was a fairly large ship with valuable assets for New France. I was delighted to find that the same Dutch master shipwrights that built the Swedish Vasa,maybe was inspired by
a smaller vessel, Le Saint Louis in 1626. I was devastated to learn from Axel that this ship was scrapped in 1650. It was not, as it is said in some places, the same Le Saint Louis listed on the British list of ships-of-the-line in the French fleet in London, 1691. This later Saint Louis, however, is probably the same ship that went to New France in 1667 as another ship shown on the 1691 list was Le Constance, a first rated warship with 72 guns and three gun decks. The Le Constance was the first ship to sail to New France in 1667 and Le Saint Louis the last ship. In 1667 they were newly built ships of French construction along the same lines as the Saint Louis, but with improvements in design.

A break came when Axel discovered a picture of the prow of a ship that has been demonstrated to be the Saint Louis, with a figurehead (above) carved by an artist born after the construction of the Dutch-built Saint Louis, probably shortly before the voyage to New France in 1667. From the picture and the brief notice in the list of 1691, we can say that the Saint Louis was probably around 250 tons with 2 gun decks. It was old for a warship in 1691, and was destroyed by fire not long afterwards.
Thanks a lot Axel!
Noel Schutz,


I have been playing with computer graphic images of the St. Louis (my St. Louis, ha!). Using scale models of three ships (Batavia, Couronne, and Soleil Royal) I put together the first attached image. I chose Couronne for the guns because it has the right number if the top deck is removed and only the bottom two decks used. I used Soleil Royal for the stern because it had a better side view available, but I made the rear flat not rounded like most the ones before the 1670s I believe. I also made, second attachment, a color image of the prow and figurehead (nothing fancy, I could color the clothing of the figure head, but I left it wood colored and only colored the skin of the female Gallic warrior with Mercury's winged helmet, winged sandles, and wand with intertwinning snakes. Apparently the god Lug, whatever spelling, was cast as Mercury by Julius Ceasar, etc., and I guess it shows up in all the female renditions as well). Anyway, it is something I can look at and inspire me as I write. It is the ship of my fictional novel at any rate. You do real art by actually painting pictures, while I piece together things for computer images.


Schutz web site
Back Guest page
Back Home
Saint Louis