Known as Canada's Loyalist City, Saint John, New Brunswick, was founded in 1783 by tens of thousands of American colonists fleeing their homes in the thirteen colonies at the conclusion of the American Revolution. These "United Empire Loyalists" had chosen loyalty to their King over the rebellious course taken by many of their neighbours and found themselves unwelcome in the land of their birth when the rebel cause won out.
In 1981 the Loyalist Days Festival in Saint John was seeking a special way to celebrate the upcoming Bicentennials of the Loyalist Landings in 1783, and the granting of the city's Royal Charter in 1785. Visiting re-enactors, in the city to do research at the New Brunswick Museum, inspired the creation of a local re-enactment unit. The 2nd Battalion of the DeLancey's Brigade was chosen for reactivation under Loyalist Days' sponsorship when it was discovered that Saint John's first Mayor, Gabriel Ludlow, had been the commander of that unit.
A ceremonial Fife and Drum unit in the beginning, DeLancey's quickly became a colourful focus of the annual heritage festival. Women were quickly added to the unit, as wives and girlfriends of the musicians got involved. In 1983, infantry was added and enlistment grew. Eventually an artillery unit was created with the addition of a 3 pound field piece.
Today, DeLancey's Brigade includes infantrymen, musicians and civilian camp followers. The unit is now an independent group, sponsored and supported by its members who volunteer their time in fund raising activities under the banner of the DeLancey Re-enactors' Association. DeLancey's Brigade is affiliated with the British Brigade.
DeLancey's continues to appear at municipal and community events when time permits.
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