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Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary National Historic Site of Canada

L'Anse-aux-Bouleaux, Baie-Trinity, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/09/22

Submarine view of the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, M.-A. Bernier, 1997
Submarine view
Drawing attempting to reproduce the appearance of the Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, 2000.; National Geographic, Peter Waddell, vol. 198 (2000), p.77
Submarine view of the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, 2005.; Radio-Canada, 2005.
Submarine view

Other Name(s)

Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary National Historic Site of Canada
Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary
Épave du navire Elizabeth and Mary
Wreck of Anse aux Bouleaux
L'épave de l'Anse aux Bouleaux
Phips-Frontenac Wreck
L'épave de Phips-Frontenac

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary National Historic Site of Canada is an underwater archaeological site located on the seabed of Anse aux Bouleaux, not far from Baie-Trinité, in the Côte-Nord region of Québec. It is comprised of a section of the Elizabeth and Mary’s hull above and around which were found more than 4,000 artifacts that sank with the ship in 1690. These artifacts, witnesses of Sir William Phips’ tentative invasion of Québec in 1690, were taken from the site and are now preserved by the Centre de conservation du Québec. Official recognition refers to the wreck’s artifacts and its initial location 100 metres from the shoreline in a 200-radius perimeter without exceeding the high water mark on the shoreline.

Heritage Value

Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1996 because:
- it is indeed one of the ships of Sir William Phips’ fleet and most likely that of the Elizabeth and Mary.

The historic value of this site resides in the survival of the ship’s remains found in their initial location. The wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary is an important discovery for the history of Canada because it is one of the rare witnesses to the ill-fated expedition led by Sir William Phips in Québec in 1690.

In 1689, during the war between France and England, New France had proposed a plan to conquer New York in order to take control of the fur trade and fishing territories in North America. The various raids undertaken at the time caused panic among the population of these colonies who decided to organize an expedition to seize New France. In August 1690, a fleet of 32 ships left Nantasket, situated at the south entrance of Boston Bay, to attack Québec. The expedition failed and the fleet renounced its project of taking the City of Québec. During the voyage back, the fleet was struck by smallpox and a series of storms. Four ships and two companies were completely lost at sea.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1996 and October 2006.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- the original location of the Elizabeth and Mary wreck in the St. Lawrence River, on the seabed of Anse-aux-Bouleaux, not far from Baie-Trinité, in the Côte-Nord region of Québec;
- the continued association of the site with the collection of more than 4,000 perfectly preserved artifacts found during the dives which relate to the navigation, armament, food, clothing, hygiene and the living conditions of the expedition, removed for research, and in storage and on display to the public;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains associated with the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent.

Centre de conservation du Québec in the City of Québec (location of more than 4,000 artifacts removed from Wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary National Historic Site of Canada)




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1690/01/01 to 1690/01/01
1995/01/01 to 1995/01/01
1996/01/01 to 1997/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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