12th September 1567

Birth of the coloniser of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia – New Scotland – is one of Canada’s easternmost provinces. It has been inhabited for several thousand years, but was settled by French forces in the early 1600s and given its present name in a Royal Charter issued by James VI and I in the early-1620s.

The following decade, Clackmannanshire-born William Alexander, First Earl of Stirling began to settle Nova Scotia and surrounding territories, almost thirty years after the French had started doing the same.

Nova Scotia colonised

This came about because Alexander had become friends with – and a supporter of – King James VI and I in the early 1600s. He was knighted in 1614 and, seven years later, the king appointed him mayor of Nova Scotia, which at that point encompassed more land than comprises the current Canadian province.

While control over such a large territory might sound appealing, it was to be the cause of Alexander’s undoing, as the costs of establishing it proved significant, and getting people and supplies from Scotland to Canada was difficult.

Faltering expeditions

The first attempt at settling failed when the boat carrying the settlers was unable to make land at the appointed location and was forced to shelter through the winter in Newfoundland. Many died, and the survivors returned to Britain.

A later expedition was more successful – until politics got in the way. Charles I was to marry Henrietta Maria, the daughter of King Henry IV of France and, as part of the bargain struck between the two kingdoms, Charles agreed to hand back Nova Scotia to France. Alexander thus lost the money he had invested in colonising his territories in the New World.



Other events that occured in September

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