Scotch Fort

1629 – 1632

Photographs of

Port Royal
Annapolis County
Nova Scotia

Located on the north side of the highway,
opposite the Port Royal Habitation National Historic Site

GPS location:   44°42'49"N   65°36'35"W
Google map

Plaque commemorating the Scotch Fort 1629-1632
Plaque date: 1952
Photographed on 31 October 2003

William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (c.1577-1640)
[Not to be confused with Sir William Alexander (c.1602-1638)]

Alexander persuaded King James VII/II that the only way to get Scots to emigrate
was to give them a  new  Scotland  comparable to New France and New England;
and the king conveyed the royal wish to the Council of New England and obtained
from  the  latter  the   surrender   of  all  their  territory  north  of  the  Sainte-Croix.
Thereupon the  king  immediately  instructed the  Scottish Privy Council  to prepare
a grant  of  this  territory  for  Sir  William  Alexander.  The grant  was  signed on
10 September 1621 (o.s.), making Sir William, on paper at least, lord proprietor of
the region now known as the three Atlantic Provinces and the Gaspé peninsula
– to be called for all time New Scotland or Nova Scotia.

Sir William Alexander (c.1602-1638)
[Not to be confused with William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (c.1577-1640)]

On 4 February 1628/29 Alexander, the Kirkes, and others obtained a
monopoly of the trade to Canada.  While the Kirkes went off to capture
Quebec, Alexander joined forces with Sir James Stewart, Lord Ochiltree,
helped him build a fort at Port de la Baleine (now Baleine) in Cape Breton,
and  then, under  the  guidance  of  Claude  de  Saint-Étienne de  La  Tour,
proceeded  to Port-Royal.  Here, in the  summer  of 1629,  Alexander  built
a new fort in which he decided to pass the winter, sending back his ship for
additional supplies and colonists.  He also dispatched Claude de La Tour
with an agreement for his father, Sir William, to sign, the terms of which
conferred the title of knight-baronet and a large grant of land on Claude
and his son Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, in return for their
assistance and allegiance.  This agreement, slightly modified,
was duly signed by Alexander's father 30 April 1630.

Monument commemorating the Scotch Fort 1629-1632
Photographed on 13 June 2003

Also see: Sir William Alexander monument, Halifax

Thanks to Mrs. Hannelore Fisher.

Scotch Fort 1629-1632: map showing location of monument
Map showing the location of the monument commemorating the
Scotch Fort 1629-1632, Port Royal, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia.

Roads are shown as they were in 1978.  Except for Highway 101, the
layout of the roads in 2006 has not changed much from that shown here.

Links to Relevant Websites

Father and Son on Different Sides of Conflict, for a While,
by Jim Bradshaw, in the Lafayette, Louisiana Daily Advertiser, 23 February 1999
...Claude de La Tour sailed to Nova Scotia in 1629 with Alexander's eldest son,
who was also named Sir William Alexander.  There were two groups of settlers
with them.  One group, led by Claude and the young Alexander, settled on what
would later be called the Allain River at a place they named Charlesfort.  It was
also called Scotch Fort and was less than five miles from the all but abandoned
French settlement at Port Royal.  A second group, led by Lord Ochiltree, settled
on Cape Breton Island at a place they called Baleine.  Later, when the French
built a fortress at the site, they called it Louisbourg...

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Father and Son on Different Sides of Conflict
for a While

by Jim Bradshaw
Lafayette, Louisiana Daily Advertiser,
23 February 1999

Archived: 2002 October 30

Archived: 2003 June 26

Archived: 2004 June 04

Archived: 2005 March 20

Archived: 2006 March 17

On the Trail of the Scots of Annapolis County
by Allen B. Robertson, in Celtic Heritage, March-April 2004
...The Scotch Fort was built on the banks of the Annapolis River near
Granville close to the site of the earlier Habitation or French fort.  It lasted
as a post only a short time before Britain and France exchanged colonial
possessions in their periodic battles and diplomatic manoeuvres.  (In 1632,
the territory was passed to the French as part of the marriage negotiations
of King Charles I of England.)  Moreover as a post inhabited only by men
[with the exception of two women] it was not an auspicious way to gain a
permanent foot hold in Nova Scotia.  King Charles I of England and Scotland
issued a command to Sir William Alexander in July 1631, "... to demolish
the fort that was builded there by your son and to remove all the people,
goods, ordnance, ammunition, cattle and other things belonging to the
colony."  The following March 1632 by the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye
all of Acadia alias New Scotland was returned to France.  The treaty also
meant that the attempt by Lord Ochiltree to settle Scots in Cape Breton
was halted.  Not all of the Scottish colonists chose to return to Scotland.
A few moved on to Boston...Residents of Annapolis County may be proud
of the fact that the only province in Canada to be named for the Scots
presence had its genesis on the banks of the Annapolis River.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
On the Trail of the Scots of Annapolis County
by Allen B. Robertson
Celtic Heritage,
March-April 2004

Archived: 2004 April 07

Saint-Germain-en-Laye treaty 1632 Wikipedia

Saint-Germain-en-Laye treaty, signed on 29 March 1632

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Saint-Germain-en-Laye treaty
signed on 29 March 1632

Archived: 2001 April 28

Archived: 2002 August 19

Archived: 2003 October 05

Archived: 2004 February 25

Remembering Our Acadian Heritage by Jim Bradshaw
Lafayette, Louisiana Daily Advertiser, 29 September 1994
...Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, was one of the ablest
of French statesmen.  He held strong influence over King Louis XIII, and would,
in fact, be the actual ruler of France for more than 18 years (1624-1642).
Richelieu saw the coming struggle for supremacy in North America, and saw
that France would have to strengthen its colonies there if it was going to
compete with the growing British strength.  He immediately organized a
trading company for Quebec and one of Acadie, sending his cousin,
Isaac de Razilly to North America as lieutenant governor of all New France
and Governor of Acadia.  In July 1632 Razilly sailed from France aboard the
Esperance a Dieu.  With him were two transports carrying 300 people, livestock,
seeds, tool, arms – everything needed to establish and maintain a community.
He would begin the first true steps toward permanent settlement of the Acadian
colony.  After landing at LaHave on 8 September 1632, Razilly took possession
of Port Royal and then took the fort at Penobscot by force.  Scottish families
still in Port Royal were sent back to England...

History of Acadia Quebec History Encyclopedia
The sturdy band settled at Scots Fort fared badly, and Alexander's project
suffered a final blow when by the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye, in 1632,
Charles I ceded Port Royal and Quebec to the French in return for the
unpaid dowry of Queen Henrietta Maria...

Chapter II: The British in Acadia Quebec History Encyclopedia
A company of Scots...settled at Port Royal in 1627 and erected a fort,
known as Scots Fort, on the site of the original settlement of De Monts.
This colony, with some reinforcements from Scotland, stood its ground
until the country was ceded to France in 1632. On the arrival of Razilly
in that year most of the Scottish settlers went home, and the few who
remained were soon merged in the French population...

Cardinal Richelieu, Prime Minister of France 1624-1642

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First uploaded to the WWW:   2004 March 20
Added Google Map link:   2008 March 28
Latest update:   2013 October 15