Battle of Chedabucto

The Battle of Chedabucto occurred against Fort St. Louis in Chedabucto (present-day Guysborough, Nova Scotia) on June 3, 1690 during King William's War (1689–97).[1] The battle was part of Sir William Phips and New England's military campaign against Acadia. New England sent an overwhelming force to conquer Acadia by capturing the capital Port Royal, Chedabucto, and attacking other villages. The aftermath of these battles was unlike any of the previous military campaigns against Acadia. The violence of the attacks alienated many of the Acadians from the New Englanders, broke their trust, and made it difficult for them to deal amicably with the English-speakers.[2]

Battle of Chedabucto
Part of the King William's War

Sir William Phips
Date3 June 1690
Result Massachusetts Bay victory
Massachusetts Bay Colony Acadia
Commanders and leaders
William Phips
Cyprian Southack
John Alden (sailor)
Dauphin de Montorgueil
88 soldiers 12 soldiers
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Historical context

Clerbaud Bergier led other merchants from La Rochelle, France in enjoying a fishing monopoly in Acadia. In 1682, Fort St. Louis was established by the Company of Acadia (Compagnie de la Peche Sedentaire) to protect the fishery.[3] The principal port was at Chedabucto Bay, which accounted for fifty fishers in 1686. Dauphin de Montorgueil was the commandant at Fort Saint-Louis. Bergier's monopoly was contested by other Acadian merchants, among them Acadian governor Michel Leneuf de la Vallière de Beaubassin, who had been selling fishing licenses to New Englanders.[4]

There were various intentions behind the New England attack on Acadia. Some wanted the expedition to lay the foundation for a profitable postwar relations with the Mi'kmaq and Acadians, while others sought only to punish them for their alleged complicity in recent attacks against New England.[5]


As part of Sir William Phips' expedition to capture the capital of Acadia Port Royal, Phips sent Captain Cyprian Southack to Chedabacto with 80 men to destroy Fort Saint-Louis and the surrounding French fishery. Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval was stationed at the fort with 12 soldiers. The soldiers at Fort Saint-Louis, unlike those at Port Royal, put up a fight before surrendering.[6] They tried to defend the fort for over six hours, until fire bombs burned the fort to the ground. Southack destroyed the enormous amount of 50,000 crowns of fish.[7] The garrison capitulated on honorable terms and were sent to the French capital of Newfoundland, Plaisance.[8][9]


Phips also dispatched Capt. John Alden (sailor) who raided Cape Sable (present-day south-west Nova Scotia) as well as the villages around the Bay of Fundy, particularly Grand Pre and Chignecto.

France regained control of Port Royal the following year. Joseph Robineau de Villebon, one of Meneval's assistants, returned to Port Royal from France. He reestablished French authority in Port Royal.

The Company of Acadia encountered a variety of difficulties on the way to its final dissolution in 1702.[10] Fort Saint-Louis remained in use at Chedabucto until the community was destroyed in the Squirrel Affair (1718).[11]

See also


  1. Haynes, p. 21
  2. Geoffrey Plank. An Unsettled Conquest: The British Campaign Against the Peoples of Acadia. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2001. p. 32
  3. Dunn (2004), p. 29.
  4. Fergusson, C. Bruce (1979) [1966]. "Duret de Chevry de la Boulaye, Charles". In Brown, George Williams (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. I (1000–1700) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  5. Geoffrey Plank. An Unsettled Conquest: The British Campaign Against the Peoples of Acadia. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2001. p. 11
  6. Dunn (2004), p. 39.
  7. Griffiths (2005), p. 153.
  8. Murdoch, Beamish (1865). A History of Nova-Scotia, Or Acadie. Vol. I. Halifax: J. Barnes. p. 195.
  9. See an account of the battle in Joseph Robineau de Villebon, Journal of Villebon, 3 October 1692, in Acadia at the End of the Seventeenth Century: Letters, Journals and Memoirs of Joseph Robineau de Villebon, by John Clarence Webster (St. John, N.B.: The New Brunswick Museum, 1934) Villebon's Journal,
  10. Daigle, Jean (1994). "1650–1686: 'Un Pays Qui n'Est Pas Fait'". In Phillip Buckner; John G. Reid (eds.). The Atlantic Region to Confederation: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4875-1676-5. JSTOR 10.3138/j.ctt15jjfrm.10.
  11. Haynes, p. 25


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