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Mayflower, Day by Day - Monday, 20 September 1621

20 Sep 2021 3:00 AM | Soule (Administrator)

Northern Neighbours

Today King James gave Sir William Alexander, master of requests for Scotland, a Patent for New Scotland: “bounding the same from Cape Sables to the Bay of St. Mary, thence N. to the River St. Croix thence N. to Canada River, so down the River to Gachep, thence S. E. to Cape Briton Islands and Cape Briton, thence round to Cape Sables again; with all Seas and Islands within six Leagues of the Western, Northern and Eastern Parts, and within 40 Leagues to the Southward of Cape Briton, & Cape Sables; to be called NOVA SCOTIA,”  The intriguing part of this grant is that James made it as King of Scotland, and not as King of England, the title under which he had made almost all previous grants (or using the consolidated “King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland” or some combination of the above).  As Alexander later recorded, his ambitions turned to the founding of a mainland colony; his previously granted lands in Newfoundland never again received extensive attention. This 1621 charter included lands in the New World that covered nearly all of the present-day Maritime provinces of Canada and the State of Maine.  That this new endeavour was envisioned to be distinctly Scottish was later made clear and explicit: “My Countrimen would never adventure in such an Enterprize, unless it were as there was a New France, a New Spaine, and a New England, that they might likewise have a New Scotland, and that for that effect they might have bounds with a correspondencie in proportion (as others had) with the Countrey whereof it should beare the name, which might hold of their owne Crowne, and where they might bee gouerned by their owne Lawes.” William Alexander, Encouragement to Colonies, 32, in David Laing, ed., Royal Letters, Charters and Tracts Relating to the Colonization of New Scotland (Edinburgh: Bannatyne Club, 1867).

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