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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Louisbourg: A Focus of Conflict 

H E 13


Peter Bower

March 1970

Fortress of Louisbourg

Chapter VII: The Key to Canada

The news of the victory, at Louisbourg had reached London at a time when there were hopes in the British ministry that the quickest way to end the war successfully might be through an intensification of the military effort. These hopes were dashed when Marshall Maurice de Saxe began his series of great victories at Fontenoy on May 11, and proceeded to overrun much of the Austrian Netherlands, to the consternation of the Dutch, who were anxious not to become a principal in the war against France, but to remain simply an auxiliary ally to England. In June, 1745, an Austro-Saxon attempt to regain Silesia from Frederick II of Prussia failed. In the Italian theatre, French and Spanish forces were defeating the armies of the Austro-Sardinian alliance which had been engineered by Carteret in 1743. In July, Charles Edward sailed for the British Isles, where he was able to keep the field for nearly a year, throwing London into a panic by December. [1] During what for England were deteriorating war conditions, Robert Trevor, the British minister at The Hague, with the Dutch pensionary,, drew up a peace proposal in July based on the mutual restitution of conquests. However, on July 31, the news arrived in London of the conquest of Louisbourg. [2] This development profoundly effected an already complicated war.

Victory-starved England was thrilled by the exploit at Louisbourg. France, apparently invincible in Europe, had been humbled in North America. The Earl of Chesterfield, who had been brought into the "Broad-bottom" ministry from his fiery opposition to Carteret's adventurous foreign policy, clearly realised that the acquisition of Cape Breton Island would alter radically the complexion of peace negotiations between France and England. Chesterfield ardently desired peace, believing England would be ruined by the continuation of this war in which she seemed to be faring so badly. He described to Trevor England's affairs abroad as being "in my opinion, the most melancholy and the most difficult one that 1, or I believe any one now alive remembers...." The Earl, who lacked a substantial following in Parliament, had pinned his hopes peace on the efforts of Trevor and the pensionary "to extricate us out of the dismal labyrinth in which we are now wandering." He informed Trevor that, 

Cape Breton... is become the darling object of the whole nation, it is ten times more so than ever Gibraltar was, and people are laying in their claims, and protesting already against the restitution of it upon any account. [3]

Indeed, pamphlets proliferated in England praising the efforts of the colonials at Louisbourg, and urging, for example, "Rather let the War with France continue these twenty Years, providing we only prosecute it on our own Element [the sea] ." [4] The victory at Louisbourg, as Chesterfield realised, presented "One, almost insurmountable difficulty ... in any negotiations with France." [5]

The acquisition of Cape Breton Island also complicated the problems of holding together the various factions of the British ministry assembled under Henry Pelham, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pelham's so-called "Broad-bottom" administration, was brought together after John Carteret was forced from his position of ascendancy over the King in November, 1744. It was constituted from political elements unified largely by their common distrust of the arrogant personality and policies of continental involvement pursued by George's favourite minister, the often brilliant, but erratic Carteret. [6] Pelham's delicately balanced ministry, sustained in great measure by Newcastle's ceaseless and solicitous efforts, was deeply divided on matters of war policy and was severely shaken by the setbacks in Europe. The ministry fell roughly into three groups over the issue of Cape Breton, as A.H. Buffinton has suggested: "one which desired peace one which was determined not to purchase peace by the surrender of Cape Breton, and a third group, headed by Newcastle, which was ready to follow whatever course would hold the ministry together." [7] The lines of these groups blurred and melded with new developments in diplomacy, war and internal politics, but remained essentially distinct, inhibiting the creation of a consistent and appropriate war policy for Great Britain.

Probably the most durable aspect of Britain's foreign policy during the war with France was Newcastle's belief that England could not face France without the assistance of her traditional allies, Austria and the Dutch Republic. He also considered that the acquisition of Cape Breton Island was "of great consequence to the Trade and Navigation of this country; and the Loss of it will be severely felt by the French" [8] The First Lord of the Admiralty, the lethargic but influential Duke of Bedford, led a sizeable faction which opposed the restitution of the fortress to France. As Newcastle observed to Chesterfield in October, 1745, "A peace with France we must have if possible ... a peace with France is impossible without giving up Cape Breton ... [but] there the Duke of Bedford and his friends will be immovable." [9] Basically, Newcastle was prepared to argue for the continuation of the war and the retention of Louisbourg so long as such a course appeared practicable militarily, so long as he could maintain Bedford's powerful support and keep the ministry together, and so long as it would not jeopardise the alliance with Austria and Holland.

Newcastle's brother, and first minister of the realm, Pelham, was in a dilemma and a state of confused anxiety. He longed for peace, but was fearful of breaking with Newcastle who was inclined to be warlike. [10] Pelham gloomily predicted that a "good Peace is every mans wish, an indifferent one would be gladly accepted, A bad one I am afraid will be our lot." Furthermore, he thought that "Cape Breton will be a stumbling block to all negotiations...." [11] The capture of Louisbourg, he wrote,

would occassion difficulty on one side, as well as facilitate in the other towards making a Peace. But our people are so mad upon it that it requires more spirit and conduct to get the better of, than I doubt our present Gouvernors are masters of .... [12] 

He observed to Trevor, who was at The Hague, that 

the generality ... look upon it [Cape Breton] as a most valuable possession for this country, as indeed it is if it did not endanger the quiet possession of what is more valuable. Gibraltar and Minorca have kept us for thirty years at variance with Spain. I am of the opinion Cape-Britton, will do the same And to speak as a Financier, the ballance of  that account is much against us. [13]

Pelham received numerous letters from associates on the subject of Cape Breton Island following the victory at Louisbourg. Michael Lee Dicker, a Devonshire merchant with interests in the sugar trade and commerce of the American colonies, including the Newfoundland fisheries, [14]congratulated his friend Pelham on the conquest, which came at a time when "Public Affairs, in general, it must be confess'd wear at present but a gloomy Aspect...." The conquest was particularly significant because of its potential effect of augmenting British trade while reducing that of France. Furthermore, Dicker wrote: 

My Letters from a Gentleman of great Experience, very extensive Knowledge in Trade, residing at Boston in New England; speak of this Conquest as a thing of the last Importance, on Account of the Security it will be, to the Trade of our Northern Colonies; & the most Valuable Acquisition the Crown cou'd make in America. And that it has the greatest Command of the Fishery, Furrs & Mast Trade, of any one place. And is now the Key to the French Settlements. At the same time they add (as some Allay to the Joy this has given them) that this Expedition has been so chargeable & expensive to them, that unless the Government here, does so far Reimburse them, as to enable them to redeem the large Quantity of Bills of Credit issued to carry it on, it will leave them involv'd in the utmost difficulties, & render it impossible to make Remittances to their Friends in England, for the European Goods they have received from thence, to be sold for their Acc[oun]t. [15]

The Chancellor realised the necessity of keeping the British merchant class contented, for on them rested much of the burden of financing the wars in which Britain became engaged. William Pitt later carried the connection of war and trade to a fine policy, closely linking the one with the other, cultivating his good relationships with merchants, especially those of London. The merchants recognised that Pitt's government was pledged to carry on a war for and upon trade, and determined that trade should support the cost. [16] Indeed, the Wars of Spanish and Austrian Succession were by no means devoid of elements of a war for trade and commercial empire, but these years lacked the clear-cut imperial policy evident during the Seven Year's War under Pitt's direction. In short, there was no man of unbending resolution yet able to step forward to untangle the complications of the European situation and to impose a course of action on the government and country more suited to the interests and capabilities of Great Britain. Late ii, the year of 1745, the Earl of Harrington, the Secretary of State for the Northern Department and the minister responsible for directing diplomatic activities at The Hague, wrote to Trevor stressing the urgent need for a peace congress with France. He indicated England might be willing to discuss concessions to Spain in Italy, mutual restitution of conquests with France, and even intimated that an Anglo-Dutch accommodation with France might be negotiated despite the anticipated opposition of Austria. Harrington believed Austria was so obsessed with regaining Silesia that the requirements of the allies were being sacrificed needlessly, and that the overall military position of the allies was suffering as a consequence. He wrote that the "obstinate Inflexibility of the Court of Vienna in rejecting all Terms of Reconciliation" with Prussia was thwarting allied efforts to detach Frederick from his alliance with France. He bluntly blamed Austria for the "present situation at Home, & Abroad, & the very dangerous Crisis to which our Affairs are reduced.... " [17]

On the matter of mutual restitution of conquests, Harrington pointed out to Trevor that England was compelled to demand the restoration of the Austrian Netherlands and the demolition of the fortifications at Dunkirk. In return he fully expected France would demand that England relinquish Cape Breton Island. He wrote:

But the Possession of This Last is looked upon at present by every body here to be of such infinite Importance to England, that None of His Majesty's
Servants can possibly take upon Themselves to advise the Offering to part with it upon any Consideration, till such Time, as there shall be an Opportunity upon the Meeting of the Parliament, to form a more authentick & certain Judgement of the Sense of the Nation concerning It. [18]

The ministry recognized Cape Breton would be a valuable bargaining point, and although. Harrington expressed a general desire to retain Louisbourg, he did not eliminate the possibility of it being restored to France through peace negotiations. Harrington was surprised that France had not already insisted on a preliminary agreement for the restitution of the island as a pre-condition for the opening of formal peace negotiations at a congress of the belligerents. Consequently, wrote the Secretary of State, there was as yet "no Necessity for an immediate Decision of that Question."19 In fact, the French government was already formulating ambitious military plans which included far more than just the recapture of Louisbourg, while on the diplomatic front the French foreign minister, Marquis d'Argenson, advanced early in 1746 a peace proposal which included the restitution of the island, but offered little in return of interest to Great Britain. [20] 

As Chesterfield feared, the capture of Louisbourg effectively killed the peace project prepared by Trevor and the Dutch Pensionary. The British ministry, aware of the intense national delight in the victory, but too divided internally to come to a firm decision regarding the disposition of Louisbourg, resorted to the adoption of an attitude of diplomatic procrastination, which was repugnant to the Dutch, but which could not be construed as a termination of any understanding with England. This tactic was most alarming to the Dutch who fearfully observed the French armies sweeping through the barriers of the Austrian Netherlands. The Dutch, who depended on foreign commerce and their transport and exchange trade for their prosperity and existence, were never officially at war with France during the Austrian Succession conflict, but maintained the fiction that they were merely an auxiliary to Britain. The overriding considerations for' Holland were to maintain Antwerp's non-competitive position by keeping the Scheldt closed to navigation, and by preserving the security of the Barrier towns, garrisoned by the Dutch, both of which privileges had been guaranteed to the United Provinces by the peace settlement of 1713. Being the financial centre of Europe and reliant on foreign commerce and industry, the Dutch simply could not afford to alienate openly any of the major belligerents. One of the most persistent diplomatic efforts by Britain during the war was to attempt to persuade the Dutch to declare war on France, while the French government endeavoured to detach them entirely from their association with England by threats, promises, and by "throwing the whole Odium of the war upon England ... [21] The failure of the peace project was even more distressing to the Dutch when Britain withdrew the greater part of English forces from the Netherlands, and even called for Dutch assistance, to meet the Jacobite threat. Furthermore, with Saxe poised to attack Brussels, the Dutch could not willingly accept Britain's temporizing attitude toward the immediate assembling of a peace congress. [22]

Trevor was in a delicate situation at The Hague. He was aware of the confused conditions in England: the disagreements within the ministry over war policy, the fear of a French invasion in support of Charles Edward, the dismal showing of allied forces against French, Prussian and Spanish armies in every continental theatre of war from the Netherlands to Italy, and particularly the danger of Dutch defection from the allied cause, the prospect of which he warned Pelham was terribly real. [23] In November, 1745, Trevor conveyed the Pensionary's acute sense of dismay at Britain's apparently obdurate attachment to Louisbourg. According to Trevor, the Pensionary lamented

the tyranny of popular prejudices; and said he never thought to have seen the national concern in England for the recovery of the barrier and coast of Flanders, for the immediate preservation of the Republick's independency, and even of our own constitution, run so low as to make those objects not to be thought worth the purchasing with the sacrifice of a loose and precarious acquisition in America. [24]

The British ministry could not agree on the disposition of Louisbourg. Pelham's letters to Trevor suggest his ministry was almost incapacitated by events over which it seemed to have no control. On December 22, barely a week after Charles Edward had begun his retreat from Derby, [25] Pelham repeated to Trevor his sense of utter despondency over the war situation and his sympathy for the Dutch who were facing such great tribulatiors. Until the Jacobites were defeated, he wrote, "we are not a nation, and whatever good words we might send you, I am sure it would not be in our power to keep 'em." As for the situation in Holland, wrote Pelham, 

I can only say, I am fully convinced of the danger, and yet cannot give you any certain assurances of a remedy from hence .... we have nothing to say for ourselves, but that our condition is so like their own, that they have nothing to do but to look att home, and then they will see a true picture of this country. It is vain to look back, but you know my thoughts so well, that I am sure you are before hand with me in what I have to say. Our hasty engagements three years ago, making ourselves principals in all the Wars upon the countries. without any plan concerted, or any obligations from the Partys we were serving[?], excepting it was to take on many, and apply it as they pleased; has rendered this country incapable of doing what it's interest and inclination will always induce it to do. We have provok'd our Enemys 'till they have brought the seat of War into our own country; and we have no authority over them, that should be our friends to compel them to purr-uo such methods as might possibly extricated us out of some of our difficultys. [26]

Complicating the situation, Newcastle cherished the idea of acquiring effective control of British foreign policy, which he was prepared to obtain by undermining the authority of his colleague, Harrington. For the time being, Newcastle lacked an alternative policy to Harrington s attempts to advance peace negotiations, as well as committed supporters should he try open opposition to the Earl's leadership as Secretary of State for the Northern Department. Furthermore, Newcastle could not count on the support of King George, who remained cordial and tractable enough during the Stuart threat to the throne, but who still harboured resentment against the ministry which had forced him to part with Granville late in 1744. [27] The bonds of Pelham's ministry were fragile and liable to part under any additional strain, especially should a major shift occur in the power base enabling one faction or another to manoeuvre into a stronger position. Any such shifts at this time were liable to be dangerously disruptive rather than constructive because no one faction was capable of commanding enough support to provide an effective and cohesive ministry. Newcastle, a master of compromise and intrigue, chose to continue trying to maintain the integrity of the present ministry and await a propitious moment to make, his move. Consequently, throughout 1745 and into 1746, the ministry was able to withstand its internal dissensions, but with the result that there was a "conduct of affairs based on conflicting principles, half pursued, involving a vast expenditure of men and treasure to no definite purpose. [28] Pelham, hopelessly aware of the precarious structure of his ministry which was inhibiting the development of a consistent foreign and military policy, summarized the situation admirably in a letter to Trevor dated September 21, 1745. He wrote:

some Resolution, and that a great. one, should be come to; but what that great one should be, is the difficulty, scarce three people think alike in that .... [29]

If Pepperrell, Warren and Shirley knew that powerful elements in the ministry advocated the restitution of Cape Breton to France to facilitate peace negotiations, this knowledge did not diminish their efforts to convince the government to provide for a permanent military and civil occupation of the newly acquired territory. Their recommendations had three fundamental and interrelated objectives: the establishment of a permanent garrison of regular British forces at Louisbourg; [30] the promotion of British Protestant settlement on Cape Breton Island, Ile-St-Jean and Acadia; the extension of British hegemony throughout those parts of North America occupied by the French, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence regions, along the great river, and down to the lower reaches of the Mississippi River. Louisbourg was viewed as the key to this monumental and visionary scheme, and now it was in British hands.

Within a few days of the surrender of the fortress, Pepperrell and Warren forwarded to Newcastle a brief letter containing the first tentative proposals for utilising Cape Breton Island postulated on actual British possession of the territory. Explaining that they had not yet had time to elaborate their recommendations, they suggested that the ministry supply Louisbourg as soon as possible to relieve the dangerous shortage of warlike stores and basic provisions. They wrote:

a strong garrison of troops [should] be posted here before winter, as most of these employed in this expedition are in such circumstances as will induce them to desire to return home, as soon as possible, which is agreeable to Governor Shirley's promise in his proclamation for the encouragement of the expedition. We further beg leave to represent to your Grace, that we humbly apprehend it will more than anything conduce to the speedy settlement of this island, which would be greatly to his Majesty's advantage in the protection and maintenance of this fortress, that a civil government should be established here, and Louisbourg be made a free port for some years. [31]

Within two weeks of the news of the-capitulation of Louisbourg reaching London, the Admiralty had ordered the Navy Board to hire immediately transports "for carrying two Battalions of Foot from Gibraltar to Louisburgh .... [32] Although the attempt failed to get troops and supplies to Louisbourg before the onset of winter, this expeditious action, which preceded by several days the arrival in London of more detailed proposals from Pepperrell and Warren, suggests the importance the minis I try attached to the security of the conquest. [33]

Warren and Pepperrell recommended that a garrison of 3,000 troops would be necessary at the fortress for the first winter. Since such a large number of regular soldiers might not be obtained easily from Britain at this time, the garrison might be brought to strength by the regular establishment of two regiments from New England "consisting of one thousand men each, under their own officers...." In addition, they suggested that a squadron of warships be stationed at Louisbourg "to maintain this garrison and to prepare for any further conquests his Majesty may undertake in these parts...." Pepperrell and Warren pointed out the necessity of drawing on the British treasury for repairs and maintenance of the fortress and its garrison because the colonies had not empowered either man to charge the costs to the participating colonies. They also informed Newcastle that they were attempting to negotiate a treaty with the Indian allies of the French. Some of these Indians were being held by the English at the fortress, and they had, according to Pepperrell and Warren, 

the highest notion of our arms since the reduction of this garrison, wch they look'd upon as impregnable, and fear that we shall extend our conquest to Quebeck & all Canada, in which if we proceed they know they must come over to us or be destroyed. We therefore think it a very proper time to begin such a treaty, and if a few presents for them were sent over, we make no doubt but it would have a peculiar good tendency toward our success therein. [34]

Newcastle's replies to the various proposals, though temporizing on some matters, were gratifying in many respects. On August 21, 1745, the Duke signed a dispatch conveying the delight of the ministry andKing, who was still in Hanover. with the victory at Louisbourg. He mentioned that the two regiments from Gibraltar were to be sent to the fortress as soon as possible, that the Ordnance Office was under orders to provide the munitions and stores requested, that an additional supply of spare arms for 2,000 men were to be supplied as well as 200 swivel guns for the walls, that two engineers were to be sent to Louisbourg, and that the Commission of Victualling was to dispatch provisions sufficient for 3,000 men for eight months. Care would be taken to supply the necessary warm clothing for the garrison, and the expenses encountered at Louisbourg were to be carefully accounted and charged appropriately against the Paymaster General of the Forces, the Treasurer of the Navy or the Treasurer of the Ordnance. [35] The advice to establish two American regiments was being carefully considered. wrote Newcastle, and was later accepted with Pepperrell and Shirley named as the colonels. [36] Newcastle commended the proposal to treat with the Indians, and urged Pepperrell and Warren "to use your utmost Endeavours to cultivate & improve the good Disposition, which you think They have, to come into our Interest." Such presents as were usually given to Indians would be provided "by the first opportunity". The Duke concluded his comments by assuring Pepperrell and Warren that the other Points mentioned in your Letters-are under Consideration, and that no Time will be lost in coming to a Determination upon Them." [37] Pepperrell and Warren were most encouraged by the rapid and largely favourable response from the Duke. On October 14, Pepperrell observed to Newcastle:

I esteem it very happy that such speedy measures are concerting for the effectual support and encouragement of this acquisition as appears by the troops and stores orderd here mention'd in yr Grace's letter, and by the other particulars which Mr Warren and myself took the liberty to recommend being under consideration and intended to be determin'd upon without loss of time .... [38] 

Warren was particularly interested in naval aspects of the new British stronghold in North America. He envisaged Louisbourg being used during the war, he wrote to Newcastle,

as a Rendez vous for making up the Trade from the West Indies, and all America, between the Month of April, and Middle of November, would secure the Trade (who are now exposed under very insufficient Convoy) by Joyning here, and going to Europe to [gether?] His Majestys Ships employed on this Service might, while the Trade were making up here, cruize on the Enemy about the Entrance of the Gulph of Saint Lawrence, and Newfoundland, to distress the French in their Fishery. [39] 

Warren estimated that for 162,000 sterling, the old French careening wharf in the Louisbourg harbour could be fitted to heave two 70-gun warships at a time; "however," he wrote, "I hope to fix it at a very small Expence for one of fifty, or Sixty [guns], of which if their Lordships approve, they will please to direct the Navy Board to send Careening Gear by the Squadron they design shall come here in the Spring...." [40] Soon after receiving Warren's letter, the Admiralty ordered careening gear to be sent to the fortress in the spring. [41]

This was a significant move by the Admiralty, for as historian Daniel Baugh has written, during "the eighteenth century the decision to construct a careening wharf was tantamount to a decision to establish a [naval] base. [42] In short, during 1745 and 1746, the ministry took steps which seemed to guarantee Louisbourg a future in the British colonial system. A regular military garrison had been promised, and the fortress appeared destined to become a permanent naval base for the fleet.

Pepperrell, Warren and Shirley hoped that Cape Breton Island would become more than an outpost of British arms. Warren suggested to Newcastle that there were "certain means of making this a florishing colony, and of reducing the very great, & extraordinary expence the Government must necessaryly be at 'till the Collony is well Peopled, to maintain it merely as a Garrison & Military Government... . [43] He suggested that settlement would not flourish under a military administration, pointing to Nova Scotia as an example of the failure of a military government to attract English settlers. Consequently, he stated, the French subjects of the British Crown in Nova Scotia had remained undiluted by English influence. The Acadians surrounded the puny British garrison at Annapolis Royal, and because of the minimal contacts with the English, "will be ever a Thorn in our Side.... [44] Shirley agreed with Warren's analysis and noted that a civil government had always seemed necessary in the northern parts of British America to attract settlers. [45]

Governor Shirley had quickly joined Pepperrell and Warren in pressing the ministry to make some definite and permanent provisions for the new territory. In fact, being a colonial governor genuinely and intimately concerned with broad matters of trade and colonial policy, he increasingly took the lead in this respect. Furthermore, he was already one of the most trusted advisors in the colonies to the British government on North American affairs, especially on the issue of the Anglo-French competition for trade, and its concomitant, territory.

Shirley believed Britain and her colonies would acquire many advantages if Cape Breton and its dependencies were settled. His ideas on this subject reflected the mercantilitic attitudes prevalent at the time. On July 21, 1745, he signed a lengthy dispatch to Newcastle enclosing "A Computation of the French Fishery as it was managed before the pres[en]t War... [46] He argued that the value the French Crown attached to Louisbourg was evidenced by the vast sums of treasure expended on fortifying and maintaining the place. He stated that the fishery amply recompensed this outlay by the "surprizing Growth of the French Codfishery and proportional diminution of our own, both depending upon their Possession of Cape Breton...." The computation estimated the profits of the French cod fishery at £1,000,000 sterling per annum, "and the Loss of a Silver Currency in New England, and it's great Load of Debts, chiefly occasion'd by the Decay and Ruin of  it's Fishery since the Peace of Utrecht.;.. [47]  The governor maintained that French influence in the Mediterranean trade derived from their successful fishery, which promoted French maritime commerce in general. He wrote: 

But what seems still more considerable is the great Number of Men (twenty seven Thousand) necessarily employ'd in the French fishery which may be esteem'd a Principal Support of the Navy of France, and if not only taken from them but added to the Nurseries of Seamen for the Royal Navy of Great Brittain, must still make it of more Consequence to the Brittish Crown. [48]

Continuing in this vein to Newcastle, Shirley wrote: 

Louisbourg Harbour may be also call'd the key of the French and Brittish Northern Colonies and is consequently the most convenient Harbour for Privateers to be fitted out from and Rendezvous in, and is a good shelter for the French Trade in their Passage to and from the East and West Indies, and the only Harbour from whence they can conveniently fit out Armaments for Expeditions against His Majesty's Northern Colonies, particularly against Nova Scotia, the Eastern Settlements within this Province [Massachusetts], and the province of New Hampshire (which not only abound with Provisions, but contain all the Nurseries of White Pine trees found upon Trial in the Kings yards to be fit for the service of the Royal Navy) and if gain'd from His Majesty by the Enemy, as they were in Imminent Danger of being last year by the Attempt upon Annapolis Royal fitted out from Louisbourg, will give the French such a footing upon this Continent (which may be justly looked upon in its Increase to be an inexhaustible Source of Wealth and Power to Great Brittain) as will put 'em some time or another upon disputing the Mastery of the whole of it with the Brittish Crown. [49]

Besides giving Britain a stranglehold on the French possessions in North America, the garrisoning and stationing of a squadron of ships at Louisbourg, Shirley wrote,

would by it's vicinity to the Brittish Colonies, and being the Key of them, at least of the most principal of 'em, give the Crown of Great Brittain a most absolute hold and Command of 'em, if ever there should a time come when they should grow Restive and dispos'd to shake off their Dependency upon their Mother Country; the possibility of which I must freely own seems to me from the Observations I have been able to make upon the spot, at the Distance of some Centuries farther off than I have heard it does to some Gentlemen at home. [50]

Three months after sending this dispatch to London, Shirley forwarded another elaborate letter to the Duke in which he claimed that his expectation of a successful expedition against Louisbourg raising "a Spirit in the Colonies for pushing that Success as far as Canada ... was not ill grounded." He proposed 

that the Reduction of that Country [Canada] to the obedience of His Majesty seems to be the most effectual means of Securing to the Crown of Great Britaine not only Nova Scotia and this Acquisition, but the whole Northern Continent as far back as the french Settlements on the River of Mississippi which are about 2000 Miles distance from Canada, by making all the Indians inhabiting within that Tract, (who are now chiefly, almost wholly indeed in the french Interest) dependent upon the English. [51]

The consequence of this conquest, wrote Shirley, would be to secure most of the fur trade, save for what portion might be retained by the French in the lower Mississippi regions; the French fishing settlements on the St. Lawrence, the Gulf, and even "on the back of Newfoundland" would be shattered, the cod fishery becoming solely British; new markets for rum and clothing would be opened by the demands of British subjects carrying on trade in these new territories. The need for large ships, small fishing vessels, fishing gear and supplies would increase proportionally to the British development of the fishery. Such apparatus for the fishery would be wholly British in origin. In addition, a fresh source of seamen for the navy would be created. "I may add," wrote Shirley, 

that from the Healthfulness of the Climates on this Continent and the Surprizing Growth of it's Inhabitants within the last Century it may be expected that in one or two more Centuries there will be such an addition from hence to the Subjects of the Crown of great Britain, and may make 'em vye for Numbers with the Subjects of france, and lay a foundation for a Superiority of British Power upon the Continent of Europe at the same time that it secures that which the Royal Navy has already at Sea; and this is a Remarkable Difference between the other acquisitions in America belonging to the Several Crowns in Europe and this Continent, that the others diminish the mother Country's Inhabitants, as Jamaica, Barbados, and the other Southern Collonies belonging to Great Britaine have done, and the Spanish West Indies have done even to the exhausting of Old Spain. [52] 

Bringing his panegyric on a North American empire to a climax, Shirley wrote to Newcastle:

In the mean while the Vent of the Woollen Manufacture and other European Commodities from Great Britaine to these Colonies must be Increasing in proportion to the Increase of their Inhabitants; and the mother Country will be independent of all foreign States for Naval Stores, which she will purchase from thence, with her own produce, and at moderate rates; she will Supply all the Roman Catholick States with their Baccaleau [cod]; The profits of the whole Trade of these Colonies will all finally Center in her, Navigation will be greatly Increased, and the Ballance of her growing Trade to North America will for ever be in her favour: And what Seems to make these Advantages Still the more valuable is, that they weaken the Power of France whilst they add to that of Great Britaine. [53]

Shirley, Pepperrell and Warren agreed in principle on most of their concrete proposals for developing Cape Breton Island. However, Shirley had reservations for some of the suggestions forwarded to London by the two commanders at Louisbourg. While he supported the advice for a civil government and the offering of land to potential settlers on the easiest possible terms, he disagreed with Warren's opinion that houses and land might be granted to prospective settlers by Pepperrell and Warren at Louisbourg. Shirley believed that specific directions from the British government were required before such authority could be exercised; nevertheless, he did recommend "a Distribution of some of the Lands among the first settlers...." [54] As for the proposal that Louisbourg be made a free port, Shirley maintained in a letter to the Lords of Trade that such action 

would defeat the Intent of the Principal Act of Trade, whereby Great Britain is made the Staple of all European Commodities imported into her Plantations, and the Benefit of her Plantation Trade is secur'd to herself, and break the main ligament, whereby the Brittish Colonies are made dependent upon their Mother Country, I doubt [i. e. "fear"] the Granting of such a Privilege would be of dangerous Consequence in these parts, where the spirit of illicit Trade prevails too much allready: But your Lordships will be much better Judges of the Conveniency or Inconveniency of such an Exemption, if ever it should come under Consideration than my self. [55]

Less than four months later, while visiting the fortress, and having spoken to Pepperrell and Warren about these matters, Shirley recommended to Newcastle that a free port be established at Louisbourg, "(except as to the importation of European Commodities Without their having been first laden in England, which license in my opinion would have a Dangerous Tendency to throw the Trade to this place, and indeed to all the Colonies into the Dutch Channell) if consistent with the Acts of Trade now in force.... "[56]

Shirley believed the settlement of Cape Breton would be facilitated by encouraging fishermen and others from Massachusetts to locate there, and by distributing some of the territory to the expedition volunteers who were sorely disappointed by the lack of plunder. He recommended to Newcastle "that an allowance of the same Liberty of Conscience, which is granted in Religious matters to the Inhabitants of this Province by the Royal Charter, would be a favourable Circumstance for drawing Settlers from hence, where the Inhabitants are chiefly Dissenters from the Church of England." He argued that settlement would be promoted if a "Privilege of being free from any Suits for Debt, which has been frequently granted to the Settlers of new Colonies, should be thought proper to be indulg'd for a Term of Years to the Settlers of the New Colony of Louisbourg...." Shirley endorsed Warren's proposal that large convoys from the West Indies and all the other American colonies could gather at Louisbourg before sailing for Britain. Such activities, Shirley stated, together with the advantages of the fishery at Louisbourg, could hardly fail to attract a large number of settlers. [57]

The governor of Massachusetts objected to the erection of a Court of Vice Admiralty at Louisbourg by Warren and Pepperrell, who took this initiative for a variety of reasons, as Pepperrell explained to Shirley: 

There being many necessaries on board some of the prizes here which the army are in great want of, it was thought adviseable that proper officers should be appointed for the legal tryal & condemnation of them, and I have join'd with Commodore Warren in erecting a Court of Admiralty for that purpose for the present exigency. [58] 

Warren informed Admiralty secretary Corbett that the court "will greatly encourage people . to come and Trade here." [59] Furthermore, as commander of the squadron, Warren had great personal financial interest in the prizes, and possibly he hoped that higher prices might be obtained at Louisbourg than elsewhere from the public sale of the condemned goods. Certainly the legal and public disposition of libelled vessels and cargoes would be more rapid and simple at the fortress than if the process had to be referred to Britain or the colonies.

On hearing of the creation of the court at Louisbourg, [60] Shirley accused Warren in a letter to the Lords of Trade of overstepping the bounds of his authority. He wrote: 

I am clearly of the opinion that it appertains solely to His Majesty to erect Courts of Judicature in a conquered Territory, I shall, to prevent the. Perplexities, which may arise upon unnecessary Condemnations in a Void Court of Admiralty, advise the Suspending of these Steps. [61] 

In the meantime, Warren informed many colonial governors that a number of prizes were to be condemned at Louisbourg, asking them to advertise this information in their provinces. [62] He wrote: 

all his Majty's Subjects that are willing to come to this port, to Trade with the Garrison and Inhabitants, shall have free Liberty, without any. duty, or Imposition whatsoever, and that none of their people, shall be molested, or Impress'd into his Majesty's Ships, or Service .... [63]

Warren explained to Corbett that he was taking these actions to "encourage their [the American and West Indian colonies] sending all sorts of necessarys here, for the support of the people...." [64] 

On August 20, Corbett wrote to Warren telling him that he lacked the authority to erect a Court of Admiralty, and that sentences handed down at Louisbourg would not be legal. [65] Warren was understandably distressed by this news, the more so since it interfered with his efforts to ingratiate himself with Governor Clinton of New York, whose office he desired. [66] Warren wrote to Clinton on September 25, expressing his regret over the issue of the court:

I am very sorry and ye more so because it disappoints ye Gentlemen of the Colony, for whose service ye sale of one of [the East India prizes] ... here was Intended, and if that had been the Case I wou'd with ye greatest pleasure have Obey'd any Commissions of yours [for purchasing part of the prize goods] but they must now go home with us, where I shall be proud to receive your commands. [67]

The illegal court was dismantled immediately by Pepperrell and Warren; however, Warren continued to press for the establishment of such a court at Louisbourg. [68] Corbett asked him to recommend those individuals best qualified for the court offices and promised to urge the Admiralty to draw up proper patents for the officials to be appointed if the court were established. [69] In mid-November, 1745, Shirley sent William Bollan, the Advocate General for the Court of Vice Admiralty in Massachusetts, to London to provide any information the government might require concerning Admiralty jurisdiction and the courts in the colonies, "upon the due Maintenance of which the Execution of the Acts of Trade and His Majesty's Government, and Service in other Respects there very much depend (much more than they do in England) ...[70] The Admiralty applied to the Crown for the authority to erect a Vice Admiralty Court at Louisbourg. [71] After reviewing reports from various offices and agencies, the Privy Council ordered a warrant prepared to commission the court under the Great Seal. [72] On March 31, 1746, the warrant was sealed. [73] However, as this action was being taken, Warren and Pepperrell were within a few months of leaving Cape Breton Island. [74]

By this time, events of considerable importance had. captured the attention of the ministry. England's military fortunes at home and abroad showed signs of improvement by the turn of the year, 1745. The Royal Navy successfully prevented all but a few Frenchmen from joining Charles Edward, whose forces retreated hastily from Derby in December, relieving the ministry of the fear of an immediate French invasion and the restoration of the Stuarts. The military failures in the Netherlands were offset to some extent by victories of the Austrian and Sardinian armies in Italy. However, the Dutch remained extremely alarmed by Saxe's advances in the Netherlands and called on Britain to replace the troops which had been withdrawn to quell the Jacobites. The ministry was reluctant to take such action, much to the annoyance of King George II, who was proving to be less tractable now that he felt secure again from the Stuart threat. In an effort to consolidate his support, or at least to decrease opposition, Newcastle sought to bring Pitt into the ministry, despite the King's known hostility to the man. George resorted to the advice of his old favourite, Granville, and refused to admit Pitt to office. Under these circumstances, the ministry resigned on February 10, 1746. [75]

The King asked Granville to form a ministry, but the attempt failed because of inadequate support. The King reluctantly gave way to the return of the old ministers, but still refused to accept Pitt as the Secretary at War, the office which Pitt most ardently desired. He had to settle for the minor office of joint vice-treasurer of Ireland until May, when he was promoted to Paymaster of the forces and admitted to the Privy Council. The entry of Pitt to the ministry strengthened the faction lead by Bedford, who was inclined to promote a more vigourous maritime war. [76]

At about the same time as the cabinet crisis in England, the Dutch government, desperately worried about the French penetration of the Austrian Netherlands, dispatched to France an official emissary to discuss the possibility of peace. The French foreign minister, Marquis d'Argenson, responded to the Dutch query by drawing up the Idées sur la paix, which in part postulated peace on the restitution of Cape Breton Island, but ignored issues important to England such as the Italian question and the Hanoverian succession. The Idées aroused much resentment in England, where the move was seen as a mean attempt to persuade the Dutch to abandon their allies to preserve their barrier. With a rare and short-lived display of unanimity, the ministry rejected the Idées as a preliminary basis for peace negotiations. On March 25, the Secretary of State for the Northern Department, Harrington, instructed Trevor to inform the Dutch of the ministerial position and to warn Holland that England could not continue to participate in the defence of the Netherlands with men and money without some assurance of the continued alliance of Holland to Britain. [77]

By mid-May, following further diplomatic activity, d'Argenson had prepared another proposal which might have been acceptable to pacific members of the ministry such as Pelham, Chesterfield and Harrington. [78] While article 11 called for the restoration of Cape Breton Island and all artillery to France, it was another item irrelevant to the peace project which completely jeopardised any chance of England accepting the proposals as a basis for negotiation. Article nine repudiated the Stuarts, but d'Argenson inserted a sentence which insisted on clemency for the Pretender and his followers. Furthermore, the French minister hinted at reprisals should his suggestion not be adhered to in England. An uproar ensued in England because a foreign and hostile country should presume to meddle in Britain's internal affairs. This episode precipitated another ministerial crisis, for Pelham, Chesterfield and Harrington argued for the acceptance of the peace project as the basis for negotiations, which could improve the terms, leading to the peace they considered essential to rescue England from ruin should the war continue much longer. [79] 

Chesterfield's opinion was that England's situation in the war was utterly hopeless. He wrote to Trevor at The Hague on June 11: 

What a miserable condition we are in, and how much more miserable still is our prospect? What is not to be fear'd from a victorious army of 100,000 men within twelve or thirteen leagures of the Hague? And what is not further to be feard from the fears, which that must necessarily give the Dutch? For my own part, I shall neither be surpris'd at, nor blame anything they may do in consequence of those Just fears. France will surely strike it's stroke in one shape or another before the reinforcements can come up to our little Army. [80]

The Earl was convinced Cape Breton "must be given up sooner or later", and that the island 

might [now] purchase us Dunkirk upon the foot of the treaty of 1717, and our Commerce to the West Indies upon the foot of anterior treatys without specifying the Act of Pardo. [81] But I know the beaten cannot dictate, and the victorious must and will, and I see no prospect of that case being alter'd. ]82]

Chesterfield believed Britain had neither the inclination, nor hardly the means of sending troops to assist the Dutch, who would "take care of themselves seperately" if Britain did not agree to what might be considered reasonable terms of peace with France. [83] 

While Newcastle was not obstinately opposed to peace, [84] one of the chief obstacles to a general pacification was that "darling object of the whole nation", Louisbourg. Considering the Duke's problems with a factious ministry and his timid sensitivity to popular approval, [85] peace on the French conditions seemed intolerable. The only alternative seemed to be a reinvigoration of the war effort. The ministerial crises of the past months had weakened-the position of the peace faction, and undermined Harrington's authority in particular, giving Newcastle the opportunity to acquire greater control of affairs which rightfully belonged to the Secretary of State for the Northern Department. [86] On March 25, the same day on which Harrington had conveyed to Trevor the ministry's rejection of the Idées as a basis for peace negotiations, Newcastle signed a circular dispatch to various colonial governors which read in part: 

That, in case It shall be judged advisable to undertake any Attempt upon the French Settlements in North America, They should take the proper Measures for Raising a Body of Men, within Their respective Provinces, for that service. [87]

This appears to be the first concrete sign that the ministry was contemplating an expedition to reduce all Canada to the British Crown. While Bedford and his friends, who now included Pitt and his admirers, do not appear to have initiated the idea in the ministry to attack Canada, they were quite receptive to such a scheme. [88] The diplomatic, political and military circumstances were ripe for the formulation of a Canada expedition. The French position on peace preliminaries was largely unacceptable to the British ministry, although the peace faction wished to use the French project as the basis for negotiation; Newcastle, who was moving into a position of pre-eminence on matters of foreign affairs, was becoming more favoured by King George, who would not accept willingly what he considered to be the pusillanimous counsels of the peace faction; Bedford, reinforced by the support of Pitt, was inclined to favour an intensification of the maritime and colonial war. Furthermore, the overall military position of the allies no longer appeared so hopeless as it did in late 1745. Within this context, it is quite possible that Newcastle himself introduced seriously to the Cabinet the scheme to attack Canada, an idea which he probably believed would appeal to the nation. Certainly he possessed numerous suggestions urging such an expedition from the principals involved In the attack on Louisbourg. He may have seen the venture as a means of consolidating an alliance with Bedford and his followers, of securing the favour and confidence of the King, while not entirely alienating the peace faction by committing En gland totally to defeat or victory on the Continent, where Chesterfield, Harrington and Pelham saw only disaster for the country. Such a delicate manoeuvre and compromise would have been characteristic of the Duke.

Within a month of Newcastle warning the various governors of the North American colonies that an expedition against Canada might be undertaken, he sent notice to the governors "that the reduction of Canada having been resolved upon ... [they] were to proceed immediately to raise as large a Body of Men, as the Shortness of the Time will permit, within Their respective Governments...." [89] Newcastle had already instructed Warren and Shirley to consult regarding the strength and strategy of land and sea forces required to take Canada, "And His Majesty will expect," he wrote to Shirley, "with Impatience, to receive Your's, And Mr. Warren's Opinion on this Point...."[90]

There was obviously too little time for Warren and Shirley to prepare and to forward their plans if Canada was to be attacked in the summer of 1746. In fact, their proposal finally sent to England was dated October 23, 1746. [91] Consequently, the ministry formulated its own scheme, based on information already sent by Shirley, Pepperrell, Warren and others to government offices. The plan called for Lieutenant General James St. Clair to be the Commander-in-Chief of the American and regular British forces, with Warren as the squadron commander. [92].

Warren received a copy of the operational plan from the captain of the naval sloop Hinchinbrook at sea on June 17 while on his way to Boston from Louisbourg. He was appalled by the sudden resolution to attack Canada because of the elaborate preparations he considered necessary for an expedition "against a Place of such Strength and Importance as I conceive Canada to be." Just a few days earlier, he had written to Newcastle stating that beyond a blockade of New France nothing could be attempted this summer in North America because of the lateness of the season. Nevertheless, he promised Newcastle that he would do his utmost in any plan forwarded by the ministry. [93]

The decision of the ministry to attack Canada was based on an important report submitted to Newcastle by Bedford on April 4, 1746, barely more than two weeks before the Duke ordered the governors to start raising levies. Working long hours with his staff, Bedford carefully studied the various papers at hand concerning Louisbourg and Canada. [94] The final report, which listed five principal reasons for attacking Canada, bore a close resemblance to the recommendations available from Warren and Shirley, while differing in some detail.

Governor Shirley had early made it clear that he saw the reduction of Louisbourg as a prelude to the conquest of Canada. When he had sought Warren's assistance for the expedition against the fortress early in 1745, he expressed the hope that a successful attack would secure Nova Scotia to the Crown and lead to the capture of Canada, which, he wrote: 

would Secure His Majesty the whole Northern Continent, Gaining the whole Fishery exclusive of the French, increasing greatly the Nursery of Seamen for the Royal Navy, & Securing the Navigation of Great Britain to & from her Northern Colonies as far as Virginia, all which would be an Equivalent for the Expence of a French War let the Contingencies of it in Europe be what they will.... [95] 

Warren held much the same opinion as Shirley. In fact, long before the Louisbourg expedition, he had declared himself in favour of ejecting the French from North America, believing that such action would be of far greater consequence than any other conquest Britain might hope to make in French or Spanish war. [96] Bedford informed Newcastle that he had discovered the "great Consequence to this Nation of the Reduction of Canada, Louisiana & of the French Empire in North America... so self evident" that he could reduce his memorial to five basic propositions, which he believed would be denied by no person at all conversant in Trade & with the present state of Our American Colonies." These propositions were: the conquest would secure to Britain forever the fish and fur trades, depriving France of a great source of wealth and seamen for her navy; France would be prevented from supplying their sugar islands with provisions, lumber and other necessaries for the sugar and indigo trades, thereby ruining the French trade or at least driving their prices up, allowing British planters to undersell the French in Europe, "which is ... far from being the Case at present"; accepting the first two propositions, it would follow that French commerce would contract enormously because of the diminution of the colonial supply of materials and the reduction of the colonial market for French manufactured goods; France would no longer be able to build warships in America and would have to turn to the "Eastland Country only; which will be a great means of keeping her Naval Stores within due Bounds"; the conquest would safeguard all the British possessions in North America, most of which were exposed to French and Indian encroachments, and more particularly, would secure the mast country to England and permit more effective settlement of eastern New England and Nova Scotia, the latter area being particularly vulnerable to the French threat because of its French popu1ation. [97]

These five propositions had been suggested in one form or another by Shirley and Warren in their dispatches. However, Bedford developed some reservations about the means, if not the principle, which Shirley had recommended be used to conquer Canada. The First Lord of the Admiralty told Newcastle that. Shirley, in a letter dated November 9, 1745, [98] had proposed 20,000 men be raised in the colonies from North Carolina to New England and be paid, subsisted, clothed and armed entirely at the Crown's expense. The Governor also recommended that these men be allowed to keep their arms and have all the plunder and conquered lands distributed amongst them. Bedford considered this plan not only impracticable, but also exceedingly dangerous for a number of reasons. He was reluctant "to trust this important affair (after the experience We have had of them) wholly to American Regiments...." Bedford also feared, he wrote: 

the independence it may create in those Provinces toward-- their Mother Country when they shall see within themselves so great an army possessed in their own right by Conquest of so great an extent of Country, which though to be enjoyed by them, is yet to be attained at the Expence of their Mother Country ... [99]

To eliminate these objections, Bedford suggested that the expedition rely chiefly on the British fleet and regular troops, 

and to look upon the Americans only as useful Troops when joined to Battalions of your own which you can trust, but not to be depended when singly by themselves either to make head against an Army of the Enemy, or to form a regular Siege; but to be employed in scouring the Woods, driving the Enemies Cattle, & breaking up their Plantations & Settlements, which has been the kind of War they have been accustomed to. [100] 

He did not belittle the importance of colonial levies being used to fight in the "American manner" and he agreed on the necessity of their being recruited in large numbers to support the expedition. Without presuming to suggest how many colonials should be raised, he recommended that those enlisted in and south of New York rendezvous by June 1 at Albany, the nearest British settlement of any size to Montréal. From Albany they would proceed overland to invest Montréal as soon as they received notice that the British fleet had entered the St. Lawrence. If they were unable to reduce Montréal, they were to destroy the settlements between Québec and Montréal with the aid of their Iroquois allies, and to prevent any supplies reaching the city. Then they were to await the arrival of  regular troops to take Montréal. [101]

The levies from New England were to rendezvous at Louisbourg no later than mid-May, whence they would proceed up the St. Lawrence with the fleet, the armed vessels supplied by the colonies, the regular troops and whatever men could be spared from the garrison. Part of the fleet would cruise in the Gulf to intercept any assistance sent from France while the assault was in progress. To avoid the problems mentioned by Shirley and Pepperrell of raising volunteer militia under British officers, Bedford suggested the commissions not be filled in England for the colonial regiments on establishment. In November, 1745, Warren had warned that two major problems existed if an expedition were to be mounted in 1746. First, the northern colonies might not be able to raise enough men in time for the attack; second, dependable pilots had to be found to guide the forces up the St. Lawrence. Bedford believed the first difficulty could be overcome by the dispatch of a large number of regular troops for the expedition, while the second he glibly suggested could not be eliminated necessarily early or late, for the French could not be expected to be any more amenable to the British obtaining river soundings or French pilots in 1747 than in 1746. Finally, the Admiralty Lord argued that any delays would give the French time to improve their fortifications, gather a supply of provisions, and, above all, to cultivate, friendship with the Iroquois. [102]

Newcastle confessed he had serious doubts about the expedition, "& yet I don't see how it can be avoided." He wrote to his close colleague, Lord Chancellor Hardwicke: 

It has been so much given in to, & will be made the Condition on which our other Measures are to be supported [by Bedford?].  But that is a sensible Consideration. We are hurried into these Measures by the Impetuosity of a zealous Great Man, who despises Consequences, & thinks & judges of every thing abstractly. You will see how Things stand at present in Holland. I am afraid our American Expedition will determine them. immediately to make a separate Peace .... But as I said, I don't see how it is now to be avoided. The Thing is popular, will be insisted on by our new Friends, & indeed the Behaviour of France towards us has been such, that I own, I can hardly be against a Project, that may probably greatly distress them. But if we miscarry, it will be a great Expence to no Purpose. If we succeed, I see, no end of the War with France, which Consideration, I wonder, does not frighten some
friends of mine more than it seems to do. [103] 

Newcastle had not expected Bedford to press so earnestly for the expedition to be undertaken as early as 1746. However, he was committed to the expedition at least in principle, and Bedford had quickly become enthusiastic for the attack, demanding it be executed in return for his support of the continuation of the war on the Continent. [104] Consequently, with a celerity which rivalled the ministry's support of the Louisbourg expedition, Bedford's report was accepted as the basis for the Canada Expedition. On April 15, the Admiralty Board resolved that the Navy Board be instructed to outfit immediately a sufficient number of transports to carry 4,000 men and six month's provisions for the expedition. [105]

St. Clair was confirmed as the commander of the regular troops and the colonial volunteer militia. A Captain Thomas Cotes was to convoy the British forces to Louisbourg, where Warren would assume the command of the squadron designed to ascend the St. Lawrence, leaving some warships with Admiral Townsend at Louisbourg to defend the fortress, guard the fisheries and the entrance to the St. Lawrence, and to be responsible for convoys sent to supply the expedition. The elderly Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, William Gooch, was named to lead the American forces moving via Albany to Montréal. [106] The Cabinet considered May 21 to be the latest practicable departure date for the expedition, but St. Clair's instructions alone were dated May 25. [107]

Even as preparations for the Canada Expedition were being pressed hurriedly to completion, the French themselves were preparing a North American project which was only less ambitious than the British scheme insofar as it was more realistic in conception. Maurepas regretted deeply the loss of Louisbourg, believing it dealt a potentially disastrous blow to commerce, especially to the fishery supplying cod to Spain and Italy. Almost immediately after news of the capitulation reached the Minister of the Marine, he began formulating plans not only for the recapture of Cape Breton Island, but also to reclaim Nova Scotia and to devastate New England coastal settlements. Maurepas' scheme, described to Governor Beauharnois and Intendant Hocquart of New France, called for the preparation of a great land and sea expedition under the command of the 37-year old Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Frederic de Roye de la Rochefoucauld, duc dAnville, a member of one of France's most distinguished families. D'Anville had spent most of his life in the King's service, but could claim very little experience at sea. The fleet was to rendezvous at Chebucto sometime near May 20, 1746, and if the scout ships determined the English were about to attack Canada, the Duke was to protect this colony. If Canada were not threatened, he was to assault Annapolis Royal, Louisbourg or Plaisance, and if all went well, he was to consider destroying the coastal settlements of New England. [108] This was an ambitious scheme to restore France's prestige and possessions in North America, and to secure Acadia while weakening the position of Britain and her colo nies in the North Atlantic fishery and commerce.

Bedford, who lacked experience in planning massive. expeditions, underestimated the time and effort required to equip and dispatch the British forces destined for America. Having expended much time and energy formulating the scheme, Bedford apparently now spent much of his time relaxing at Bath while the expedition was being prepared. [109] Nevertheless, by June 8 or 9, the forces were almost ready to leave England, although General St. Clair objected on the grounds that the transports were inadequate and that the regiments lacked many essential supplies. [110] Consistently adverse winds now delayed the departure of the fleet. ill Meanwhile, the 65-year old Gooch wrote on June 25 from Virginia that his physical infirmities would prevent him from leading his section of the Canada Expedition, but that he would continue raising the required levies. [112] St. Clair was particularly concerned about the delays in departure, for he wished to reach the St. Lawrence no later than the end of July. At a Cabinet meeting on April 19, the general stated that he was "entirely unacquainted with the Strength of Quebec; and had no certain Information of the French Forces in those Parts .... Consequently, he excused himself from giving his opinion to the Council on the number of men required for the expedition. [113] In fact, St. Clair's secretary recorded that the general neither proposed the expedition, "nor planned it, nor approved it, nor answered for its success." [114] It is quite remarkable that the expedition was prepared with such apparent earnestness for 1746.

The Admiralty had been receiving information at least since February concerning a gathering of French warships and troops at various ports, most conspicuously at Brest. [115] At this time, Admiral William Martin was ordered to cruise with the Western Squadron to defend British trade, intercept French and Spanish convoys, and to observe the developments at Brest. Martin's squadron was too small to cover effectively other major French. ports such as La Rochelle and Rochefort, where preparations were also underway, for d'Anville's expedition. The British ministry suspected that the mobilizing French forces were planning to descend on Cape Breton or possibly the British West Indies. On May 7, the Admiralty instructed Martin to send a "clean sloop" to warn the governor at Louisbourg as soon as he had certain knowledge that the French squadron had left Brest. On July 6, the Cabinet studied reports from Martin that the enemy fleet had sailed from Rochefort some weeks earlier. The Admiralty, believing that Cape Breton was the probable destination, advised the Cabinet Council that unless St. Clair's forces were considerably reinforced by warships, the Canada Expedition should not be dispatched. Fearing for the national security, the Admiralty was reluctant to advise the deployment of more warships for the expedition in view of the uncertain target of the French forces. [116]

D'Anville had sailed on June 22 from La Rochelle where his fleet of warships and transports had finally gathered. Martin, guided by sketchy reports and commanding a squadron entirely inadequate to watch the western ports of France, missed d'Anville completely. The British public abused the Admiral for his failure to stop the French sea traffic and d'Anville's fleet, but the Admiralty attached no blame to Martin. -Nevertheless, he obtained permission to strike his flag to recover his health. D'Anville's successful departure dealt a serious blow to the British plans for St. Clair's expedition. Some members of the ministry feared d'Anville might be heading for the coast of Scotland while others remained convinced the fleet was sailing for North America. After some debate and confusion, during which time the Canada Expedition was cancelled, the cabinet decided on July 13 that St. Clair's expedition was to be suspended, not cancelled, in case d'Anville's destination was discovered. Newcastle convinced the Cabinet that French conquests in America would weaken enormously England's position in any peace negotiations, and that if Cape Breton, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland were taken by France, the English people might lose all heart for continuing the war. On July 26, the Cabinet Council examined intelligence reports, some of which came from sources in Paris, and concluded that America was almost undoubtedly the destination of d'Anville's forces. As the season was already late, the Council decided that the Canada Expedition should sail at once, and that the number of warships attached-to the expedition be increased considerably [117] and be placed under the command of Admiral Richard Lestock. [118]

On July 28, Newcastle ordered St. Clair and Lestock to proceed at once to relieve or retake Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland or any other British possession attacked by d'Anville. If necessary, St. Clair was to call on the American forces raised for the expedition to assist in his activities. The delays caused by contrary winds and the d'Anville expedition, Newcastle stated, may have made it. too late for an attack on Canada. If this were St. Clair's opinion when he reached North America, that attack was to be deferred until the next year. In this case, St. Clair was to consult with various governors and other knowledgeable individuals in North America to determine the best means of annoying the enemy or securing the colonies, and for reassembling the expedition in the spring of 1747. The question of following d'Anville to the West Indies, if he had gone to attack Jamaica, was left to the discretion of the Canada Expedition commanders, as was the decision to winter at Boston or New York should supplies be inadequate for wintering at Louisbourg. [119]

Adverse winds and the difficulties of maintaining adequate supplies for the expedition while waiting at Spithead continued to delay Lestock and St. Clair. By late August, they had convinced Newcastle that it was too late to sail for North America. In the meantime, there were public complaints about the high cost of keeping such a large body of men unemployed. [120] Newcastle was in a quandary. D'Anville's forces could by now be wreaking untold havoc in British possessions overseas. There was little advantage in having St. Clair winter at New York or Boston, and the general had by now heard from Governor Knowles at Louisbourg of the ruinous condition of the fortress and of the difficulties in obtaining adequate supplies there. The King favoured sending the forces to Flanders, but Newcastle feared this would be construed as a confession that the Canada Expedition, assembled at such great expense, had been abandoned. Furthermore. Bedford, Pitt and their associates were still keen on the idea of a stroke against France in North America. [121] On September 1, the Cabinet, reluctant to waste the forces prepared for the Canada Expedition by having them winter in America, discussed the possibility of a descent on some parts of the west coast of France. Apparently St. Clair had earlier broached such an idea. [122] The Cabinet asked St. Clair's and Lestock's opinion, 

whether it might not be practicable, with the Force that they have, and the Ordnance Stores of all Kinds to possess Themselves of Some of the French Ports there, (Many of which are said not to be strong,) and to make a Descent on some Part of the Coast which might greatly annoy the French; give Assistance and Protection to any of the French Protestants in Brettany, who have risen, or may be disposed to rise; and cause an immediate Diversion in Flanders: And if any Thing is undertaken, Whether It may be most advisable to go up the River of Bourdeaus, in order to make an attempt there; Or whether They would think it more practicable to go to Port L'Orient, Rochelle, or Rochfort, or any other Port or Place in the West of France .... [123]

The commanders of the erstwhile Canada Expedition favoured the attack on L'Orient and the Council selected this port as the target. After the assault, the forces were to return to either the west of England or to the south of Ireland until the season permitted them to clear for North America. [124] The attack on L'Orient took place in September but failed dismally. [125] However, this feeble effort helped maintain Newcastle's favour with the King, Bedford and his supporters, [126] and apparently gave him the justification he wanted for raising the expensive expeditionary force in 1746, then not using it for various reasons, yet keeping it mustered for a future attack on Canada. The Canada Expedition was now scheduled for the summer of 1747.

Louisbourg was now past the zenith of her orbit within the British colonial system. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of Bedford and his associates, any hope of using the fortress as a base for a major British assault against France in North America became discernibly remote after the expedition was postponed in 1746. Within the context of the European situation, the 'possession of Cape Breton Island increasingly became viewed by the ministry as a useful pawn in the peace negotiations rather than as a permanent British possession. At Louisbourg, as we shall see, the new governor despised the place and entirely discounted the value of developing the fortress as a major British installation and settlement. Only in New England, especially in Massachusetts where the greatest schemes and hopes for the island had been nurtured, was the belief generally maintained in the territory as a viable settlement and important commercial and military establishment. However, even the energetic Shirley, with his intense and grandiose vision of the British empire in North America, became ever more restricted in his activities by the entanglements brought upon him by the miscarrying of the Canada Expedition and the opportunistic misjudgement of Newcastle's twilight ministry.


[1] Arthur H. Buffinton, "The Canada Expedition of 1746, Its Relation to British Politics", The American Historical Review, XLV, no. 3,. (April, 1940) pp. 561-562; Richard Lodge, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Dip1omacy, 1740-1748, (London: John Murray, 1930) pp. 94-99; Dorn, Empire, pp. 153-155.

[2] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 45, fol. 308, Newcastle to Pepperrell, August 10, 1745.

[3] Buckinghamshire Record Office, Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/50, n.p., Chesterfield to Trevor, August 13, 1745.

[4] John Carter Brown Library, The Great Importance of Cape Breton Demonstrated and Exemplified, by Extracts from the best Writers, French and English, who have treated of that Colony, Anon., (London: John Brindley, 1746) p. 51.

[5] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/50, n.p., Chesterfield to Trevor, August 13, 1745.

[6] John Carteret was the Secretary of State for the Northern Department.

[7] Buffinton, "The Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 564.

[8] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/50, n.p., Newcastle to Trevor, August 6, 1745.

[9] The Private Correspondence of' Chesterfield and Newcastle, 1744-46, Richard Lodge, ed., (London, 1930) p. 75, Newcastle to Chesterfield, October 9, 1745, quoted in Buffinton, "The Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 564.

[10] Buffinton, "The Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 564.

[11] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, Special Unnumbered Bundle, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, December 11, 1745.

[12] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/50, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, August 9, 1745.

[13] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, Special Unnumbered Bundle, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, December 11, 1745.

[14] I am indebted to Mrs. M.A. Welch, Keeper of the Manuscripts at Nottingham University, who identified Dicker for me.

[15] Nottingham, The University, Newcastle Mss., NeC.249, n.p., Michael Lee Dicker to Pelham, August 28, 1745.

[16] Kate Hotblack, Chatham's Colonial Policy, (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1917) p. 15; B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, Special Unnumbered Bundle, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, December 11, 1745.

[17] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/51, n.p., Harrington to Trevor, October 4, 1745.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] See below, pp. 298-303.

[21] Mapperton House, Beaminster, volume of private letters from Sandwich to Newcastle, fols. 40-42, May 30[n.s.], 1747; Dorn, Empire, pp. 162-164.

[22] Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 134-139.

[23] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, Special Unnumbered Bundle, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, December 11, 1745.

[24] Quoted in Lodge, Diplomacy, p. 137, and cited as Trevor to Harrington, 2 November, 1745.

[25] Derby was within twelve days' march of London.

[26] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, Special Unnumbered Bundle, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, December 11, 1745.

[27] Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 157-159; Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 565-567.

[28] Dorn, Empire, p. 148.

[29] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/50, n.p., Pelham to Trevor, September 10, 1745.

[30] Shirley's anxiety to have a regular garrison established at the fortress was motivated by a number of factors, including a wish to bring the colonials home, to satisfy the volunteers and those New Englanders who believed the loss of manpower seriously weakened the frontier regions in the face of the Indian menace.

[31] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 48-49, Pepperrell and Warren to Newcastle, June 18, 1745.

[32] P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 207, fol. 307, Admiralty Board to Navy Board, July 25, 1745. Thomas Corbett, senior secretary of the Admiralty, wrote to Shirley informing him that the order to hire transports was made "As the Ministry here are highly Sensible of the Value of this Acquisition, which is of so much Importance to the Trade of His Majestys Subjects in North America " P.R.O., CO5, Adm, 20 vol. 490, fols. 2-3, Corbett to Shirley, August 8, 1745.

[33] See above p. 224.

[34] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 313-315, Pepperrell and Warren to Newcastle, July 4, 1745.

[35] Cape Breton was placed on the regular establishment early in 1746. See above, footnote 90, chapter 6.

[36] See above, pp. 245-249.

[37] P.R.O., CO5, voi. 45, fols. 308-313, Newcastle to Pepperrell, August 10, 1745; fols. 314-319, Newcastle to Warren, August 10, 1745.

[38] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 374, Pepperrell to Newcastle, October 3, 1745.

[39] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2655, n.p., Warren to Newcastle, October 3, 1745.

[40] Ibid.

[41] P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 208, fol. 39, Admiralty to Navy Board, November 2, 1745. Warren also believed Louisbourg would be a good careening station because it "will for years to come be the only place in America where the Kings Ships can clean with dispatch, without losing their men by desertion." N.S., A 28, fol. 120, Warren to Knowles, June 2, 1746.

[42] Daniel A. Baugh, British Naval Administration in the Age of Walpole, (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1965) p. 344.

[43] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2655, n.p., Warren to Newcastle, October 3, 1745.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 245, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 10, 1745.

[46] Ibid., pp. 242-243. See also "A Computation of the French Fishery as it was managed before the pres[en]t war. P.R.O., CO5, vol. 900, fols. 212-213, enclosed in Shirley's dispatch dated July 10, 1745, unsigned and undated but probably Shirley's work. While the statistics presented in this estimate are undoubtedly inflated, perhaps not deliberately, they do demonstrate the great concern with the growth of the French fishery-and influence.

[47] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 243-244, Shirley to Newcastle, July 10, 1745.

[48] Ibid., p. 243.

[49] Ibid., pp. 243-244.

[50] Ibid., p. 244.

[51] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 900, fols. 261-261v, Shirley to Newcastle, October 29, 1745.

[52] Ibid., fols. 262v-263.

[53] Ibid., fols. 265-265v.

[54] Correspondence of  Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 245, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 10, 1745; p. 281, Shirley to Newcastle., October 29, 1745.

[55] Ibid. , p. 246, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 10, 1745.

[56] Ibid., p. 281, Shirley to Newcastle, October 29, 1745.

[57] Ibid., pp. 244-246, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 10, 1745; p. 281, Shirley to Newcastle, October 29, 1745.

[58] Ibid., p. 233, Pepperrell to Shirley, July 4, 1745.

[59] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2655, n.p., Warren to Corbett, June 18s 1745.

[60] Warren and Pepperrell commissioned on July 1, 1745, the following officers for a Court of Admiralty: Joseph Dwight, Judge; John Choat, Judge Advocate; Benjamin Green, Register; William Winslow, Marshall. Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, Appendix, p. 514.

[61] Correspondence of Shirley, 1, Lincoln, ed., p. 245, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 10, 1745.

[62] P.R.O. , Adm. 1, vol. 2655, n.p. , Warren to "the Respective Governours upon the Continent," June 24, 1745. For an example of the type of advertisement forwarded by Warren, see the Law Papers, I, Bates, ed., p. 353, Peter Warren's proclamation, July 25, 1745.

[63] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2655, n.p., Warren to "the Respective Governours upon the Continent," June 24, 1745.

[64] Ibid., Warren to Corbett, June 18, 1745.

[65] Ibid., Adm. 2, vol. 490, fols. 8-9, Corbett to Warren, August 9, 1745.

[66] Clements Library, George Clinton Papers, II, n.p., Warren to Clinton, August 28, 1745.

[67] Ibid., Warren to Clinton, September 14, 1745.

[68] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 2655, n.p., Warren to Corbett, October 3, 1745.

[69] Ibid., Adm. 2, vol. 490, pp. 8-9, Corbett to Warren, August 9, 1745.

[70] Ibid., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to Newcastle, October 31, 1745.

[71] Ibid., Adm. 2, vol. 492, fol. 258, Corbett to Warren, November 1, 1745.

[72] Ibid., Privy Council 2, vol. 99, fol. 240, marginal notes, Registers, November 7, 1745; fols. 250-251, November 19, 1745; fols. 304-305, January 16, 1746.

[73] Ibid., Adm. 5, vol. 38, Seal on the warrant establishing a Vice Admiralty Court at Louisbourg, March 20, 1746. The officers appointed to the Court were: John Choate, Judge; John Clockenbrink, Marshall; Benjamin Green, Register. P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 1054, fol. 431, Thomas Corbett to Sir Henry Penrice, March 24, 1746.

[74] I have not been able to locate any evidence, such as court records, to demonstrate that this court actually functioned at Louisbourg. The court existed in theory at least, and some of the officers appointed later appear as members of the Court of Vice Admiralty erected at Halifax. On April 17, 1748, Commodore Charles Watson, recently appointed Governor of Newfoundland and Commander-in-Chief of the squadron to be employed at Newfoundland, Louisbourg, and the coast of North America, received packets of instructions for the judges of Vice Admiralty Courts at Newfoundland, Louisbourg and Nova Scotia; however, this is not conclusive evidence of an operative court at Louisbourg. P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2658, n.p., Watson to John Cleveland, April 6, 1748; P.R.O.2 Adm. 2, vol. 1055, fol. 27, "General Orders to all the Vice Admiralty Judges," February 22, 1748.

[75] Denied office at the time of the formation of the "Broad-bottom" administration late in 1744 when some of his colleagues entered the ministry, Pitt at first gave qualified support to Pelham's government. By November, 1745, he was advocating the curtailment of English aid to the Dutch and the virtual abandonment of the Continental war. He argued for a concentration of British resources on the naval aspects of the conflict. Such a change in foreign policy was repugnant in the extreme to the King, who favoured Continental involvement, partially because his beloved Hanover was endangered by the armies of England's enemies. In January, Britain promised to provide some assistance to the Dutch, and when Brussels fell early in March, England agreed to return immediately a large contingent of troops to Holland. Newcastle, who feared Pitt's eloquent criticism of the ministry in Parliament, apparently hoped to stifle Pitt's increasing opposition by bringing him into the ministry. Buffinton, "Canada Expedition," AHR, pp. 565-567.

[76] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition," AHR, pp. 567-568; J.H. Plumb, Chatham, (London: Collins, 1965) pp. 29-31; Feiling, England, pp. 664-666; D.N.B., VII, pp. 1046-1047; XV, pp.703-704, 1241-1242; III, pp. 568-569.

[77] Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 144-147; Buffinton, "Canada Expedition," AHR, pp. 568-569.

[78] The negotiations and details of d'Argenson's proposal may be found in Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 150-156.

[79] Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 155-158.

[80] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/59, n.p., Chesterfield to Trevor, May 31, 1746.

[81] The Convention of Pardo, negotiated in January, 1739, by Britain and Spain in an attempt to resolve their trade and navigation disputes, and supported by Walpole, met with great opposition by an increasingly jingoistic Parliament and nation, especially over the Spanish claim to right of search for contraband in the West Indies. Walpole's colleagues, Newcastle and Hardwicke, and even the King, were eager for war. The issue was popularized by pamphleteers, and Pitt made a showing as a great orator, stigmatizing the Convention as a "national ignominy" and an "illusory expedient". Walpole had to yield before the general pressure for war, which was declared in October, 1739.

[82] B.R.O., Duke of Buckingham Papers, D/MH/59, n.p., Chesterfield to Trevor, May 20, 1746.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 568-569.

[85] Historian Richard Pares characterised Newcastle in the following words: "Newcastle was above all a political coward. He was terrified of public opinion -- whatever that may have been in the eighteenth century. Anything that could talk big and call itself a tribune of the people could make him quiver with anxiety. His fear of Pitt may be excused; for who was not afraid of that great actor? -- but he even stooped to be afraid of Alderman Beckford, who was never more than Pitt's Sancho Panza. He could not live without unqualified approbation, and one dissentient voice was enough to disturb his peace of mind. Yet with his colleagues, who had no popular influence to terrify him, he was very far from compliant. In spite of the nervous agitation into which the least difficulty threw him, he had a boundless appetite for business; he loved the merit of arranging everything, and the praise of arranging it well. Though he seldom knew exactly what he wanted, he wanted it so strongly as to go to almost any lengths to obtain it. It was not conscious treachery or desire for power that made him part with so many political allies and edge so many colleagues out of the nest; it was a firm conviction that his-own policy, however nebulous, was right and necessary. Walpole, Carteret, Chesterfield, Bedford -- it is an imposing list. Several of them were discarded for trying to do exactly what Newcastle himself did soon after their extrusion." West Indies, pp. 42-43.

[86] The King, who still retained very considerable power in foreign affairs, was opposed to what he considered to be the pusillanimous counsels of Harrington, who had taken a leading role against the King's wishes in the cabinet' crisis of February, 1746, which humiliated George II. The d'Argenson projects gave Newcastle the opportunity to champion the King's warlike inclinations, and to take increasingly effective control of Harrington's department with the King's tacit approbation. By October, 1746, Harrington's position was untenable and he resigned the seals. Newcastle continued his interference in the affairs of the Northern Department when Chesterfield assumed office after Harrington's resignation. Lodge, Diplomacy, pp. 157-1680 187. Also see below pp. 436-437.

[87] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 45, fol. 18, abstract of papers relating to the raising of troops in North America, Newcastle to various governors in North. America, March, 14, 1746.

[88] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 568-569.

[89] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 45, fol. 18, abstract of papers relating to the raising of troops in North America, Newcastle to various governors in North America, April 9, 1746.

[90] Ibid., fols. 337-337v, Newcastle to Shirley, March 14, 1746.

[91] Ibid., vol. 901, fols. 52-56, "Plan for an expedition against Canada", enclosed in Shirley's and Warren's dispatch of October 12, 1746.

[92] Ibid., vol. 45, fols. 371-372v, "Plan of an Intended Expedition against Canada", sent by the Admiralty Office to Warren, April 7, 1746.

[93] Ibid., vol. 13, fols. 89v-90v, Warren to Newcastle, June 6, 1746.

[94] Hotblack, Chatham, p. 45. See also Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 572. It is not clear whether or not Pitt actually assisted Bedford in analysing evidence and preparing the report, but it is apparent that he gained much of his first substantial knowledge of North American affairs from his contact with the Canada Expedition.

[95] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to Warren, January 29, 1745.

[96] ibid., vol. 2654, n.p., Warren to Corbett, September 8, 1744.

[97] Ibid., CO 42, vol. 13, fols. 122-123, Bedford to Newcastle, March 24, 1746.

[98] An extract from Shirley's letter is printed in Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, pp. 280-286; the complete letter is in P.R.O.3 CO5, vol. 900, fols. 255-268, Shirley to Newcastle, October 29, 1745.

[99] P.R.O., CO 42, vol. 13, fols. 124v-125, Bedford to Newcastle, March 24, 1746.

[100] Ibid., fol. 125.

[101] Ibid., fols. 123-124.

[102] Ibid., fols. 125v-126.

[103] Add. Ms. 35408, f. 220, Newcastle to Hardwicke, April.2, 1746, quoted in Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 571.

[104] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 571-572.

[105] P.R.O., Adm. 3, vol..53, n.p., Minutes of the Commission for Lord High Admiral, April 4, 1746; Adm. 2, vol. 209, pp. 7475, Admiralty Board to Navy Board, April 4, 1746.

[106] Ibid., CO5, fols. 370-372, "Plan of an intended Expedition to Canada", unsigned from the Admiralty Office, April 7, 1746.

[107] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 574.

[108] A.C., B, vol. 82-1, fol. 183, Maurepas to de Noailles, August 22, 1745; G. Lacour-Gayet, La Marine militaire de la France sous le règne de Louis XV, (Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, editeur, 1910) pp. 192-194; Frégault, "L'Expédition du duc d'Anville", RHAF, pp. 28-29, 42; Maurice Filion, Maurepas, Ministre de Louis XV, Montréal; Les Editions Leméac,, 1967, p. 76.

[109] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 573.

[110] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 1603, n.p., Cotes to Corbett, May 28, 1746; Cotes to Corbett, May, 29, 1746.

[111] Ibid., vol. 913, n.p.,, Stuart to Corbett, June 16, 1746; vol. 1603, n.p., Cotes to Corbett, June 19, 1746; Cotes to Corbett, June 24, 1746; Cotes to Corbett, June 25, 1746.

[112] Ibid., CO5, vol. 1338, fols. 6-7, Gooch to Newcastle, June 13, 1746.

[113] Ibid., vol. 36, fols. 50-53, Minutes of the Cabinet Council, April 8, 1746.

[114] Quoted in D.N.B., XVIII, p. 298.

[115] On June 30, the Admiralty Commission recorded that "Several Insurances having been made yesterday in the City of London upon French Merchant Ships said to be bound from Rochelle to Cape Breton under Convoy of 7 French Men of War and it being probable they will sail the first fair wind...." These vessels were probably part of d'Anville's fleet. Historian W.L. Dorn writes of this incongruous practice of Englishmen insuring French merchant vessels; "the effectiveness of the trade war [was reduced by] ... the practice of British underwriters of maritime insurance to continue to insure those very enemy ships which the British navy was seeking to destroy. Because French maritime insurance rates were prohibitive, it became a common practice to seek such insurance in London. British insurance brokers found it to their advantage to convey to their French clients such information as would enable them to evade loss or capture. To what extent this practice prevented captures it is impossible to estimate. Until 1747, escaping French fleets were a surprisingly regular occurrence,". Dorn, Competition, pp. 171-172; P.R.O., Adm. 3, vol. 54, n.p., Minutes of the Commission for Lord High Admiral, June 19, 1746.

[116] P.R.O... Adm. 1, vol. 4116, n.p., "Extract of Advices from Holland", February 8, 1746; Adm. 2, vol. 66, fol. 3.66, Admiralty Board to Martin, March 19, 1746; fols. 384-385, Admiralty Board to Martin, March 22, 1746; vol. 496, fols. 494-495, Corbett to Townsend; Adm. 3. vol. 54, n.p., Minutes of the Commission for Lord High Admiral, April 26, 1746; vol. 53, n.p., Minutes of the Commission for Lord High Admiral, April 11, 1746; CO5, vol, 36, fols. 63-64., Minutes of the Cabinet Council, June 25, 1746; Herbert W. Richmond, The Navy in the War of 1739-48, III, (Cambridge; University Press, 1920) pp. 8-19 passim.

[117] The Cabinet recommended that the squadron be increased by one warship of 70-guns, two of 60-guns, one of 50-guns, one of 44-gurs, plus a sloop and a fireship. The increased squadron under Lestock included an 80-gun man-of-war, two of 70-guns, four of 60-guns, one of 50-guns, three of 44-guns, plus a number of smaller armed vessels. P.R.O., CO5, fols. 67-68, Cabinet Council Minutes, July 15, 1746; Adm. 8, vol. 25, n.p., dispositions of British warships, under Vice Admiral Lestock "On a Secret Expedition", August 1, 1746.

[118] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 36, fols, 65-66, Minutes of the Cabinet Council, July 2, 1746; fols. 67-68, Minutes of the Cabinet Council, July, 15, 1746; Adm. 3, vol. 54, n.p.,, Minutes of the Commission for Lord High Admiral, July 4, 1746; Guy Frégault, "L'Expédition du duc d'Anville", RHAF, p. 42; Buffinton "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 576; Richmond, The Navy, III, p. 19.

[119] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 4116, n.p., Newcastle to St. Clair, July 17, 1746.

[120] Richmond, The Navy, III, p. 25.

[121] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, p. 576-579.

[122] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 36, fols. 76v-77, Minutes of the Cabinet Council, August 21, 1746; Richmond, The Navy, III, p. 25.

[123] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 36, f ols . 76v-77, Minutes of the Cabinet Council, August 21, 1746.

[124] Ibid. fol. 77.

[125] For details,of the L'Orient expedition, see Richmond, The Navy, III, pp. 28-38; Fortescue, British Army, II, pp. 155-56; Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 577-578.

[126] Buffinton, "Canada Expedition", AHR, pp. 577-578.