Governors, Commanders, and Commissaire-Ordonnateurs of Acadia/Nova Scotia/Île Royale, 1604-1765


French and English Governors of Acadia

French proprietary governors, 1604-1629

Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts, 1604-07 (governed from Île Ste.-Croix, 1604-05; from Port-Royal, 1605-07)

(colony abandoned, no governor, 1607-10)

Jean de Biencourt, sieur de Poutrincourt, 1610-14 (from Port-Royal)

Charles de Biencourt, 1614-23 (from Port-Royal and various posts)

Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, 1623-28/9 (from Cap-Sable and various posts)

First English Interregnum, 1629-1632

William Alexander, Earl of Sterling (Nova Scotia) (governed from England with colonial headquarters at Port-Royal)

French proprietary governors, 1631-1670

Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, 1631-32 (from Cap-Sable)

Isaac de Razilly, 1632-35 (from La Hève)

Charles de Menou de Charnizay, sieur d’Aulnay, 1635-38 (alone, from Port-Royal), 1638-41 (jointly from Port-Royal with La Tour as lieutenant governor), 1641-50 (alone, under title of governor-general, 1647-50, from Port-Royal)

Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, 1638-41 (jointly with d'Aulnay as lieutenant governor, from Cap-Sable and Rivière St.-Jean), 1651-57 (alone, from Cap-Sable and Rivière St.-Jean; only nominally governor after the English seized Acadia in 1654)

Emmanuel Le Borgne, sieur du Coudray, 1657-67 (in absentia due to English occupation)

Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle, 1667-70 (in absentia due to English occupation)

Second English Interregnum, 1654-1670

John Leverett, 1654-57 (military commander, from Boston and Port-Royal)

Sir Thomas Temple, 1656-70 (governor, from Boston)

French royal governors, commanders, and King's lieutenants, 1670-169001

Hector d’Andigné de Grandfontaine, 1670-73 (governor, from Pentagöuet)

Jacques de Chambly, 1673-78 (governor, from Pentagöuet; captured by Dutch privateers, summer 1674; held in Boston until ransomed by Governor-General Frontenac in 1675; returned to France; renamed governor of Acadia in May 1676 but went to the French Antilles instead, where he was appointed military commander in September 1677 and governor of Grenada in April 1679; never returned to Acadia) 

Pierre de Joybert de Soulanges et de Marson, 1676-78 (commander and then governor, from Rivière St.-Jean; died 1 July 1678, Jemseg)

Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière et de Beaubassin, 1678-84 (commander from Beaubassin until confirmed as governor in 1683, from Port-Royal in 1683 then back to Beaubassin)

Clerbaud Bergier, 1684 (King's lieutenant, from Chédabouctou)

Charles Duvet de Chevry de La Boulaye, 1684 (King's lieutenant, from Chédabouctou)

François-Marie Perrot, 1684-87 (governor, from Port-Royal; appointed in 1684 after being dismissed as governor of Montréal but did not reach Acadia until September 1685)

Louis-Alexandre des Friches de Meneval, 1687-90 (governor, from Port-Royal; captured May 1690, held in Boston; never returned to Acadia)

English "Occupation," 1690-1696

Charles La Tourasse (commander at Port-Royal)

Edward Tyng (governed from Rivière St.-Jean)

French royal governors and commanders-continued, 1691-1711

Joseph Robinau dit Promville, sieur de Villebon, 1691-1700 (commander, from Nashouat, Rivière St.-Jean)

Claude-Sébastien Le Bassier de Villieu, 1700-01 (temporary commander after sudden death of Villebon at Nashouat, from Port-Royal)

Jacques-François de Mombeton de Brouillan, 1701-05 (commander 1701-02, governor 1702-05, from Port-Royal; died at Chédabouctou, September 1705, after a return voyage from France)

Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, 1705-06 (commander, from Port-Royal)

Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, 1706-10 (commander and then governor, from Port-Royal; the last royal governor of French Acadia)

Bernard-Anselme d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, 1711 (commander, from Pentagöuet)

British Occupation, 1710-1713

Francis Nicholson, governor (usually not present); Samuel Vetch, lieutenant governor (from Annapolis Royal and Boston); Sir Charles Hobby, commander-in-chief in Vetch's absence (from Annapolis Royal)


British Governors and Lieutenant or Deputy Governors of Nova Scotia, 1712-1765

Francis Nicholson, governor (usually from Boston or England), 1712-15 (driven from office by a hostile Whig government)

Samuel Vetch, lieutenant governor, acting for Nicholson, 1711-15 (from Annapolis Royal but usually from Boston)

Sir Charles Hobby, acting for Vetch, 1711 (from Annapolis Royal)

Thomas Caulfeild, acting for Vetch and then Nicholson, 1711-13, 1714-15 (from Annapolis Royal)

Samuel Vetch, governor, 1715-17 (from England; never returned to America)

Thomas Caulfeild, acting for Vetch, 1715-17 (from Annapolis Royal; died in office, March 1717)

Richard Philipps, governor (usually from England), 1717-49

John Doucett, acting for Philipps, 1717-25 (from Annapolis Royal; remained in the colony and died at Fort Anne, November 1726)

Lawrence Armstrong, acting for Philipps, 1725-39 (from Annapolis Royal; committed suicide at Fort Anne)

Alexander Cosby, acting for Philipps, 1739-40 (from Annapolis Royal)

Paul Mascarene, acting for Philipps, 1740-49 (from Annapolis Royal)

Edward Cornwallis, governor, 1749-52 (from Halifax, formerly Chebouctou)

Peregrine Thomas Hopson, governor, 1752-56 (from Halifax until November 1753, and then from England)

          Charles Lawrence, lieutenant governor, 1752-56, acting for Hopson from Halifax after November 1753

Charles Lawrence, governor, 1756-60 (from Halifax; died in office)

Jonathan Belcher, Jr., lieutenant governor, 1760-63 (from Halifax)

Henry Ellis, governor (appointed 1761; never served)

Montague Wilmot, lieutenant governor, 1763-64; governor, 1764-65 (from Halifax)


French and British Governors of Île Royale, 1712-1758

Philippe de Pastour de Costebelle, 1714-17, from Baie Ste-Anne, until his death

Joseph Mombeton de Brouillon de Saint-Ovide, 1715-17, King's lieutenant & acting governor; 1717-39, governor, from Louisbourg

Jean-Maurice-Josué Duboisberthelot de Beaucour, June 1717, commandant in the governor's absence

Isaac-Louis de Forant, 1739-40

Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Prévost Duquesnel, 1740-44

Louis Dupont Duchambon, 1744-45, acting governor until surrender of Louisbourg

British interregnum, 1745-49:

Admiral Peter Warren and William Pepperell

Commodore Charles Knowles

Colonel Peregrine Thomas Hopson

Charles des Herbiers de La Ralière, 1749-51

Jean-Louis, Comte de Raymond, 1751-53

Charles-Joseph d'Ailleboust, 1753-54

Augustin de Boschenry de Drucourt, 1754-58

French commissaire-ordonnateurs (authorizing commissioners or financial commissaries) of Île Royale, 1712-1758

Pierre-Auguste de Soubras, 1714-18

Jacques-Ange Le Normant de Mézy, 1718-28

Sébastien-François-Ange Le Normant de Mézy, 1729-35, acting commissaire-ordonnateur; 1735-39, commissaire-ordonnateur

François Bigot, 1739-46

Jacques Prévost de La Croix, 1749-56

Commandants of Île St.-Jean, 1720-1758

Company Period (1719-1725)

Robert-David Gotteville de Belile, 1720-22

Jean-Maurice-Josué Duboisberthelot de Beaucour, 1722-23

Royal Period (1726-1758)

Jacques d'Espiet de Pensens, 1726-36

Robert Tarride Duhaget, 1736-37

Louis Dupont Duchambon, 1737-44

Joseph Dupont Duvivier, 1744-46

British control, 1746-48

Pierre Benoist, 1748-49

Claude-Élisabeth Denys de Bonnaventure, 1749-54

Gabriel Rousseau, sieur de Villejoin, 1754-58

Subdelegates of the King's commissaire of Île St.-Jean, 1722-1758

Robert Poitiers Dubuisson, 1722-44

François-Marie de Goutin, 1744-52




01.  Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 101, counts 11 governors & commanders over Acadia during the 4 decades of French royal rule; 14, including temporary commanders, are listed here.  Griffiths, p. 490n1, explains:  "Governors received their appointments from France, sometimes on the recommendation of authorities in Quebec; commanders were most often directly named by the governor[-general] in Quebec."  Grandfontaine & all subsequent French royal governors & commanders in Acadia, then, were subject to the authority of the governors-general and royal intendants of New France (Canada).  See Arsenault, History, 35; Griffiths, p. 123.  No commissaire-ordonnateurs, as in Île Royale & LA, were appointed for French Acadia. 

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Copyright (c) 2003-16  Steven A. Cormier