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Port Royal: Oldest Permanent European Settlement Canada

Port Royal (later Annapolis Royal) is located in western Nova Scotia and is the oldest permanent European settlement in Canada and the most important outpost of the French in Acadia against colonial New England. It was founded in 1605 by the sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain, abandoned in 1608, and reoccupied in 1610. In the first of a number of reversals of fortune, Port Royal fell to a force from Virginia under Capt. Argall in 1613. The Huguenot Claude de la Tour brought some settlers from Scotland in 1630, by which time the region had been granted to Sir William Alexander under the name "Nova Scotia." Charles D'Aulanay moved the fort to the present site of Port Royal in 1643. The place was captured by an expedition from New England under the command of Major Robert Sedgwick, but was returned to the French in 1670. The French made Port Royal the seat of their government in Acadia. From here they conducted raids against New England shipping as well as illicit trade with those colonies. In May 1690, during King William’s War, William Phipps of Massachusetts directed a force of eight ships and more than 700 men against a much smaller French contingent at Port Royal. The fort fell to the English, who contented themselves with administering a loyalty oath to the area’s inhabitants before returning home. It was once again returned to the French in 1697 under the Treaty of Ryswick. Port Royal changed hands a total of five times in the years before 1710, at which time the British took final control. Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne. It served as the capital of Nova Scotia until the development of Halifax more than 30 years later.