Patentee of Nova Scotia
, and a poet and court favorite, to whom James I. and Charles I. were much attached.
He was born at Menstrie, Scotland
, in 1580.
He became the author of verses when he was fourteen years old, and was cherished by Scotchmen
as a descendant of the Macdonalds.
contained more than one hundred sonnets, songs, and elegies which displayed the effects of ill-requited love.
When the Council for New England
perceived the intention of the French
beyond the St. Croix
to push their settlements westward, they granted to Sir William (who had been knighted in 1614) all of the territory now known as New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia
, excepting a part of Acadia
proper; and the King
confirmed it, and issued a patent Sept. 10, 1621.
The territory granted was called Nova Scotia
--New Scotland — and it was given to Sir William and his heirs in fee without conditions.
It was erected into a royal palatinate, the proprietor being invested with the rights and powers of a count-palatine.
It was designed to settle the territory with Scotch emigrants, who should form a barrier against French encroachments.
A colony was accordingly planted, and Sir William held possession ten years before he was displaced by the French
In 1625 Charles I. (who had just succeeded his deceased father), in order to help Sir William plant a successful colony or sell the domain in parcels, created the order of “Baronets of Nova Scotia
,” the title to be conferred upon purchasers of large tracts of land there.
He also gave the proprietor the privilege of coining base copper money.
In 1626 Sir William was appointed Secretary of State
, Keeper of the Signet in 1627, Commissioner
of the Exchequer in 1628, also Lord
In 1630 he was created Viscount Stirling
, and in 1633 Earl
In 1628 the Council for New England
gave him a grant of territory, which included a part of Long Island
, opposite Connecticut
; but he was not able to manage his colonization schemes in Nova Scotia
, and he sold his domain to the French
He died in London
, Sept. 12, 1640. Lord Stirling's title expired with the fifth earl (1739), but other claimants appeared afterwards.