Mauger, Joshua

Joshua Mauger, colonial entrepreneur (bap in the parish of St John, Jersey 25 Apr 1725; d at Warborne, Eng 18 Oct 1788). Mauger arrived in Halifax in 1749 and evolved his position as navy victualler into a commercial and property empire, based initially on contraband trade with the French. He became Halifax's largest shipowner, building vessels, plying the coastal and West Indies trade, and supplying rum, lumber, mercantile goods and fish to a network of outpost stores. His distillery produced 50 000 gallons (190 000 litres) annually by 1766, and in a colony totally dependent on rum revenue, Mauger's position was pre-eminent. Although based in England after 1760, he used agents and his own influence to protect his Nova Scotian interests and undermine the colonial administration, including Jonathan BELCHER, Lord William Campbell and Francis LEGGE, governors hostile to the mercantile ascendancy. Mauger's complex involvement with Nova Scotia underscores the bonds of subservience and influence that hindered that colony's early development.