Richard Philipps

Richard Philipps, governor of Nova Scotia 1717-49 (b in Pembrokeshire, Wales c 1661; d at London, Eng 14 Oct 1750). Although he spent little time in Nova Scotia (1720-22, 1729-31), his dealings with the Acadians in 1730 had a strong effect on subsequent events.

Philipps, Richard

Richard Philipps, governor of Nova Scotia 1717-49 (b in Pembrokeshire, Wales c 1661; d at London, Eng 14 Oct 1750). Although he spent little time in Nova Scotia (1720-22, 1729-31), his dealings with the Acadians in 1730 had a strong effect on subsequent events. Ceded by France in 1713, the province was populated by a French-speaking people who refused to take the normal oath of allegiance, and it was barely held by a tattered garrison at ANNAPOLIS ROYAL. Sent out to demonstrate British authority but powerless to force the issue, Philipps administered a modified oath and apparently promised verbally that the Acadians would not have to bear arms against France. Other officers had made a similar concession but Philipps was the governor; fortified with the memory of his word, the Acadians maintained a general neutrality for 25 years. Their success, however, contributed to their unpreparedness when they faced Gov Charles LAWRENCE's ultimatum in 1755 and were subsequently deported (see ACADIA).

Philipps went home for good in 1731. British authorities remained inattentive to Nova Scotia until the late 1740s; and the practical governor, his counsels largely unheeded, spent his last years living on his allowances in London.