Soldiers of the Atlantic Seaboard

The Occupation Of Louisbourg And French Attacks

Troubles and Innovations Amongst the British

Soldier of the Nova Scotia Rangers, around 1750

Caption: Soldier of the Nova Scotia Rangers, around 1750

Meanwhile, discontent was growing among the English troops at Louisbourg. When a deduction from their pay was announced in the summer of 1747, a general mutiny erupted. The entire garrison laid down its arms and began a hunger strike. The authorities had no other choice than to revoke the deduction, hoping that the troops would fight if Louisbourg were attacked by the French. Most of all, it was hoped that the War of Austrian Succession would come to an end. It did end the next year, but Louisbourg was returned to France by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Elsewhere, Goreham's company continued to prove very useful, patrolling the territory. In 1747, its strength was increased to 100 men. Two years later, a second company of equal strength and a third of 50 men were raised among colonists in Nova Scotia. On the eve of the Seven Years' War, a French report estimated that the corps consisted of 120 men, including "some Maringhams" (possibly Mohicans), "who [their] men despise[d], as well as riffraff from every country." Dressed in grey with small leather caps, they were used to "comb the woods." 130 Despite the "riffraff" they included - an understandable opinion on the part of their adversaries - Goreham's Rangers were considered by the British to be very effective, and this company formed the core of a battalion of North American Rangers raised during the Seven Years' War.

Finally, there is an administrative detail that is important in its own way. Although the Nova Scotia Rangers were raised in 1744 by order of the legislative assembly of Massachusetts, England gave its approval and provided financing. Three years after this decision, Captain Goreham received a royal commission and the company was paid out of the British treasury. As a result, this corps, constituted largely of Amerindians and Métis, was henceforth part of the regular British army. This meant that the Nova Scotia Rangers were the first regular corps raised in the British colonies in Canada.