Foreign Catholics among the Foreign Protestants?
Deportees from Louisbourg to Lunenburg in 1758
Terrence M. Punch, D.Litt.
Does it surprise you to learn that some of the foreign Protestants brought to Nova Scotia
turned out to be foreign Catholics? In the eighteenth century, religion was intimately linked
to political allegiance. At that time, Britain was a “Protestant” power, France a “Catholic”
one. When the British decided to establish Halifax as a British military outpost, the British
government sought only Protestants. . . . Already in October 1750, the Anglican missionary in
Halifax, Rev. William Tutty, discovered Catholics “among the small number of Palatines . . .
sent by the last two transports, . . . no less than forty. . .” In alarm, he scribbled a lengthy
report to London.
The Catholics in Halifax were weeded out and expelled to fend for themselves. Most went to
the nearest settled town: Louisbourg, the French fortress in Cape Breton. . . .