Simon Denys Fort

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Simon Denys Fort (1650-1659) - A French colonial fort located at present-day Englishtown, Victoria County, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Cairn with plaque. (Click to Enlarge).
Cairn plaque. (Click to Enlarge).
Roadside Carin Site.


The plaque reads: Presented by the Fortress of Louisbourg to the Englishtown Historical Society in July 1996. This gun commemorates Fort Sainte Anne (2) 1629., the first permanent settlement and Jesuit Mission on Cape Breton Island, also Fort Dauphin 1713, a secondary strong place on the Island which was captured in 1745 and abandoned in 1758 after the final capitulation of Louisbourg.
Simon Denys Fort was built on the site of the former Fort Sainte Anne (2). From the Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:
DENYS (Denis) DE LA TRINITÉ, SIMON, member of the Conseil Souverain, second son of Jacques Denys de La Thibaudière and Marie Cosnier; younger brother of Nicolas Denys; ennobled by Louis XIV; b. 1599 at Tours, France; buried 11 Nov. 1678 in the parish of Saint-Barthélemy in La Rochelle, France.

In 1632 Simon accompanied his brother, Nicolas, to Acadia. Nicolas established a fishery at Port Rossignol (near the present-day Liverpool, N.S.) and put Simon in command of a vessel purchased for the trade. When the ship was unloading its first cargo of cod at Oporto, hostilities broke out between France and Spain, of which Portugal was then a part, with the result that the ship was lost and Simon was imprisoned in Madrid. On his release he returned to France, bearing confidential messages from the French ambassador to Cardinal Richelieu. As compensation for his sufferings, the cardinal gave Simon command of one of the king’s ships.

In 1650 he rejoined his brother, moving his entire family to Acadia. Simon rebuilt Capt. Charles Daniel’s post at Sainte-Anne. In the fall of 1651 Mme d’Aulnay widow of the governor, sent forces to seize these posts. The brothers were taken prisoner and, in October 1651, sent to Quebec.

Nicolas returned to Acadia but Simon remained in Canada.
The fort was occupied from 1650 to 1659. One other military fort was later built adjacent to the fort, Fort Dauphin (1713-1758).

Current Status

A National Historic Site. No visible remains of any fort structures. An existing roadside carin with a plaque which reads:

Settled, 1629, by Captain Charles Daniel, and site of an early Jesuit mission. Selected in 1713, as a naval base and one of the principal places in Isle Royale named Port Dauphin and strongly fortified. Its importance declined with the choice, 1719 of Louisbourg as the capital.
Plaque date: 1950

Location: 170m south of Englishtown Ferry Highway 312, Englishtown, Nova Scotia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.287180 Long: -60.540289

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