Mascarene, Paul (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

MASCARENE, PAUL (1684–1760), lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, son of Jean Mascarine and Margaret de Salavy, his wife, was born at Castras, province of Languedoc, France, in 1684. His father, a protestant, left France at the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and Paul fell to the charge of his grandmother. At the age of twelve he found his way to Geneva, where he was educated. Afterwards he came to England, where he was naturalised in 1706. In 1708 he was appointed second lieutenant in Lord Montague's regiment, then in garrison at Portsmouth, and on 1 April 1710 captain in Colonel Wanton's regiment of foot, ordered to he raised in New England for service in the West Indies. He served with this regiment, under Colonel Nicholson, at the taking of Port Royal, Acadia (Nova Scotia), which was renamed Annapolis Royal. He commanded the grenadiers at the storming of Port Royal, and mounted the first guard in that place, receiving a brevet majority for his services. Wanton's regiment was disbanded at the peace of Utrecht, but on 12 Aug. 1716 Mascarene was made captain of an independent company of foot, to garrison Placentia, Newfoundland. The company was afterwards incorporated with Colonel Philips's regiment (40th foot). In 1720 he was appointed third on the list of councillors on the first formation of the board at Annapolis Royal, and sent home to the plantation office and the board of ordnance very complete descriptions of the province, with suggestions for its settlement and defence. He was employed with the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire in negotiations with the Eastern Indians, which ended in the treaty of 1725–6. In 1739 he became major of Philips's regiment, and in 1740 was appointed lieutenant-governor of Annapolis, a military appointment, and administered the government of the province (Governor Philips residing in England) until the arrival of Governor Cornwallis in 1749. He became lieutenant-colonel of Philips's regiment in 1742, and applied for the lieutenant-governorship of the province, urging his long acquaintance with the Indians and Acadians, he being then the only officer there who had been present at the taking of Annapolis. In 1744 he was appointed lieutenant-governor, but received no salary, as the governor (Philips) pleaded inability to pay. For years Mascarene appears to have provided for the food and clothing of the regiment at his own cost. In May 1744 he defended the fort against a force of Indians, under M. Le Loutre, who burned the town, scalped some of the English inhabitants, and drove off the cattle. Later in the same year he was attacked by a considerable French force from Louisburg, under M. Du Vivier, and notwithstanding the remonstrances of his officers, who had lost heart, and the abject state of wretchedness to which the garrison was reduced by neglect at home, he held the place and beat off the enemy. When Cornwallis arrived, Mascarene came to meet him at Chebuctoo, and was sworn in senior member of the council. Cornwall is reported that 'no regiment in any service was ever reduced to the condition in which I found this unfortunate battalion.' In 1751 Mascarene was sent by Cornwallis on special duty to New England, and was employed with General Shirley in conciliating the Indian tribes of Western Acadia. Soon after he retired on account of age, and resided at Boston until his death. He became a major-general in 1758, and died at Boston, Massachusetts, on 22 Jan. 1760. He appears to have been a man of considerable education and talent, whose ability and uprightness won for him the confidence of the French Acadians and Indians alike. No man ever served his country better, and none received less support or reward from home (Murdoch). A portrait of him in armour is extant.

Mascarene married Elizabeth Perry, a Boston lady, and by her left a son and daughter, from whom the colonial families of Hutchinson and Snelling are descended.

[Home Office Mil. Entry Books, ix. 113, x. 320, and Papers relating to New England and Nova Scotia in Public Record Office, London; Beamish Murdoch's Hist. Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1857), i. 425, ii. passim, 14–391; Collections of the Historical Soc. of Nova Scotia, 1878–9, vol. ii.; Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 19069–71, 32818 f. 7..]

H. M. C.