Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada
National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque for Samuel Vetch © Parks Canada/A. Rierden
For much of his military career, Samuel Vetch worked tirelessly to advance his vision of British domination over North America. In a sweeping paper submitted in 1708, “Canada Survey’d,” Vetch discussed New England’s efforts against Acadia and outlined a strategy of defeating France in the New World. The paper earned him the support of New England colonists and the British Crown, and propelled military action.
After New England and British forces had to abort an attempt to attack Port-Royal in 1709, Vetch and Colonel Francis Nicholson urged a resurrection of the plan. Once Nicholson returned from England with the Queen’s consent, preparations for the 1710 expedition continued at a rapid pace.
After the fall of Port-Royal that autumn, Vetch was appointed commander of the garrison and governor of Annapolis Royal. Finding the fort in poor condition he appealed with little success for supplies to repair the buildings and ramparts, and for additional troops. After spending two hard winters at the fort, Vetch learned in 1712 that the British government had appointed Nicholson to replace him. The exchange stemmed from attempts by Nicholson to have his former comrade-in-arms charged with maladministration of the fort.
Vetch left for England that spring to counter the accusations. Although the claims were subsequently discredited and Vetch won the governorship of Nova Scotia, he never returned to North America. He is buried in Southmark, London.