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Liverpool, Nova Scotia

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Colonial Navy of Massachusetts Invades Nova Scotia



During the July 4th week the Colonial Navy of Massachusetts, based out of Fall River, sailed to Nova Scotia to reenact the 1780 invasion of Liverpool, N.S. by Massachusetts privateers.  In the summer of 1780, two Massachusetts warships landed a force of 50 men to destroy the English privateer base at Liverpool and to avenge the taking of unarmed Massachusetts’s merchant ships.  Ironically, the town was defended not by British or Canadian troops, but by the Kings Orange Rangers, a regiment of NY loyalist stationed in Nova Scotia.


Following the path of the Colonial strike force, the present day Colonial Navy of Massachusetts sailed from Portland, Maine (formerly a part of Massachusetts Bay Colony) landing at dawn in Nova Scotia.  They proceeded over land to Liverpool entering the town at the head of a grand parade. 


In proper US fashion, the Colonial Navy of Massachusetts attempted to win over the population by attending a local wedding and church service.  The multi-talented field music contingent, under Captain Bill Hart of Fall River, entertained the wedding party.  Captain Frank (Brud) Hadley led the Fleet choir in a moving outdoor service.  Despite the apparent warm hospitality of the local residents of Queens County, the next day Canadian militia gathered outside the captured fort.  Following the historical sequence of events, a short but spirited firefight took place outside the fort ending when both sides agreed to a truce.  The gallant Captain Frank Noble of Somerset, Ma, led the Marine contingent in the firefight.


Defeated but not dispirited, the Colonial Navy of Massachusetts sailed south to Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate the 4th of July but not before stopping off in Halifax for the Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the largest military entertainment spectacle in North America.


Seamen John Cummings of Fall River was sited as the most outstanding volunteer of the battle, unfortunately the award was from the British forces.

Commodore David Kiley of Swansea and Vice Commodore Everett Lewis of Fall River commanded the Fleet.


Marine Bill Ayre of Fall River, Prize Master William Brayton of Somerset, Captains Chuck Connors and Bill Webb both of Swansea planned the expedition.

From an article in the Somerset Spectator Fall of 2003

Bill Frank Owen negotiate truce.JPG
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