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Sir David Kirke

Kirke, Sir David (kûrk) [key], 1597–1655?, English merchant adventurer, b. France. In 1627 he and his brothers Lewis and Thomas sailed on a fleet outfitted by their father, Gervase Kirke, and Sir William Alexander (later earl of Stirling) on a royal patent to expel the French settlements in Canada and establish a monopoly of trade in Nova Scotia. Near Newfoundland they seized a fleet of French vessels. They attacked the French stations in Nova Scotia and went back to England with captives and spoils. In 1629, David returned and forced Samuel de Champlain to surrender Quebec. Meanwhile Charles I had made peace with France and all French possessions taken after Apr. 24, 1629, had to be restored. Knighted in 1633, Sir David went to Newfoundland in 1638 as governor and colonizer. A Royalist during the English Civil War, Kirke was deprived of his governorship after the execution of the king.

See H. Kirke, First English Conquest of Canada (1871).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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