The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 45.213004, -62.753906

1893 text

Nova Scotia and the adjoining countries were called by the French Acadie. Pepys is not the only official personage whose ignorance of Nova Scotia is on record. A story is current of a prime minister (Duke of Newcastle) who was surprised at hearing Cape Breton was an island. “Egad, I’ll go tell the King Cape Breton is an island!” Of the same it is said, that when told Annapolis was in danger, and ought to be defended: “Oh! certainly Annapolis must be defended, — where is Annapolis?” — B.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

4 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Nova Scotia (also known as Mi'kma'ki and Acadia) is located in Canada's Maritimes. The region was initially occupied by Mi'kmaq. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the colony was primarily made up of Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. This time period involved four colonial wars between New England and New France as well as two local wars (Father Rale's War and Father Le Loutre's War) before Britain defeated France in North America. Throughout these wars, Nova Scotia was the site of numerous battles, raids and skirmishes.

From 1629-1632, Nova Scotia briefly became a Scottish colony. Sir William Alexander of Menstrie Castle, Scotland claimed mainland Nova Scotia and settled at Port Royal, while Ochiltree claimed Ile Royale (present-day Cape Breton Island) and settled at Baleine, Nova Scotia.

Acadia was plunged into what some historians have described as a civil war in Acadia (1640–1645). The war was between Port Royal, where Governor of Acadia Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnisay was stationed, and present-day Saint John, New Brunswick, where Governor of Acadia. Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour was stationed.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link…

• 1008-11: Thorfin Karlsefne established a settlement on the Atlantic coast.
• 1497: Nova Scotia was rediscovered by John Cabot and claimed for England.
• 1534: Jacques Cartier explored the northern shoreline.
• 1604–1605: DeMonts and Champlain established a settlement at Port Royal (present-day Annapolis Royal).
• 1621: The first attempts at Scottish colonization were made; they failed.
• 1629: First settlements were made by the Scots at Charlesfort (near Port Royal) and at Rosemar.
• 1654: French settlements were seized by New Englanders.
• 1670: The Treaty of Breda gave lost territory back to France.
• 1686: Ninety French Acadian families were located at Port Royal.
• 1690: Port Royal was captured by New Englanders.
• 1713: Through the Treaty of Utrecht, France gave Acadia to Britain.
• 1749: Halifax was settled by the British.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I don't know if this entry will end up being off-topic or not. It's entirely possible that some people recorded in Pepys' Diary held a great secret which is being investigated today on Oak Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia.

So far leather dating back to Shakespeare's times ... Charles II coins ... 17th century bones ... a 17th century tar manufacturing set-up ... 17th century English ox shoes for both summer and winter use ... the sort of steel pegs used in 17th century English ship building ... pieces of eight beloved by pirates and buccaneers ... plus artifacts going back to the Crusades, have been discovered. Multiple digs continue as of 2021, and even if the Lagina Brothers (who organized the search) strike the jackpot, there are enough unanswered questions about what happened here to occupy archeologists for decades.

So how did 17th century ships find this tiny island on the far side of the Atlantic? It is called Oak Island because centuries ago the oak trees on this island were twice the size of oaks in the surrounding area. They were a type of giant oak originally from Spain and Portugal, so they were clearly visible from the sea.

For pictures of the Charles II coins and some of their other finds ... plus 8 years of episodes about the dig ...…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

We're now into year 11 of the Lagina Brother's search. My theory that a certain captain known to Pepys and the Diary, who took weeks longer than necessary returning from the Caribbean bearing not as much treasure as was expected, was probably premature.
It will take many more years unravelling the history of Oak Island, Nova Scotia.

If you'd like to see the sort of building tools they used in Pepys' day, plus a summary of this multi-themed treasure hunt uncovering the earliest history of European activity on the American continent ("It's Roman, baby!"):…

The Royal Navy was certainly there during Pepys' lifetime.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.