A Blupete Biography Page

Arthur Noble

Born in Ulster, Noble came to New England with two of his brothers in the 1720s and was to settle on the Kennebec River (part of Massachusetts in the days under review; now, part of the State of Maine). He married, in 1725, Sarah Macklin.1 Successful at running a farm and a trading post (leather and furs) he was to become prosperous. He was very much involved in the affairs of his church and of the community as a whole. He and Sarah were to have at least three children. War, having broken out between England and France during 1744, meant that many New England men, especially those with a taste for adventure, signed up, and would go off and fight for their country: Arthur Noble was one of them.

Noble first shows up in our history as part of the colonial force of New Englanders who besieged and took Louisbourg in 1745 (The First Siege of Louisbourg). There he was to see a considerable amount of action. After Louisbourg was taken, he was to stay on as part of the holding garrison. He was to spend, together with the rest of his fellows, a most miserable winter, until, during April of 1746, he and his fellow New Englanders were relieved by English regulars (the Gibraltar troops). He then returned to his home in Massachusetts. By the fall of that year, 1746, at the call of Governor Shirley, Arthur Noble was back in Nova Scotia; and, within months, he was to meet his death in a desperate gun battle with his French adversaries.

Arthur Noble was to make his biggest and his final mark on the history Nova Scotia in the winter of 1746/1747, when he led 500 men up to Nova Scotia from their farms and villages in New England to deal with certain French incursions. They were to eventually station themselves at Grand Pre, amongst the Acadians who had long since settled in the area. These New Englanders took no defensive precautions, though they were at war and knew that there was a sizable French army contingent but 150 miles away at the Isthmus of Chignecto. Noble did not figure the French would move until the spring and so snuggled in to pass the winter. These New Englanders were pre-empted and surprised by a brilliant overland march made by the French. The French were entirely successful in defeating the English. During this battle about 70 of the 500 English (all caught with their pajamas on) were killed including Noble. I deal with this event in my history, Massacre at Grand Pre.

Arthur Noble was, as Archibald MacMechan was to describe him, "no ordinary man ... no professional soldier, or needy adventurer."2 He lies together with his brother under the blossoming apple trees near by the old stone church at Grand Pre, a federal historical park dedicated, not only to the memory of the French Acadians; but, also, to the brave English and French soldiers who died in a battle that had taken place on a blizzardous night, in February, 1747.


[1] "Biographical Directory" as contained in The Royal Navy and North America (London: Navy Records Society, Vol. 118, 1973) at p.437; and see Arthur Eaton's History of the County of Kings, p. 46.

[2] Red Snow on Grand Pre, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1931) at pp. 15-6.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)