The Duke William was a ship which served as a troop transport at the Siege of Louisbourg and as a deportation ship in the Île Saint-Jean Campaign of the Expulsion of the Acadians during the Seven Years’ War. While the Duke William was transporting Acadians from Île St Jean (Prince Edward Island) to France, the ship sank in the North Atlantic on December 13, 1758, with the loss of over 360 lives. The sinking was one of the greatest marine disasters in Canadian history.
Captain William Nichols of Norfolk, England, was the commander and co-owner of the Duke William when it sank. Nichols survived the sinking and received international attention when his journal recounting the tragic incident was published in popular print throughout the 19th century in England and America. Several years after the sinking of the Duke William, Nichols also received international attention when he was taken captive…
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