Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Stanley Introduction The Work Begins

The New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company
The British politicians, merchants and others who gathered at London's Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand on 2 March 1831 speculated on the wealth to be gained by purchasing colonial lands in British North America.
The group which included seven members of the British Parliament; John Bainbridge, a member of the British North American Merchants' Association; and Samuel Cunard, a merchant and shipowner, decided that a land company would best suit their purposes. They applied to Lord Stanley, the colonial secretary, to negotiate an agreement with the British government for the purchase of crown land in New Brunswick. The New Brunswick government, for its part, was interested in selling the company a large tract of wilderness land, as such a sale would infuse much needed capital into the colonial treasury.
Scholar, orator, and statesman, Edward George Geoffrey Stanley, Fourteenth Earl of Derby, was sympathetic to the investors' request. On 20 February 1834 the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company was incorporated by an act of Parliament for the primary purposes of purchasing, clearing, settling, cultivating, and leasing land; building roads, bridges, and other communication links; and constructing houses, schools, chapels, mills, and other buildings necessary to encourage cultivation and settlement. Stanley, the largest and most successful community the company would establish in New Brunswick, was named for the promoter of the colonization scheme.