William Shirley (1694-1771)
British lawyer William Shirley settled in Boston in 1731 to pursue a law career. Appointed Governor of Massachusetts ten years later, he did not believe in the neutrality of the Acadians and felt that their proximity made them a menace to Massachusetts. He called the Acadians the most hateful inhabitants of Nova Scotia and planned to make them British by having numerous Anglo-Protestants settled there over the course of several years. In June 1755, he sent 2,000 of his men to assist Nova Scotia Governor Charles Lawrence when he attacked Fort Beauséjour. Later, he participated in the Deportation of the Acadians and authorized many deportees to go to Massachusetts, knowing full well that they would be defenceless because his colony was one of the British army's best defended. One of the key players in the Deportation, Shirley died in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1771.