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William Alexander, the 1st earl of Stirling, was a Scottish poet who was given a royal charter by James VI (James I of England) naming him mayor of Nova Scotia (New Scotland) in 1621. The territory included the modern Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec, and the northern part of the American state of Maine. However, the area was still part of the French colony of Acadie. English forces from Boston conquered the area in 1654, but it was returned to France in 1667. Despite numerous attempts to regain the territory it was not permanently taken by the English until 1710. With the establishment of Canada it became the country's 2nd-smallest province (PEI is the smallest). No place in the province is more than 67 km (42 mi) from the Atlantic ocean.
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