HARRISON, JOHN, minister, chaplain in the expedition against Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.), 1710, chaplain to the garrison at Annapolis Royal, 1710–20; member of the first council of Nova Scotia, 1720; fl. 1710–21.
In May 1710 Harrison crossed from England to Boston in the Dragon as chaplain to Commodore George Martin, who had been appointed commander of Her Majesty’s ships in the expedition against Port-Royal. On 18 Sept. 1710 (o.s.), Harrison sailed with the fleet to Port-Royal. After its capture he conducted a service of thanksgiving in the chapel on 10 October. The following day Colonel Francis Nicholson, at a council of war, and upon the recommendation of Commodore Martin, appointed Harrison chaplain to the garrison at Annapolis Royal. For the next three years, Harrison diligently ministered to the garrison and to the residents who were members of the Church of England.
On 7 Nov. 1713, he obtained leave of absence to go to Boston on private business. While there he was concerned with the interests of the church at Annapolis Royal as his letter of 23 November to Francis Nicholson attests. Early in March 1715/16 Harrison was reported to have gone to England from Annapolis Royal. He returned there on 15 Nov. 1716, bringing with him clothing for the garrison.
When the first civil council in Nova Scotia was instituted on 25 April 1720, Governor Richard Philipps* appointed Harrison as one of its members. Four days later Harrison was designated a member of a committee of council appointed to draft an order to the French inhabitants living along the Annapolis River to choose their representatives. He attended meetings of the council until 16 Aug. 1720.
Shortly afterwards he went back to England. On 5 Sept. 1725, Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence Armstrong declared that Harrison was still in England, and that he had been away from Nova Scotia for about four years. It seems unlikely that he later returned to Nova Scotia. He was probably still alive in 1732, for on 23 November of that year, after the garrison chaplain, Reverend Richard Watts, had petitioned for a patent for the church land, Armstrong confirmed a grant in Annapolis Royal to John Harrison, also chaplain, and his successors in office.
Nova Scotia, Dept. of Lands and Forests, Crown land records, I, 26–27 (copies in PANS). PANS, MS docs., VIII, 4. PRO, C.O. 217/2, ff.78–79; 217/4, f.274. USPG, Letters and reports of missionaries of SPG, A, VIII, 568–75; IX, 391 (copies in PANS). “Letters and other papers relating to the early history of the Church of England in Nova Scotia,” in N.S. Hist. Soc. Coll., VII (1891), 89–91; see also N.S. Hist. Soc. Coll., I (1878), 86. N.S. Archives, II, III. PRO, CSP, Col., 1710–11, 1714–15, 1720–21, 1724–25, 1734–35. Dalton, English army lists. C. W. Vernon, Bicentenary sketches and early days of the church in Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1910), 1, 3, 27–32.