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William Alexander, Earl of Stirling
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William Alexander, Earl of Stirling

For others with similar names, see: William Alexander (disambiguation).

Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (c.1570–1640) was a Scotsman who was an early developer of British colonization of Nova Scotia. He was a courtier in Scotland before its throne was joined with that of England to create the United Kingdom. After unification King James I granted him land in America; the area now know as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and part of the northern United States.

Alexander was an active promoter of his New Scotland and brought many British settlers to the maritimes. He was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in 1626 and held that office for the rest of his life. In 1630, King Charles rewarded his service be making him the Earl of Stirling.

Lord Stirling’s efforts at colonization were less successful, at least from a monetary standpoint. He spent his fortune, and when the maritimes were returned to France in 1632, it was lost. He spent his later years with limited means, and died in London on September 12, 1640.