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SAVAGE, THOMAS, Boston merchant and militia officer; b. c. 1640 at Boston; son of Thomas Savage and Faith (Hutchinson) Savage; married Elizabeth Scottow, probably in 1664; d. 2 July 1705 (o.s.) at Boston.

Like his father, Savage became an officer in both the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company and the Boston militia. During King Philip’s War (1675–76) he served with his father, who was the commander of the Massachusetts troops.

In the summer of 1690 Savage was persuaded to abandon temporarily his business activities to play an active role in the war against the French. In August, the Massachusetts General Court sent him with two others to Albany in an effort to enlist some Indian allies to counter the serious French-Indian threat to the colony’s frontiers.

Major Savage was later appointed commander of one of the three regiments in William Phips*’s expedition against Quebec. Savage was sent ashore on 6 October (16 October, N.S.) to deliver an ultimatum to Buade* de Frontenac to surrender. Savage was “carried blindfold into a circle of martial men, who, finding a pumpkin fleet with the Union flag . . . told him their guns would answer for them.” The English sent troops ashore under the command of Major John Walley two days later; among these were Savage’s command. Their attack was to no avail and the New England fleet retreated on 14 or 15 October.

On his return to Boston, Savage wrote a letter describing the expedition to his brother Perez in London. This letter was published in London in 1691 under the imposing title An account of the late action of the New-Englanders, under the command of Sir William Phips, against the French at Canada. Savage was particularly critical of the New England seamen in the expedition and also stressed that the French possessed all the important strategic advantages.

The popular merchant and militia officer died in Boston on 2 July 1705 and was given an impressive military funeral. The streets were “very much fill’d with People all along.”

G. A. Rawlyk

Coll. de manuscrits relatifis à la N.-F., I, 520–21, 574. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 485–86. PRO, CSP, Col., 1689–92, 376–77, 384–86. Thomas Savage, An account of the late action of the New-Englanders, under the command of Sir William Phips, against the French at Canada (London, 1691). Additional material on the Phips expedition to Quebec can be found in 1690, Sir William Phips devant Québec (Myrand), and in PAC Report, 1912, App. E. Eccles, Canada under Louis XIV, 180–81; Frontenac, 235–37. Parkman, Count Frontenac and New France (1891), 262–85. L. Park, “Old Boston families, number three, the Savage family,” New Eng. Hist. and Geneal. Register, LXVII (1913), 199–205.

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Cite This Article

G. A. Rawlyk, “SAVAGE, THOMAS,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 27, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/savage_thomas_2E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/savage_thomas_2E.html
Author of Article:   G. A. Rawlyk
Title of Article:   SAVAGE, THOMAS
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1969
Year of revision:   1982
Access Date:   September 27, 2023