Provost Marshals
Historically Associated With Sheriff Departments Of Nova Scotia
And Other Canadian Provinces


As was outlined in the article The Origin Of The Canadian Provost Corps, prepared by the late Master Warrant Officer Donald Tresham for the March 1980 edition of the Canadian Provost Corps Association Newsletter, the Anglo-French word Provost is believed to have derived from the old English word Pafost, ( associated with the Latin word Praefectus); implying: one in authority. (Click here to view that article The Origin Of The Canadian Provost Corps)

In 2008, former member of the Canadian Provost Corps and a twenty year veteran of the Nova Scotia Sheriff's Department, retired Military Police Warrant Officer Robert (Bob) Greene of Nova Scotia, conducted further research into the origin of Provost Marshals in Canada. He has uncovered numerous references to Provost Marshals throughout Canadian history, stemming from the deployment of the British Army to protect the British settlers in the North American Colonies. Subsequently; British Governors appointed Provost marshals to enforce Royal Writs, summoning of Feudal Barons to honour their obligations of military service to the King and enforcing the King's peace in military assemblies and camps; plus, the enforcement of military discipline in the field. Examples of such historic references to the appointments of Provost Marshals to the various regions of Canada are outlined below:
  • 1757 - The governing Council of Nova Scotia empowered the Provost Marshal and his Deputies to enter such houses, seize the liquors and place them in the King's Store";

  • 1763 - Jonathan Eddy was the Deputy Provost Marshal of Cumberland County, NS

  • 1766 - The town of Halifax prisoners were sentenced to the Halifax Common Goal under the supervision of the Provost Marshal, (Sheriff)

  • 1774 - In Halifax, NS, the Provost Marshal appointment was held by a Mr John Fenton;

  • 1776 - In Prince Edward Island's historic records reference is made to the fact that the Provost Marshal (Collector Of Revenue) is absent;
Bob Greene is continuing his research with the intention of maybe one day incorporating his findings into a book on the topic of the Military/Civilian appointments of Provost Marshals in Canada. Good luck in your project Bob!

Provost Shoulder Flash.