Father Rale's War (1722–1725), also known as Lovewell's War, Governor Dummer's War, Greylock's War, the Three Years War, the 4th Anglo-Abenaki War or the Wabanaki-New England War of 1722–1725, was a series of battles between New England and the Wabanaki Confederacy (specifically the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, and Abenaki), who were allied with New France. The eastern theatre of the war was fought primarily along the border between New England and Acadia in present-day Maine as well as in Nova Scotia; the western theatre was fought in northern Massachusetts and Vermont at the border between Canada (New France) and New England. (During this time Massachusetts included present-day Maine and Vermont.)
The root cause of the conflict on the Maine frontier was over the border between Acadia and New England, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. After the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, mainland Nova Scotia came under British control, but both present-day New Brunswick and virtually all of present-day Maine remained contested territory between New England and New France. To secure New France's claim to the region, it established Catholic missions (churches) among the four largest native villages in the region: one on the Kennebec River (Norridgewock); one further north on the Penobscot River (Penobscot), one on the St. John River (Medoctec). and one at Shubenacadie (Saint Anne's Mission). (Similarly, during Father Le Loutre's War, New France established three forts along the border of present-day New Brunswick to protect it from a British attack from Nova Scotia.)
Complicating matters further, on the Nova Scotia frontier, the treaty that ended Queen Anne's War had been signed in Europe and had not involved any member of the Wabanaki Confederacy. While the Abenaki signed the Treaty of Portsmouth (1713), none had been consulted about British ownership of Nova Scotia, and the Mi'kmaq protested through raids on New England fishermen and settlements.
The war began on two fronts as a result of the expansion of New England settlements along the coast of Maine, and at Canso, Nova Scotia. The New Englanders were led primarily by Lt. Governor of Massachusetts William Dummer, Lt. Governor of Nova Scotia John Doucett and Captain John Lovewell. The Wabanaki Confederacy and other native tribes were led primarily by Father Sébastien Rale, Chief Gray Lock and Chief Paugus.
During the war, Father Rale was defeated and executed by the British at Norridgewock; the native population retreated from the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers to St. Francis and Becancour, Quebec, and New England took over much of the Maine territory. In present-day New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the treaty that ended Father Rale's war marked a significant shift in European relations with the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet. For the first time a European power, in this case Britain, formally acknowledged that its dominion over Nova Scotia would have to be negotiated with the region's indigenous inhabitants.