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The town was founded in 1797 by the British as a fishing station. It is named after Anthony Crocker, who served as governor of Newfoundland from 1795 to 1806. The first permanent settlement occurred in 1812 when William Cooksey and his family arrived at St. Anthony Harbour on board the brig "Nancy". In 1823, St. Anthony became part of the newly created district of Twillingate & Fogo (which included both Twillingate and Fogo). In 1889 it was incorporated into a separate district called Fortune Bay which also included Hermitage-Sandyville-Back Harbour, Little Bay Islands and parts of Notre Dame Bay; this district existed until 1996 when it merged with other districts to form Northern Peninsula–St Barbe–Baie Verte (now simply known as Northern Peninsula). In 1901 there were 1,859 people living in St.