During February and March 1690, Canadian-Native raiding parties terrorized the English colonists in New York, New Hampshire, and Maine. The English responded by assembling a force of ships and colonial militia under the command of Sir William Phips. This new fleet was to be sent on an expedition to Quebec. In May, Phips landed a smaller force near the French settlement of Port Royal, on the eastern shore of the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia). Governor de Villebon surrendered Port Royal to the English on 11 May 1690.
Throughout the summer, the invasion fleet in Boston continued to grow. In late August, Phips set sail for Quebec with 34 ships and 2,000 members of the colonial militia. At the same time, an Iroquois force was to move up the Richelieu River and attack Montreal and Trois-Rivières before advancing on Quebec. The Iroquois had suffered severely from the French offensives the previous year, however, and the proposed attack never materialized.
The Phips expedition reached the St. Lawrence on 10 October 1690. Five days later, the fleet dropped anchor outside Quebec. On 17 October, de Callières, the Governor of Trois-Rivières, arrived in Quebec with 3,000 Troupes de la Marine and militia from Montreal and Trois-Rivières.
Sir William Phips ordered one of his officers, Major Walley, to land 1,300 troops at the Beauport shore, a site north of Quebec, on 18 October. As the Anglo-American force landed, a group of 400 militia and Montagnais unleashed accurate musket fire from the woods along the shore. For three days, the English colonial militia endured torrents of deadly fire. On the night of October 21-22, Major Walley's force withdrew in chaos and panic. Anglo-American militiamen abandoned their weapons as they hastily clambered into their boats and retreated. The following day, Phips bombarded Quebec with naval guns with little effect. On 25 October 1690, the English fleet weighed anchor and returned to Boston.