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There are many ways to tell the story of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which claimed and traded on some eight million square kilometres of the Earth’s surface, including large parts of Canada and the northwestern United States. It can start with Indigenous hunters, whose sustainable methods of trapping were exploited by HBC traders for a bundestagger.deted Reading Time: 8 mins. Hudson Bay Company history begins before the dawn of retail. years ago, two Frenchmen formed a series of trading posts that would become an empire. Empires rise and fall, as we can see throughout Hudson’s rocky history. However, well-founded companies can stand the test of bundestagger.deted Reading Time: 3 mins. 24/07/ · The Hudson’s Bay Company, a fur-trading enterprise headquartered in London, began operations on the shores of Hudson Bay in During the next century and a half, it gradually expanded its network of trading posts west across Canada. HBC Heritage is an internal department of Hudson’s Bay Company. We are committed to the preservation, education, and promotion of Hudson’s Bay Company’s history and the ongoing care and maintenance of the Company’s historical HBC Corporate .

The head of the company, instead of being called President or CEO, still retains the old title of Governor. It alone has survived among its contemporary trading rivals — the Muscovy Company, the Royal African Company, the East India Company; indeed, the HBC is the oldest corporate entity of its size in the world. HRH Prince Rupert , Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Holderness, KG PC FRS , Prince Rupert of the Rhine, as he was commonly known, was born in Prague to Frederick V, Elector Palatinate; his maternal grandfather was King James I of England, and through his sister Sophia he was the uncle of King George I of Great Britain.

Prince Rupert then turned his martial energies to the sea. He joined up with the Royal Navy in during the Second Civil War after it mutinied against Parliament, and eventually took command of the Royalist fleet and became a privateer in the Caribbean to raise money for the Royalist cause. Between and Rupert fell out with the Stuart court-in-exile and returned to Germany, where he had several minor military command for various states, got involved in palace intrigues at the court of his brother Charles Louis the new Elector Palatinate , and turned his attention to art.

It was at this time that Prince Rupert involved himself in the perfection of the mezzotint, a new form of printmaking, and became a master of its use. After the English Restoration Prince Rupert returned to England, serving as an admiral in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. He also became involved in politics, serving in the House of Lords as the Duke of Cumberland and as a Privy Councillor, serving on a number of its committees.

The official records of these committees show Rupert as an active participant, but the famous diaries of Samuel Pepys, who admittedly did not get along well with the prince, record him as doing little but laughing and swearing. Prince Rupert also became very involved in scientific innovation at this time: he built a laboratory and worked on improving gunpowder and grapeshot.

It was at this same time that Prince Rupert entered a number of historically important business ventures.

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Henry Hudson’s expedition had found the northern route into the Canadian interior, by following an arctic passage that allowed the English to avoid the French who were expanding in the south, along the St. Lawrence River valley. In the s, two Frenchmen, Radisson and Groseilliers, explored all the way to Hudson’s Bay, and learned that the area was rich with furs. Their tales of the bounty of furs that were to be had made rich businessmen in Montreal, Quebec, and London drool with greed.

They managed to raise money to bring a ship load of furs back to England, and convince merchants to invest in the fur trade. As a result, a group of wealthy English merchants formed the Hudson’s Bay Company, in , and the King of England granted the Company a fur trade monopoly for all the lands drained by rivers flowing into Hudson’s Bay. Even though the land did not belong to him or to his country.

The Hudson’s Bay Company built trading forts along Hudson’s Bay at several river mouths where sailing ships could be anchored. The deep-water ports gave the British traders easy access to the richest fur country of all, and a great advantage over the French: Big ocean-going ships could sail directly between Britain and Hudson’s Bay, bringing in trade goods, and carrying out furs.

On the other hand, the French fur traders out of Montreal and Quebec, had to paddle long distances along rivers and lakes to reach their forts in the interior. Hudson’s Bay was named after explorer Henry Hudson who first sailed the bay in The first ships to sail under the company are the Eaglet and Nonsuch, which set sail on June 3,

hudson bay trading company history

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Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history, a past that is entwined with the colonization of British North America and the development of Canada. Originally headquartered in London, England, its head offices are located in Brampton , Ontario.

HBC is a private business owned by a holding company. In the 17th century, the fur trade emerged as a major commercial enterprise in North America due to European demand for felt hats made from beaver fur. After failing to obtain French support on their terms, they went to England in and interested Prince Rupert, cousin of Charles II. Rupert persuaded the king, several merchants and noblemen to back the venture.

The first ships, the Eaglet and the Nonsuch , were dispatched on 3 June and the royal charter was proclaimed on 2 May see Voyage of the Nonsuch. Unlike most contemporary trading concerns, the HBC evolved as a joint-stock company with a centralized bureaucracy. The General Court also appointed a governor to act on their behalf in the bay area. S ee also Fur Trade Routes. After trapping during the fall and winter when beaver pelts were of the highest quality, in the summer months, Indigenous peoples travelled to these trading posts to barter furs for manufactured goods such as metal tools, guns , textiles and foodstuffs.

The now-iconic point blanket was one such item bartered for furs.

hudson bay trading company history

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When Europeans arrived in the s, it began to have an immense impact on the Indigenous cultures in what would one day be Canada. Beginning on the east coast and moving west over the century, cultures would see significant change as Europeans brought new technology and sought the furs of the continent. Today, I am looking at the interactions between the Indigenous and the company and how it changed their culture forever.

While this episode does focus on the Indigenous and their interactions with the company, I am beginning with the creation of the company itself. With the demand for beaver fur increasing as Europe fell in love with felt hats, two French traders, who had heard from the Cree about a frozen sea region that was rich in beaver furs to the north, proposed creating a trading company that would gather furs in interior of the continent, gaining access to the fur resources there.

Unable to get French support, the traders went to England in and convinced Prince Rupert, and several merchants and nobles to fund them. The first ships, the Eaglet and Nonsuch launched on June 3, to explore trade in the Hudson Bay. The Eaglet was forced to turn back but the Nonsuch arrived in James Bay, the southern most portion of Hudson Bay, and Charles Fort was founded, named in honour of King Charles II. Spending the winter there and trading furs with the Indigenous, the first cargo of fur left for England on Oct.

Between and , six forts would be established in the area, with further inland posts not coming until after The proclamation of giving all the land that drained into the Hudson Bay completely ignored the rights of the Indigenous who lived in those areas, effectively taking their land with the vast majority never realizing it. The signing of this decision across the Atlantic in would have long lasting consequences to the Indigenous that exist to this very day.

It covered an area of 7.

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The first things you notice as you climb the clay riverbank are the rhubarb, lilac bushes, and forget-me-not plants — not native to the boreal forest. Unlike much of the land in Northeastern Ontario , someone once lived here and planted these things. In the background you can hear the sound of heavy machinery working in a wilderness environment; it is the noise of progress near New Post Falls.

Because of the narrow gorge, there is a great deal of mist in the air. One of the most scenic and accessible but relatively unknown waterfalls is changing and going back to what it once was. Construction has started on the new hydroelectric dam that will affect the flow of water plunging over the crest. Now we go further back in time, to another place near the falls. Genealogy is a curiosity for most, a hobby for many, and an obsession for some.

There is the practical side of genealogy such as tracing ownership or cultural identification. There are also the philosophical aspects of human curiosity; the desire to carve out a place for one’s family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. Through the tall grass and dense new growth, there it is — a cemetery holding clues to the past.

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Jump to navigation. It can start with Indigenous hunters, whose sustainable methods of trapping were exploited by HBC traders for a profit. It can start with European consumers, men and women desperate for the waterproof skins of the beaver, which had been hunted to near extinction in Europe. This telling of the HBC starts in London, the epicentre of the British Empire.

From London parlours to Cree communities to the U. Well before the establishment of Canada, which was never a foregone conclusion, Indigenous actors interacted with British actors as representatives of their own communities and nations. The HBC has become a part of Canadian history. In October , King Charles II of England granted an audience to two men who had travelled a long way to see him.

After serving their sentences, the two men travelled to New England, where they met English officials who encouraged them to take their vision of an imperial company that traded in fur to Charles II. In addition to fur, investors hoped they would discover other natural resources, such as gold or silver. Explorers and monarchs were also eager to find the much sought-after Northwest Passage.

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02/04/ · Hudson’s Bay Company The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), chartered 2 May , is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English -speaking world. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history, a past that is entwined with the colonization of British North America and the development of Canada. 13/01/ · From it’s beginnings as the largest land owner in North America, to it’s role in the French and Indian War, this is a brief history of the Hudson’s Bay Compa Author: Explore.

The Hudson’s Bay Company, a fur-trading enterprise headquartered in London, began operations on the shores of Hudson Bay in During the next century and a half, it gradually expanded its network of trading posts west across Canada. In , it merged with its prime rival, the North West Company out of Montreal, thus acquiring several posts in the Pacific Northwest.

Under the leadership of Governor George Simpson and Chief Factor John McLoughlin , the company dominated the land-based fur trade in the Northwest for the next four decades. After the Oregon Treaty of settled the international boundary at the 49th parallel, the company gradually phased out its operations in Oregon and Washington territories and moved its Northwest headquarters to Vancouver Island. When Jacques Cartier sailed up the St.

Lawrence River in in search of the Northwest Passage, he met 50 canoeloads of men, probably Micmac Indians, who signaled a desire to trade by waving furs on sticks. During the session that followed, Cartier reported that „they bartered all they had to such an extent that they all went back naked without anything on them; and they made signs to us that they would return on the morrow with more furs“ Nisbet, Sources of the River , By the end of the sixteenth century, the French had established a colony on the St.

Lawrence River, and European gentlemen and military officers had developed a taste for expensive hats fashioned from beaver pelts. French entrepreneurs set up shop in New France, importing wool cloth, iron utensils, firearms, copper pots, sewing needles, and beads for exchange with the tribes along the St. Vigorous hunting quickly depleted the nearby beaver grounds, and some of the more adventurous Frenchmen took to the interior in pursuit of pelts, paddling along aboriginal trade routes through Quebec’s network of rivers and lakes.

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