Rupert's Land

Two disaffected French fur traders, Medard Chouart des Groseilliers and his brother-in-law Pierre-Esprit Radisson, having failed to interest the French authorities in their scheme to develop a fur trade based on access to the continental interior via what is now known as Hudson Bay, took their plans to London and found the necessary financial and political support they needed there. A group of London merchants won the support of Prince Rupert, a cousin of King Charles II, and, in 1670, the King granted a charter to a joint-stock company, the Hudson's Bay Company, giving it a monopoly of all trade in the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory comprising some 4 million square kilometres. For almost 200 years the Hudson's Bay Company ruled over this region, exploring it and establishing fur trading posts, initially at the mouths of rivers emptying into the Bay, but eventually inland as well. In 1870 the Company surrendered its title to Rupert's Land to the new Canadian federation in return for a cash settlement of 300,000 Pounds Sterling and almost 3 million acres of agricultural land in western Canada.             RETURN