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Title: Scots in the Hudson's Bay Company, c.1779 - c.1821
Author: Rigg, Suzanne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3518 7870
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation examines Scottish involvement in the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), c.1779 to c.1821. It surveys the Company's recruitment practices, and the national and regional contribution of Scots to the HBC, demonstrating that Orkneymen were disproportionately numerous throughout the entire period under examination. This study explores their motivation for entry to the HBC, and the various routes (and obstacles) to advancement of salary and station. It also seeks to establish whether Scottish networks operated in the fur trade, and the utility of such connections. Although Scots encountered many opportunities for betterment in Rupert's Land, they were also confronted with the challenge of working in a commercially competitive and remote wilderness environment. Extreme climatic conditions, insufficient food/medicinal supplies, laborious work duties, and violent trade rivalry meant that illness, disability, and death were common occurrences. The extent to which the paternalistic directors endeavoured to mitigate such hardships, and tended to the welfare of employees and their dependents, is assessed. Finally, the social, cultural and economic impact of Scots on both their temporary and home residences is explored. This discussion includes the significance of 'Scottishness' in the fur trade and the importance of 'home' to temporary migrants. In addition, this study highlights the difficulties of remitting savings and domestic support money to dependents in Scotland, and the successes of employees who fulfilled their personal ambitions on their return to Orkney, and climbed onto the property ladder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fur trade, Rupert's Land