George Simpson (merchant)

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Sir George Simpson, 1857

Sir George Simpson (* 1786 or 1787 in Loch Broom , Scotland ; † September 7, 1860 in Montreal ) was Governor of Rupert's Land for the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada from 1821 to 1856. He was responsible for the reorganization of the entire fur trade in British -North America (now Canada) after the merger of HBC with the North West Company .

George Simpson grew up in Dingwall , Ross-shire , Scotland and was the only son of Sir George Simpson, a writer. He was raised by his father, grandmother Isobel Mackenzie, and two aunts, Jean and Mary Mackenzie. In 1808, when he was about sixteen years old, he went to London , where he received an apprenticeship in the trading house Graham and Simpson of his uncle Geddes Mackenzie Simpson. His commercial skills impressed the trading firm's partner, Andrew Colvielle, who was also a major influence within the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Colville encouraged Simpson to apply to the HBC's London office. As early as 1821, Simpson was the head of the northern division of the HBC. Simpson was also responsible for the merger of the HBC with the North West Company in 1821.

Simpson declined to conduct business from London only, but also stayed in Montreal and the Red River Settlement . Since he was extremely willing to travel, he also visited fur trade outposts across North America. He was notorious for the high speed at which he traveled back and forth between the individual branches.

In recognition of his services within the HBC, Simpson was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1841 as a Knight Bachelor . He also campaigned for the promotion of art and promoted, among other things, the Canadian painter Paul Kane , who recorded the life of the Indians and Métis in western Canada in his sketches and oil paintings .

Simpson died in Montreal in 1860 and is buried there in the Mont-Royal cemetery.

Individual evidence

  1. Biography on the Hudson's Bay Company website
  2. ^ John S. Galbraith: Biography of George Simpsons at Library and Archives Canada