The Royal Navy, Ruler of the Seas

Events in the North West Territories

Bloody Rivalry for the Fur Trade

In fact, part of the fur trade was conducted through the Arctic Ocean. From the end of the eighteenth century onward, the rivalling North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company controlled this trade. Beginning in 1816, people were upset by a number of bloody incidents, including the terrible massacre by the men of the North West Company of a group of Scottish colonists established by Lord Thomas Selkirk at Seven Oaks, today the city of Winnipeg. Lord Selkirk recruited some 80 demobilized Swiss soldiers from the Meuron and Watteville regiments, took Fort William, and re-established his colony on the banks of the Red River. In the end, in 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company took over its rival and found itself operating an immense network of trading posts from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean. Most furs and goods for trading from this point on came through Hudson Bay, and hence via the Arctic Ocean, on both the outbound and the return journey to England.