HBC trader George Simpson appointed associate governor of Rupert’s Land

On today’s date in 1820, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) fur trader George Simpson was appointed associate governor of Rupert’s Land, a former territory of British North America.

In 1928, Simpson – a prominent figure in the development of Canada’s fur trade – was featured on the obverse of an Elkington and Co. medal. The medal commemorated the 100th anniversary of Simpson’s voyage from York Factory, an HBC trading post in northeastern Manitoba, to Fort St. James, B.C. in 1828.

Simpson would eventually rise to governor of the HBC during the height of its power in Canada. Born in Scotland in 1787, he would first move to London before eventually settling in present-day Canada, where he rose up through early Canadian society as a fur trader.

Fur trading influenced Canada’s development incredibly by allowing the nation to spread west and north, with the beginnings and eventual rise of the Métis and the initial interactions between First Nations and European settlers.

In 1820, Simpson received a Beaver Club medal.

In 1820, Simpson also received a Beaver Club medal.

Simpson also received a Beaver Club medal in 1820 – one year before the amalgamation of the North West Company and the HBC – in honour of his membership in the club. The club’s motto, “Fortitude in Distress”, is engraved on the reverse of the medal about six men in a canoe. The legend reads “George Simpson/1820”. The front side depicts a beaver gnawing a tree and below a banner with the words “Industry and Perseverance”. The legend reads “Beaver Club instituted Montreal/1785”. Members were required to wear their medals at meetings and special occasions.

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Coin News

Canada

Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.