After the governor of New France punished them for this expedition, the partners went to Boston to arrange a voyage to Hudson Bay. In 1665 they sailed to England, where their plan of bypassing the St Lawrence R to reach the interior fur-producing region found backers. The NONSUCH's voyage (1668-69) proved that the plan was practical and profitable. After the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY was incorporated in 1670, Radisson established its Nelson R post and served as guide, translator and adviser.
Their "dissatisfaction" with the company and a generous offer from the French secretary of state, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, led the brothers-in-law to desert to France in 1674. With a wife in England, Radisson was never fully trusted. As Canada's governor would not employ him, Radisson was a French navy midshipman from 1677 to 1679. In 1682 the COMPAGNIE DU NORD engaged him to challenge the English traders in Hudson Bay. Radisson destroyed rival posts and established Ft Bourbon on the Nelson River.
When the governor of Canada taxed their furs and released a ship they had captured, the brothers-in-law sought restitution in France. They failed because Colbert, their patron, was dead. Radisson returned to England in 1684, and despite the losses he had caused, the HBC re-employed him, hoping to profit by "his great Experience & dexterity." He had his nephew surrender Ft Bourbon and its contents to the company. Radisson was chief director of trade at Fort Nelson from 1685 to 1687. With a price on his head in Canada, he retired with his family to Westminster [London], Eng, where he completed the narrative of his voyages.
See also FUR TRADE.
Author PETER N. MOOGK
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Heroes in Fact and Fiction
See brief profiles and bibliographies for many notable historical Canadian figures (real and fictional). From Library and Archives Canada.
Exploration, the Fur Trade and Hudson's Bay Company
This nicely illustrated website chronicles the turbulent early years of Canada’s fledgling fur trade. Features stories about European explorers, Aboriginal communities, the North West Company, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. Also includes online maps, teacher materials, and links to primary sources in the Early Canadiana Online database.
Hudson's Bay Company: Heritage
This colourful HBC website documents over 300 years of company history. Features illustrated biographies of prominent personalities, an online art collection, e-books, historical games, timelines, interactive maps, and much more.