Our thanks to Norman
James Williamson for this article
Brandon House circa 1810
Introduction: master and man
During the long
desperate struggle between the laborers and capitalists who were
making themselves rich in the British Isles at the end of the
eighteenth, century capital's most potent weapon was the statutes of
English law which prevailed throughout Great Britain and the English
Colonies at the time. These were laws which the middle class
mercantile capitalists had bought with the bribery of the old English
In the English Empire this status quo was
maintained through out the country’s history by three anchors; the
navy press gang, the over supply of Irish labour and cheap gin.
When Orkneymen working in
the English colony of Rupert’s land in “British” North America carried
on a short struggle for a just return for their labour the capitalist
interest there, being the joint stock company called the Hudson’s Bay
Company, used those laws and physical intimidation to break that
With the aid of the ambitions of a prominent
British North American plantation owner, one Thomas Douglas, this
company was able to use the English statutes to destroy any attempt to
organize the labour force in Rupertsland.
In my study of the following
events which led to the labour dispute the company called a 'mutiny'
and the means by which the company broke the combination of the
workmen involved I believe I uncovered many of the fundamental
problems of those early rudimentary unions.
It was the distinctive
relationship between master and man under English law which dominated
the position of labour in the fur trade.
Within that relationship
wide reaching decisions concerning working conditions were made by the
governing committee of the company on the basis of their English
social and racial prejudices. Prejudices, which were then taken up as
their own by the company officers, both English and non English, but
especially by the so called lowland Scots among them.
When the men of the Orkney
Islands made up the majority of the workmen, or servants  as they
were called, they were particularly subjected to that racial bias.
This tendency to social and racial bias on the part of the committee
members who were all either part of the upper mercantile class, landed
aristocracy or international bankers, was a major contributing factor
to the chaos in the work place that preceded the attempt at a
combination of workmen at Brandon House, the site of the “mutiny".
Historically speaking, those
who sought to make decisions concerning Orkney workmen did so on the
basis of character and looked to Murdock MacKenzie’s 1750 publication
of A Survey of The Orkney and Lewis Island  for their
As for the validity of the committee's action
Rich, the editor of the Hudson’s Bay Record Society, conceded that the
committee, who used the stereotype in decision making,
businessmen...of narrow experience and [were] regarding the American
scene from a remote and very comfortable distance.” 
unfortunate that many of the scholars who study the company tend to
separate the "American" from the "European, scene because this
distorts the reality of the master and man relationship at that time
In fact, the social distance between the
committee members and the labourers at Brandon House was no greater
than that between the same committee members and the labourers in the
company warehouses in England.
I could not let geographic distance be confused
with the actual differences in economic power and political influence
which were at the heart of the matter. Nor could I loose sight of the
fact that the operations of the company in Rupertsland were an
inseparable, if small, part of the British economy.
In my own studies in
anthropology and history I had noted that a group upon whom a
stereotype has been fixed will sometimes assume that model when it
suited their purpose to do so.
Orkneymen did, at times,
assume some of the more positive aspects of the stereotype as a
standard of respectability when petitioning their masters. William
Yorston one of the labourers at Brandon House, for example assumed
such a stance when he finally petitioning the company for his back
While there was clearly no real cultural or
biological evidence that the workmen of the Orkneys fitted the
Hudson’s Bay Company paradigm of them, there was strong evidence that
there was a ambivalent attitude towards the company among the workers.
Those attitudes were best portrayed in an anecdote recorded by Thomas
Johnston in The History of the Working Classes in Scotland:
At Ballindalloch on the
Spey, a poor man had been sentenced to death, and the gallows not
being ready he was put in the baron's pit while the scaffold was being
erected. At length everything was in order, and the baron's men called
upon the prisoner to come up; but instead of coming up the doomed man
drew a sword and threatened to slay the first individual who came down
for him. Persuasion and threat were equally unavailing, until at last,
the victim's wife appeared and cried, "Come up quietly and be hanget,
Donal', and dinna anger the laird. 
Because of this ambivalence
among the workers, at no time during the period of the unrest was the
entire work force affected able to unite within the combination.
Some like William Yorston found themselves torn between his attitudes
of servitude and rebellion. At once, he was a good servant and a
servant betrayed by his master.
It was this ambivalence in
the workmen's attitude towards the company and its officers that would
do as much to destroy the combination as did the manipulations of the
officers of the company.
Historical Background to Brandon House Mutiny.
In order to comprehend the
situation of a labourer at Brandon in North America I first had to
turn a moment to European History in general and to Scottish history
The turbulence in which the Scottish, working
class found itself in the first decade of the nineteenth, century was
due to two changes in land tenure and usage the clearances and
enclosures. Although by no means blameless in their treatment of the
clansmen before the defeat at Culloden in 1746, that loss definitively
turned the Scottish lairds into English landlords who were totally
inconsiderate of the welfare of the clansmen they abandoned for middle
class English gentility.
These over-lords began the
general depopulation of the Highlands in 1762. 
Euphemistically called a progressive agrarian revolution it included
enclosure of the common lands. Then with the advent of the Napoleonic
wars enclosure was made a matter of English patriotism by the landed
gentry  as they forced more and more landless men into the English
Empire’s war machine.
Traditionally the Orkneymen had drawn lots for
the parcels of land in their run rig agricultural system. They like
the Highlanders watched the unfolding events with apprehension.
three thousand tenant farmers were evicted from Inverness shire. By
1808 they had been replaced by 50,000 sheep. 
Whitsun, in 1807, the “bitch” started her Sutherland clearance of
Many of these would be picked up and used by
Selkirk and the Hudson’s bay Company to create a consistent oversupply
of labour in Rupertsland.
The clearances and closures
brought drastic changes to the prospects of the young of the labouring
classes. Cunningham pointed out:
the labourers' condition was
changed for the worse by the extinction of small farms; in the old
days there had always been a possibility that he might become an
independant farmer, but he was practically precluded from obtaining
such, capital as was requisite for working a large farm. He was thus
cut off from any hope of bettering himself, or becoming his own
The ultimate result was a growing landless
underclass whose survival depended upon an earned wage. 
Orkney Islands the workmen had three choices; first the mills and
collieries of the south, second the deep sea fleets fishing or the
navy, and third, service in the fur trade.
In the collieries of Britain
there was a growing agitation for better conditions which would
develop into rudimentary unions. In order to overcome the threat these
organizations posed to high profits, the capital controlled Parliament
passed laws which made it illegal to combine for economic purposes.
By "Section IV of the Act, any person could be punished for attending
a meeting designed for the purpose of raising wages...” 
As it was passed in 1800 by
the English government this law forced workers brought to trial to
give evidence against themselves a procedure that ran contrary to the
custom of English law.
With the advent of the Napoleonic wars the
conditions of the working classes in general grew worse. 
the economic uncertainty of the land based labour market that led most
able bodied Orkneymen to choose employment at sea,  either in the
Greenland fishing fleets or the Royal Navy.
not all of the workmen could meet the minimum standards of the fleets
or even the army.
Failing to find employment led to a world of
poor housing, disease, and death at an early age. That only left
the desperate service in the Hudson’s Bay Company and that joint
stock company expected that their desperation would make them
The Working Conditions at Brandon House
I found that in 1810 the
workmen at Brandon House were a mixed group of long service veterans
who knew that they faced a return to an uncertain economy if they left
the company or were ejected from the company, and along side these
were men in their first or second three year agreement who had joined
the service after working conditions in Scotland had become
However, in spite of the danger entailed in
getting into a labour dispute with the company, men from both these
categories were involved in the combination at Brandon House. That was
because the working conditions created by the company committee had
become intolerable at the post.
When I undertook to look
into those working conditions at Brandon House the first thing I noted
was the pall of death that permeated the fur trade.
cause of that mortality was the company’s trade in alcohol. Even
officers whose particular personalities brought them advancement in
the company begged God's forgiveness for the trade in spirits. 
There were many notations in
the Post Journals that I read that attested to the consequence of the
trade in alcohol:
April 3 All my Indians fell a fighting two of
them were killed and 3 wounded. This is a pretty affair I will loose
all my debts.
As noted diligent officers of the company kept
their priorities correct, especially when reporting to their masters
and what mattered to the company first and foremost was profit.
for the servants at Brandon House the danger was more immediate:
Feb. 10 William Yorston and
George Henderson brot (sic) letters from Mr. Miller also informs me of
ye death of Mr. John Linklater who was stabed by an Indian when
The two servants who brought, this intelligence
to the master of Brandon House in 1800 would both play major roles in
the events of 1810.
In addition to the dangers of the violence
caused by the alcohol among the Indians the workmen were also in
constant danger from The tribal warfare  in which battles,
although small in magnitude, were quite often fought near the post.
Furthermore servants caught out on the plains
were subject to attack by the raiding Indian parties from outside the
Aug. 19 Easter and men returned from hunting
with the meat of two bull they could not get where the cows were on
account of the enemy forty of whom, perused them about seven hours,
they may thank their good horses that their heads were not turned into
These particular enemies had been the Gros
ventre and Easter, by the way was an unpaid Eskimo slave of the
The year following this event one of the
servants was shot in the neck with, an iron shod arrow, 
From the very onset of the
establishment of the inland posts by the company the workmen had been
reluctant to go inland to posts like Brandon House. 
That reluctance was due to
the fact that the wages had to be agreed upon before assignment
regardless of where the labourer was going to be sent.
This was done in order to
keep wage demands low as a posting to the inland posts meant harder
work and more danger than posting to the bay shore factories.
Therefore every year men who “agreed" at the same time for the same
wages as their compatriots at Albany House on Hudson’s Bay found
themselves posted inland to Brandon.
Many of these servants had
to be forced to go inland by threat of punishment for disobedience if
they did not. Much of the so called sullenness recorded by company
officers was due to this practice.
Over a period of years
veteran Factors like Hodgson, Chief at Albany had learned to maintain
a balance between a relatively acquiescent work force and profit at
his inland posts by the use of a number of wage supplementals and a
less stringent work load.
A simple but highly
effective supplemental was the practice of providing the servants in
the interior with a decent share of the imported food like beef, pork
and flour, which, were termed English provisions and were a reminder
Further, he saw to it that they were given
extensive access to the country victuals such as buffalo meat,
pemmican and other game at the inland posts.
English company never provided any inland post with sufficient
imported food for the men to survive a winter the men's lives depended
upon the hunting of game.
When the over killing of
local stocks or natural fluctuation of population reduced the amount
of wild meat available these men faced the real possibility of
Often their lives were in the hands of an Indian
hunter hired for the sole purpose of providing the post with meat:
"At noon the Squirrel came
in for his final payment of his winter hunt we would have all starved
had I not engaged him.” 
It is therefore
understandable that the men at Brandon House were extremely sensitive
to the food supply available at any inland post and their access to
Indeed past experience had made the veterans
extremely conscious of just how much meat and fat, in pounds, was
needed in that severe climate in order to work during the winter
To summarize, given the normal food and clothing
situation at Brandon House I found that the men knew from experience
that the company “slops” were inadequate from year to year, but the
prices for what there was available were at least tolerable.
The men also knew the
English provisions would be short and of poor quality but they also
knew that they got a share as well as the post Master.
game did fluctuate but when it was available they got good red meat
and plenty of fat for the winter.
If the trip in from Albany
was back breaking there was brandy to be had at a discount from
stores, as well as the traditional drams given to the tripmen.
It was this ability of a man
to fill his belly that made the job tolerable if not enjoyable.
be the deliberate disruption of this policy by the Company committee
that set in motion the events that followed.
The Financial State
of the English joint stock Company
The Napoleonic wars had
reduced the company shareholders return to nil. Three years of unsold
fur pelts were in storage in England. Nor were the prospects for the
On the North American continent both American
and Canadian traders were competing with the English company for the
While the company ostensibly held a monopoly in
the fur trade, at least within the Hudson’s Bay drainage England had
neither the time nor the inclination to send sufficient troops to
enforce it. The company was, after all, a minor contributor to the
British economy at best and totally useless to a war time
By 1808 shares in the company were discounting
at 40 percent. Finally in April of 1809 George H. Wollaston of the
committee presented his plan. 
Wollaston proposed that the
company withdraw from the interior fur trade and turn its energies to
the lumber trade along the Bay shore.
The intent of these
proposals were thereupon conveyed to Hodgson at Albany and he began
the preparations to withdraw from the interior. 
In the meantime, however a
family capital combine had developed in Britain which would take an
interest in the Rupertsland company.
Andrew Wedderburn a rum
merchant viewed the company's withdrawal from the Indian trade as the
loss of a market for his alcohol. In order to save that market he
combined with two in laws, Thomas Douglas a plantation owner who was
using the newly landless Highlanders to fill his plantations in
British North America and John Halkett who was a London merchant. This
partnership obtained sufficient stock in the company in order to hold
a position of influence on the committee.
The plantation owner
Douglas, along with other large land holders with large grants of
crown land in North America had been playing a major role in
stabilizing Britain's political scene during the agrarian revolution.
An officer of the Hudson's Bay Company put a positive spin on the role
The unprincipled rich in the Highlands Squeeze &
Starve the poor in order to get more money. Bad however as these Rich
are we have to thank providence that the more numerous class of
Society had it not in their power to give the Law to the rest & it is
better for themselves, as well as for the nation, that they are
obliged to make a Shift for a livelihood in Canada & other parts of
America rather than dispossess by strong hand the Lawful proprietors
at home and turn masters in their turn as was the Case in miserable
When Douglas first considered the establishing
of a new plantation in Rupertsland he had sought and obtained an
English legal opinion as to the jurisdiction of the English company in
that region of North America.
The resulting opinion was to
have a major influence on the forthcoming attitude of the committee of
the company toward the use of legal power to control their labour
Critical in the statement of that opinion was
the point that,
"...the grant of The civil and criminal
jurisdiction is valid, though it is not granted to the company but to
the Governor and Council at their respective establishments...as
judges, who are to proceed according to The laws of England.”
This opinion and the
resulting action of the committee due to it emphasizes the fact that
the oppressive labour laws enacted in Britain were simultaneously
existent in Rupertsland.
In 1811 even more legal
power was placed in the hands of the company when its officers in
North America were made magistrates  under the Canadian
Jurisdiction Act Of 1803. 
Wedderburn quickly became
the determinant in the company committee of 1809 and his plan for
retrenchment superseded Wallston's plan of withdrawal.
Apologists for Thomas Douglas have maintained that Douglas was
"disinterested”, in the materialistic aspects of the relationship.
Further they have foisted that false image of a benevolent hero on
Canadian school children. This position of the apologists is
indefensible as Douglas was just one more plantation owner seeking the
success of his business.
The English company would
provide him with a ready market for the farm produce of his plantation
in Rupertsland therefore he would need both farm labourers and the
servants he had also promised to the company. In other words, Douglas
success depended upon what he could get cheaply -- what other
landlords in Scotland were throwing away - people.
Nevertheless I will concede one point to Douglas that is; that
“perhaps” his attitude toward his servants may have been tempered by
his Clapham philosophy.
In any event Wedderburn's
system would maintain the company's presence in the interior and,
therefore, their legal right to grant Douglas the land for his
plantation. Of course Douglas supported the Wedderburn system of
retrenchment and was equally responsible for its content and the
consequences that occured.
Indeed, when His lordship
was contacted on the matter of Yorston’s petition he took the side of
the committee as did his brother in-law Halkett.
for his humanity and the bubble and squeek I got at school about him.
The Consequences of
Retrenchment to the Workmen in Rupertsland.
From the point of view of
the workmen at Brandon House the fundamental constituent of the
retrenchment system was the order that every post initiate an accurate
accounting of exactly every article of merchandise sold to the
officers and servants.  In itself the order was innocuous enough.
It was, however, coupled to a strictly adhered to a system of food
The precise weekly ration per man was to be 10
lbs. oatmeal, 1 barley, 1 pease, 2 meat, 1 fat or 1 pint molasses.
There was no indication that any allowance for the seasonal labour
requirements of an inland post were to be made.
Furthermore any extraneous circumstance, such as the strenuous nature
of certain aspects of the fur trade, were not to contravene this order
as to ration.
If a man needed, or thought he required more
food to do the job he was ordered to do he was to purchase it himself
from the company at inland prices. Further, any servant purchasing
spirits from the company was to pay full inland price the same as the
The best reduction on other goods or slops was
to be a maximum of one fifth or 20 percent off the "inland" retail
price of goods.
I found this interestingly stupid as the main
losses to the company were not due to a lower profit margin on the
sale of goods in the interior but the Company’s failure to find new
markets for their furs.
Furthermore it was clear to
the committee and the officers that these changes in company policy
had to cause some unrest among the servants, particularly those
working at the inland posts. However, the committee was confident they
had little to fear on that account, for Douglas had guaranteed them an
abundant oversupply of labour from his plantations on the continent.
In return for the land for the Rupertsland plantation Douglas had
agreed to provide the company with 200 men for ten years at wages of
no more than twenty ponds per annum.
The Douglas Wedderburn proposal was accepted by
the committee in principal in the year 1809 and Auld the
Superintendent was ordered to make preparations for a colony on the
Red River in Rupertsland. This Lowland Scot Superintendent also
began the implementation of the retrenchment policy.
the Chief at Albany, was fired and his wages stopped when the company
ship reached the post. The letter from the committee called it his
lack of vigor and want of activity. Auld called it misconduct and used
Hodgson’s fate as an example to threaten the other company officers
under his power.
The company wanted all of the servants in
Rupertsland placed on the same footing immediately.  That is to
say, they wanted them stripped of all wage supplements and reduced to
the same wage scale, using Douglas's offer as a measure.
action would also add to the unrest. The company therefore decided to
redistribute the labour force, particularly the Albany men in order to
break up groups of friends that might tend to form pockets of
For example, of the Albany men at Brandon House
many of the men had served together for more than five years, some
such as Yorston and Henderson for as long as ten.
of the potential unrest among the interior Albany men, the Red River
district of which Brandon House was a part was withdrawn from Albany
and placed under Auld's direct supervision.
As the Douglas Wedderburn
plan took shape it became clear that the committee was using their
English racial bigotry to justify the shift from the Orkney workmen to
Douglas's refugee Highlanders, and in the company "regulations” of the
day I found:
In consequence of the representations which have
been received from the different Factories we have determined to send
no more men from the Orkneys. A few men have been procured from the
Western Islands and Coast of Scotland where the people are of a more
spirited race than in Orkney.
The labour force of a
company never deals with upper managements, be it a board of governors
or a committee of shareholders as was the case in the Hudson’s Bay
Company. It was lower management, chosen for their ability to augment
company policy, that the workmen deal with. In the case in point that
lower management consisted of Superintendent William Auld and the
officers of his jurisdiction.
Thus not only were the
workmen in the field, having to deal with the change in policy, but
also the character and methods used by the officer in charge.
case of Auld, a lowland Scot who was a Uria Heap of an officer, who
had good reason to dislike, even hate, the Orkney workmen because in
1805 a combination of Orkney workmen had refused to sign on with Auld.
Thus Auld had lost a once in a lifetime opportunity to make his
fortune as a semi independent 'trader into the Athabaska district.
Auld was always critical of the Orkneymen in his reports to the
committee and after 1809 he boasted to a fellow officer
is wholly owing to me that the Honorable Committee have left getting
their servants from the usual place.” 
As for Auld's relationship
to the servants under him he constantly attempted to force upon them
the same servility he himself portrayed towards the committee.
Among the new regulations,
the committee decided that servants were no longer to have access to
the English provisions at all.
Again the rationale for
their penurious attitude was determined by their racial and class
We are of opinion That the Rations of meat
hitherto allowed have been extravagant, especially when in
consideration that so great a proportion of our men are natives of a
country where Butcher’s meat forms scarcely any part of the ordinary
diet of the labouring people.
It is doubtful that under
any circumstances the transition to the new system would have been
uneventful. But the problems with labour were compounded by the
further blunders of the upper and lower management of the English
company as they forced through the changes.
their rejection of the Orkney workmen by the committee had been
woefully premature. Douglas's obligation to provide a cheap over
supply of labour would not begin until 1812. As it turned out the
company's own interim recruitment in the Highlands had been a failure.
Finding that they were still in need of the Orkneymen upper management
decided to conceal the tenor of the regulations by refusing to allow
even the officers in the field to read an official copy of them:
from a total want of success
in procuring men in the Highlands & Western Islands of Scotland there
are parts in the regulations which reflect on the character of the
Orkney Servants so pointedly that in our present state of entire
dependence on them it would be the extremity of folly to irritate them
so unnecessarily as would be the case on their becoming acquainted
[with the contents]...
We therefore earnestly recommend to you to
conceal all these regulations from your officers so that no possible
chance may allow of their contents getting among the lower
...at the same time we by no means desire to
restrain you from complying with the regulations only enforcing them
from you own private Authority which is amply sufficient.
In the past the servants of
the company had been ordered to obey the official "regulations” of the
committee as they were posted at the Posts.
The work which the servant
had agreed to do was also set down in those regulations. It was the
responsibility of the officers to decide where and when but not what
the men were to do.
This was the image held by the servants of the
agreement under which they worked. It was an ideal, to be sure, as the
men were often called upon to do employment outside the realm of their
agreement with the company. However, when the men did feel put upon by
a company officer they could demand to see his authority in the
writing of the regulations.
This time it was Auld's
intention to enforce the retrenchment system based solely upon his
personal authority. Then through due process he expected to be able to
transfer that personal authority to the officers within the Red River
This, however, gave them far more power than
they had ever known before. Under this regime the servants were
expected to accept and conform to the new regulations solely on the
word of lower and lower levels of management.
These then were the factors
that had originally shaped the conditions of the workmen at Brandon
House and the factors added by company policy changes that introduced
the “new order” in their world in their time.
The Key Participants
in the Brandon House Labour Dispute
There were a number of
individuals who were actively involved in the events at Brandon House.
The key figures on the company side were William Auld, Superintendent
of the company in America, Alexander Kennedy Master at Swan River and
Brandon House, and Hugh Heney officer in charge of Red River. These
were the middle and lower management personnel in the dispute
One of the chief organizers
of the labour combination was George Henderson a fourteen year veteran
in the company service. He was a common labourer and could not read or
write. Twelve of those years had been spent at Brandon House.
The second leader of the
combination was John Cumming. He was a relatively new man, only in his
second three year contract.
Two other individuals took
prominent positions in the events. The first was Archibald Mason. I
believe Mason was origionally sent over as an agricultural advance man
for the proposed colony. At first he appeared in the role of an
officer in the company but at the time of the dispute he took the side
of the combination. Later he fled to Canada with the help of the
The second individual was William Yorston, a
literate Orkney labourer who had come up through the ranks. He became
the man caught in the middle. At the beginning of the events at
Brandon House he was Indian trader and second in command. In the
service since 1796 he had learned the trade in the field and the
Indians "knew" him at Brandon House.
In 1808 09 he had also built
the trading post at Manitoba House and had run it.
because of his personal ability that Brandon House did not loose the
trade to the Canadian traders during the Post Master's annual trip to
the bay during the summer.
In spite of his service and
the promises of his immediate superiors his salary had remained at 18
pounds per annum. Furthermore the company was fifty seven pounds in
arrears in the money owed to him.
Brandon House May
I would say that the events at Brandon House
began in May of 1810. It was then that Yorston requested permission
from the Master at Brandon to go down to Albany and petition for the
f35 a year salary he had been promised.
But McKay the Master was
deathly ill with consumption. He asked Yorston to remain inland for
the sake of the post and Yorston agreed to do so. On the 5 of July
McKay died and Yorston took charge of the post.
Most of the men including
Yorston himself appear to have expected that he would retain the
position of Master until the order for the proposed withdrawal to the
bayside came inland.
Brandon House was a difficult post to run. This
was primarily due to the competition of the Canadian Northwesters.
However, Yorston had built a good reputation among the Indians and as
Indian trader he had held the trade at the post together.
the men trusted him, particularly the veterans who had worked under
him on trading expeditions onto the plains and the establishment of
Manitoba House. Therefore it was a surprise to all of them when Thomas
Norn was sent inland with orders to take command of the post. However
his tenure by his own wishes was short lived
Mr. Norn however had been
only Eight days in office when he owned to the petitioner, [Yorston]
that from his ignorance of the trade in that district, and of the
humour of the traders, whom, be saw daily leaving the place, he was
quite unfit for the management, and begged that the Petitioner (to
prevent the total ruin of the Company’s Interests in that quarter)
would again take command.
Once more Yorston took
command. But an air of uncertainty grew as the summer passed and no
word on the future, in the expected form of an order to move came in
If they were to close down the establishment and
remove to Albany they would have to do so soon or risk a very cold run
down the Albany River to the Bay side. They might even be caught by
the freeze up and be forced to walk out.
Then on October 23
[their) great surprise" Humphrey Favell arrived at the post with their
letters from home and a letter from Hugh Heney the officer in charge
of Red River. 
The letter informed the post that the company
had changed its mind and that it intended to maintain the Red River
district and the establishment at Brandon House.
Yorston's surprise increased when Heney did not include the copy of
the regulations for the ensuing season in the packet.
unusual occurrence was also noted by the men at the post, especially
when Favell informed them of the rumors of he had picked up at Red
River concerning the fantastic prices they would have to pay for
In his letter Heney ordered that Brandon House
send four carts, two horses with riding saddles and two pack horses,
to the forks of the Assinaboine and Red rivers to meet Superintendent
Auld. In the instructions Heney ordered: "You'll give the men a
fortnights provisions to here, [the forks] in wait of our
Yorston did as he was instructed and added 175
lbs. piece meat to the provisions. On 26 October he sent Thomas
Measson, Andrew Barkie and John Wishart with Humphrey Favell with the
outfit, to the forks.
The men arrived at the forks on 30 October but
found that Auld had not yet arrived. Heney then decided that he wanted
to go to Brandon House and ordered Measson and the Brandon House
servants to remain at the forks until Auld appeared.
objected to the indefinite period of time involved in the order. They
did not have their winter clothing with them nor more than the
provisions Heney had ordered.
Heney became furious at the
mere questioning of the order. He ordered Measson to remain at the
forks as it was his duty to obey and if he did not he would no longer
be allowed to serve the company.
Measson was one of the ten
year veterans. He understood clearly the implications of remaining at
the forks of the Red River during November without food, clothing or
proper shelter and he continued to refuse.
Heney then tried to take
control of the horses to force the men to remain at the forks. Measson
refused to hand the stock over to the officer. Heney armed himself in
an attempt to browbeat the men into submission.
told the armed officer be had brought the horses from Brandon House
and he would take them back there again. The Brandon House servants
then left to go home.
Heney had ordered Brandon House to send two
weeks provisions with the carts. It had taken the carts four days to
reach the forks empty. Presumably it would take at least five days to
return. That left a maximum of five days at the forks. We can presume
that the meeting at the forks took up at least one day, leaving
Measson and the men with only four days provisions.
had demanded they remain at the forks indefinitely for Auld, who may
have been delayed or may have changed his mind. They could not know.
However when Auld reported
this incident to the committee he managed to turn Heney’s gross
stupidity into a consciously mutinous act on Yorston's part.
Auld claimed that Yorston
bad deliberately short rationed the outfit in order to interfere with
Auld's inspection trip. This Auld would state proved that the
Orkneyman Yorston had been the first rebel and the instigator of the
With, the return of Measson and his story the
anxiety of the men at Brandon House intensified. All they knew of what
was going on was what they had heard from Favell and the rest of
It was through this chain of rumor that they
learned that Heney was telling the Indians in the Red River district
not to hunt furs but to concentrate on bringing in provisions.
This bizarre situation continued, for under Auld's orders Heney had no
copy of the regulations to show Norn, Yorston or anyone else at
Brandon House. Heney did, however, attempt to implement and enforce
the new order regulations using his personal authority.
The reaction of the servants
to this was understandably resistive and it was immediate. Even the
even tempered Yorston was furious that Heney had not done him the
courtesy of showing him the regulations which gave him the authority
to implement the changes.
Later Yorston would inform
“he [Yorston) considered no man in this Country
to be his master, the Hudson’s Bay Company only were his masters, and
to them be would be answerable for his conduct.” 
There was no doubt in my
mind that Yorston was, throughout his entire service with the company,
loyal to its interests. But that loyalty was misplaced for the company
had chosen to abandon any right to personal fealty on the part of its
servants for the English legal power they had vested in their
When Heney undertook to tell the Brandon men the
regulations that pertained to the costs to servants the men went on
Nov. 5 Gave orders for the next day Employment
to the men. They would not work till such times that the Price of
Slops would be reduced to the Old Standard was their answer.
Heney’s reaction was to
threaten the men’s lives with expulsion from the safety of the company
Nov. 6 Wrote down to the men that whoever
refused his duty I could not supply them with victuals they must take
to the plains and shift for themselves till the Spring.
This was an unmitigated
bluff for Heney had no means of enforcing the threat. The servants
knew this but the very idea that Heney might consider starving them
into submission made the men hate him even more.
the barrack room lawyers in the men's quarters knew that a combination
was illegal. As the men had apparently managed to get their slops for
the winter bought before Heney had arrived they sent him a counter
They returned an answer that they did not refuse
their duty and they wished that the Price of Slops as Mr. Kennedy's
man 'had informed them and wished I could assure them that what they
had bought to the day I arrived should be at the old Price of 1809
which I gave them without hesitation,
Thus the men set aside the
main problem of the price of slops for that winter at least. But the
problem of provisions remained.
Brandon House had, for the
most part, a good supply of meat when the buffalo herds were nearby.
For example, in October 1809 the Assinaboine Indians had brought in
1,000 lbs. of meat and 2,400 lbs. of fat. 
Under the old regime the men
had favourable access to that supply. But now they found Heney was
weighing the fat on hand in order to insure it was only distributed by
Thus Heney’s relationship with the servants of
the post continued to deteriorate. He took to wearing his pistols in
his belt, loaded and primed. He also began to abuse the men verbally,
calling them Orkney dogs.
Heney was a Canadian.
The Work Slowdown
On 8 December Heney left for
Pembina Post but returned on 17 January. With him he brought Archibald
Mason would play an interesting role in what was
to transpire. As I already noted he was ostensibly sent to the Red
River to survey the potential for agriculture in the region. Aboard
ship on the trip out Auld had treated him as an company officer.
It was interesting to note that when the agreement between the
plantation owner and the company was finally written into a legal
document in June 1811 Mason's name appears among the officers
considered to be servants of both the fur trade operation and the
When they reached Brandon House Heney’s initial
relationship with Mason appeared to be excellent. In fact Heney often
relinquished the head of the table to him. However, Mason at one
time called the company committee Raskals and Jack Asses. 
While Auld had always been
suspicious that the Canadian traders had been “concerned" with the
mutiny as he put it, he had no proof . On the other hand Mason,
when he did escape the attempts of the English company to capture him,
he did so with the help of the Norwesters. Therefore I concluded that
that Mason may well have been an agent provocateur for the Norwesters
or at the very least a spy for them.
On Heney's return to Brandon
House I discovered that the journal entries indicated that the men had
instituted what amounted to a work slowdown. He then attempted to get
the men to put their hand to an agreement in principle, to his
"Sent an order down to the men who ever were
willing to Remain any longer in this Department to sign their names.
None consented," 
Considering that it was the company's intent to
reassign the men anyway, this order was a ploy on Heney’s part to
institute a pseudo legally binding contract on the men to obey his
Nevertheless not all the men at the post were in
agreement with the combination although those who did not agree did
defer to the will of the other men resident in the servant's quarters.
Barkie, for example, claimed neutrality. Although he did not support
the combination he would refuse to comment under Auld's inquiry,
stating he had heard nothing.
Isbister and Plowman went
over to the company as soon as they were away from the combination.
Thomas Favell remained terrified throughout the period, first of Heney,
then of the combination and finally of Auld.
On 24 February Heney decided
to return to Pembina. He wrote a letter officially placing Norn, not
Yorston, in charge in his absence. He further aggravated the men by
stating in the same letter: "Should the men ask to buy any Goods
Brandy, Leather or any other articles whatever, you cannot sell any is
to be your answer.
Later on that evening Heney and Mason were
engaged in a drinking bout. When he had become intoxicated Heney made
a number of inappropriate remarks:
(Heney) has cast some
curious capers of his own, with regards to Prices of Goods etc. etc.
finding himself on his last legs, in Sending of his wedded wife and
taking master McKays Eldest Daughter, which did not happen, in order
to get his hands on the Deceasts (sic) money finding himself short of
Cash in gowing (sic) to England...
At some point in the evening
Mason left the scene in an inebriated state and made his way to the
Cooper's Room where he went to bed.
Soon after Heney armed
himself with two pistols and set out to look for Mason. He intended to
force Mason to Fight a duel with him. At that point the servants took
the matter into their own hands.
The men on the Instant
disarmed him and Told him it was not Customary for masters to go
amongst their men armed and also said they would no longer be under
his subjection or orders and when ever the Honble Company thinks
proper to call them home concerning this Behavior they are ready to
Plead their cause.
Even Isbister, the company serf was shocked at
Heney’s reaction to this interference. Isbister reported that Heney
"almost broke down the room about himself with madness saying he would
bring us to England and do for us all.” 
However Isbister also
revealed that the combination had planned to force the removal of
Heney from command even before this incident took place. 
they had disarmed Heney the combination asked Mason to take charge as
they assumed he was an officer in the company however Mason declined.
Yorston then wrote in the Brandon House journal: "Finding the House in
want of a master I undertook it and managed the Business to the best
of my knowledge . “
Nor could I find any evidence that the
circumstances were anything other than what Yorston reported.
definitely shared the men's dislike of Heney and he no doubt felt he
had a justifiable right to the position of Master for all his service
to the company. But he had nothing to do with the disarming of Heney,
and Heney had departed that night deserting the post.
Yorston failed in his role as post Master it was because of his
interest in the fur trade. It appears he did not appreciate Brandon
House’s new role as butcher shop to the plantation owner.
The Orkney workmen had used
the combination before in attempts to achieve their interests in
Rupertsland. At times they had been successful and at other times they
For example in August 1777, a servant William
Taylor had refused to go inland for less than fifteen pounds per
annum. However Taylor made the mistake of mentioning the combination
before the rest of the men reached the bayside to support him.
company officer Martin put him on one pound of bread a day and
threatened to fine him his past wages which were still in the
company's hands, on the pretense of disobedience if he did not rehire
immediately for six pounds. Taylor submitted. 
It was generally only the
boatmen, who moved the company freight, who had fairly good results
from the combinations. But that was because they could use the
threat of delay in the inward movement of trade goods to pry
concessions out of the company officers. But with the guarantee of an
over abundant supply of obedient cheap labour by Douglas [7l] even
their weapon of solidarity was severely reduced.
However, in a case similar
to the situation at Brandon House a combination of 15 workers had
successfully forced the removal of the tyrannical Lowlander, Robert
Longmoar, by refusing to work under him. 
Auld heard of the events at Brandon House he determined, at any cost,
to break the combination which he called a mutiny.
With the coming of spring and just before the
boats were about to leave Brandon House for the bayside the company
officer Alexander Kennedy arrived at the post.
orders from Auld to bring them all down to York Factory not Albany.
However the servants at the post informed him that they all intended
to go down to Albany.
The men's argument remained what it had always
been that they had not yet seen the new regulations in writing so they
would abide by the old.
Yorston for his part asked
Kennedy to show him the new regulations. Kennedy exploded with his
I told him if I had fifty
papers, he should not be able to boast of having compell’d me to
produce them as he had done with Mr. Heney & that if he did not chose
to take my word he might do as he pleased but that he should stand to
This was another example of the absolute
obedience now expected of the company servants.
interesting to note that the officer next attempted to weld the old
“duty to the company" to his "word of authority" by use of coercion:
...if He would return to a
sense of his duty, and go out to York with one or remain Inland as
might be required. I should interest myself in his favour and do all I
could for him. If on the contrary I was obliged to go to York & join
Mr. Heney) in his accusations against him he might depend on being a
ruined man. 
These creatures of the company who had survived
the retrenchment purge were desperate in playing their roles as
officers and gentlemen in the service of the Honorable Company.
been taken from a military paradigm to fabricate this model. Part of
their image was couched in the myth that a gentleman's word was 'his
bond and therefore the lower ranks should obey that word without
The servants on the other hand, had their own
ideal, even myths, that their relationship with the company was
contractual. What they had put their hand to was not the equivalent of
the King's shilling.
Auld would also offer his good word to Yorston
in his letter of July 1811.  Auld offered to stand for Yorston if
Yorston would betray Mason. But Yorston had no reason to trust the
gentlemen officers of the company. Four others had given their word to
him that his good service to the company would receive due reward and
it had not.
Nor would his last experience with the company
have changed his opinion as he was still trying in 1817 to get back
his personal belongings that the company officers had seized in 1811
from The Honorable Committee.
Returning to the events as
they transpired Yorston at first decided to go down to the ship at
York and face Auld. Then he changed his mind. Probably on second
thought Kennedy's reaction made Yorston realize that he was in far
more trouble than he had ever appreciated before.
Kennedy had made clear to
him that the company that he had served so faithfully thought he had
led the revolt against Heney.
The key to Kennedy's
argument had been a lack of obedience. When Yorston had explained that
the reason He had moved the location of the post was a lack of wood
and pointed out that the move had been made in good order, Kennedy
berated him for doing it without permission.
The officer had then told
Yorston, “that a thing done contrary to orders was seen to be wrong be
it never so right.” 
Yorston apparently then
decided on the basis of his experience with Kennedy for he had not yet
met with Auld nor apparently knew Auld's opinions on the matter at
that time was to hold tight at Brandon House.
Mason on the other hand had
already disappeared before Kennedy's arrival. Mason had learned, one
expects, through the Norwester’s “moccasin telegraph" that Kennedy was
bringing irons in with him. On his arrival Kennedy did make it clear
that he had intended to send Mason to Auld in chains.
Some of the servants, who
had participated in the combination, decided to go down to the bayside
with the intention of just going home. Others attempted one last time
to come to some reasonable terms with, the company:
I (Kennedy) had asked every
man separately whether they would consent to go down to York according
to the orders of the Honble Committee or were still determined on
going to Albany contrary to their orders they all said to a man they
were willing to go to York provided I would promise Them the same
allowance they had formerly at Albany & That they should return again
to Red River 
It was a futile gesture for although the
officers had been given full authority to enforce absolute obedience
to the regulations they had lost all their former personal initiative
in dealing with the men.
It had become a standoff.
Kennedy then tried to win the men over by getting them drunk. When
this failed he took the crew he could get and started for York
The rest of the servants who chose to leave
Brandon House started for Albany House.
Once the men in the
combination left Brandon House it was effectively broken.
the servants had made personal choices that broke them up into three
separate groups; those that remained at Brandon House and those who
went down to the bay side either to York Factory or to Albany.
bayside they became an isolated minority under the guns of armed
York Factory Punishing the Workmen
The men who went down to
York were questioned by Auld, apparently at oxford House where he had
been awaiting them. He was afraid that they might get support from the
ships crews or other workmen.
Under the English labour
statute they could be forced to give evidence against themselves. Auld
summed up the situation in his report to The committee in t1he
Those 5 men from Brandon House were told to
proceed to other places to spend the remaining part of their Contracts
at first they all refused but on finding us resolute in preventing
them returning to Red River three of them acquised but two would
rather be sent down to go home accordingly they are brought down to
Y.F. but not to be allowed to go home they shall continue here until
your pleasure is known next year we shall dispose of them to the best
advantage I Hope also to have all their associates secured & waiting
the arrival of the ship,
Albany Punishing the
The same type of enforcement awaited those who
had chosen Albany.
Their personal property, sent to York Factory,
was seized. They were then refused "any supplies unless the bare
necessities of life to enable them to perform their contracts.”
The men were in effect put
on half rations and had only the clothes they stood in.
On 23 July the Albany Factor
under English legal authority brought the leaders of the combination
Cumming was already in irons and kept in
solitary confinement for being insolent to the officers of the
They were tried by a tribunal. The officers were
Thomas Vincent, William Thomas and Jacob Corrigal. 
and Henderson were found guilty of "Mutinous Conduct." They were left
on half rations until they were sent home wageless to Scotland.
Auld had promised the
company to have all the so called mutineers in custody upon the
arrival of the ship the following year. That included Yorston.
sent to Brandon House to ensure that Yorston came in the following
year was Kennedy.
Yorston and Kennedy The Winter of 1811
Kennedy arrived at Brandon House on 20 September
1811, to take charge. He immediately began to sabotage Yorston's trade
Yorston had never allowed
the company's business to deteriorate during the entire episode. The
fact that he had remained in position over the summer for so many
years was what had made the post the success it was.
occurred with the arrival of Kennedy is given here from Yorston's
point of view:
Shortly after his arrival, he set out to
purchase goods from the Indians, and the Petitioner who was creditor
[Indian trader for the company] to several Dealers [Indian Captains]
in the country, through which He was to travel requested that he would
take to trouble of Collecting the Arrears due to him. Kennedy however
instead of doing this told the Petitioners Debtors that they might pay
their arrears at some other time and on this return falsely informed
the petitioner that they had refused Payment. The first time that they
came to Brandon House, the Petitioner reproached them for breach of
faith and then the deceit which Kennedy had practiced upon both
parties, was completely unraveled. The Indians, being quite indignant
at this conduct, directly accused 'him of falsehood, declared that
they would have no more dealing with Him and went over to the
The next major confrontation between Yorston and
Kennedy occurred in January 1812 when Kennedy ordered Yorston to lead
an expedition to the dangerous Missouri country to compete with the
Yorston had not been engaged to perform such
dangerous service and his wage certainly did not indicate it. Further
as he had watched the Missouri trade for some years he knew what the
Indians would trade for. What Kennedy intended to send was unfit for
that trade. 
Finally Yorston knew that the company rate of
exchange would not compete with what the Americans were offering. He
told Kennedy all this. Kennedy then lost his temper and struck Yorston.
What occurred is in the record in Kennedy's own words. The reader must
recall that as far as the company officers were concerned Yorston had
already been declared guilty of mutiny and was therefore beyond the
pale of law:
I gave him a slap or two in the face which he
endeavoured to return but I avoided or parried off. After the fist
scuffle I insisted on his positively telling me whether he was
determined on going to the missouri or not, that I might take my
measures in case he refused his duty He told me I had prevented him
from going by disabling him. I told him that not a, answer and
insisted on his directly answering me the question I asked or I would
throw him out doors he said he would not give me a more satisfactory
answer nor would he go out doors till he pleased himself. Upon which I
run for the next room and found a pair of tongs which I took up and
threatened him two or three times to walk out and go into the mens
house Where he should remain on half allowance till spring & If He did
not I would break his head, he set as obstinate as a mule upon which I
fetched him a crack on the arm with the tongs.
Upon which Yorston rose from
his place and disarmed Kennedy. Then he proceeded to give the officer
a sound thrashing. When it was clear to Kennedy that he was to be
given what he gave, he called upon the servants to remove Yorston. The
men refused to interfere. Kennedy turned and ran.
then armed himself and tried to kill Yorston. Yorston fled the
Hudson’s Bay Company Post and sought sanctuary with the Norwesters.
Next Kennedy went to the
Canadian post and offered 100 guineas for Yorston in chains.
this ridiculous bounty into perspective one must recall that Yorston's
salary was less than 20 pounds per year.
The Canadians refused. But
their comment to Kennedy was prophetically. They told Kennedy that if
he really wanted Yorston all he had to do was wait until he got him to
the bayside factory.
Why, I asked myself, did Yorston not go over to
the Canadians? There is no doubt they would have taken him, not just
to bother the English, but to increase their trade, for Yorston's
Indians would have followed him.
But the company owed Yorston
the equivalent of forty seven pounds in back wages and He would loose
all of that plus his last two year's salary if he left.
Further, Yorston had been comfortably
established at Brandon House before the chaos began. His property
included small but expensive luxuries such, as silver tongs, six
silver tea spoons, a coffee mill, six crystal glasses, and a small but
Finally, Yorston still imagined that his
problems lay specifically with Heney, Kennedy and Auld. He still could
not believe that the Honorable company did not care to hear his side
of the story. He still felt that once they had heard the truth, he
would be vindicated and the post at Brandon House or its equivalent
would be put in his charge. It was a forlorn and most foolish hope.
And so Yorston conceded once
more to Kennedy and agreed to make the trip to the Missouri country.
As he had predicted it was a disaster for the goods and prices could
not compete with the American trade.
When he returned to Brandon
House Yorston found the trade at the house was in an even worse state,
for the general dislike of Kennedy had spread among the Indians.
Kennedy asked Yorston to
take over the trade once more for the sake of the company and of
course Yorston did.
Nor was Kennedy's relationship with the workmen
at the post any better. He had enforced the company ration throughout
the winter months. With the coming of spring the men’s resentment
reached a peak and they went on strike:
April 16 the people sent to
me that they wanted fat to eat with their meat which I refused, having
served them out 56 lbs only eight days ago they again sent me word
they would not go to work unless they were served out fat with their
Kennedy told them that the ration they had
received was in the regulations. The men asked to see the regulations.
Kennedy refused to do so and told them if they wanted more food he
would sell it to them.
The Punishment of Yorston
With the coming of spring
Yorston gave up and decided to leave the company. When he informed
Kennedy of his intention the company officer ordered Yorston’s
personal effects seized  and Yorston was forced to leave without
When Yorston reached York Factory Auld
questioned Him and immediately lied to Yorston by telling him that he
had not seen Yorston’s Brandon House journals. Later it came to light
that Auld had read them all.
Two days later Yorston and
The other men from Brandon House were ordered to appear once more.
Auld informed Yorston that he and the other officers of the company
intended to make an example of him.
Neither Yorston nor the
others were allowed to answer to the charges or question their
On 12 July The Governor sent his second in
command James Tait with an order that the Petitioner, Yorston, should
proceed for six miles into the woods and remain there for fifteen
Yorston was given a ration of two gills of
unsifted oatmeal and one lb. of rotten bacon per day. He was without
arms or shelter.
Yorston contracted what the medical profession
of the day called distemper. But Auld, himself ostensively a
physician, refused to allow him medical attention.
the unanimous decision of the officers of the English company to send
Yorston to Scotland in chains. 
However, as it was the
intent of the punishment to terrorize the workmen in Rupertsland Auld
allowed Yorston to leave unchained.
It may have crossed the
reader's mind that the officers of the company had overextended their
authority by these actions. On the contrary, the English committee
applauded and encouraged them to use the full extent of their
authority to break the combinations:
We read with very great
regret the account of the mutinous conduct of Archibald Mason, William
Yorston & others at Brandon House & we cannot too forcibly impress
upon your minds the importance of preserving the strictest discipline
amongst the men & enforcing the most prompt & ready obedience to the
orders of their respective chiefs ,
The committee confirmed the
punishment imposed on John Cumming and George Henderson. They
confiscated all of Archibald Mason's wages and gave Auld a carte
blanche to have punished Yorston with, “such punishment as may be
thought commensurate to the enormity of the offense.” 
When Yorston sought the
wages he was owed they informed him:
I am directed by the
Governor and Committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company to inform you that
from the official documents from Hudson’s Bay the conduct of the said
Yorston instead of being that of a good Servant worthy of reward he
appears to have been most unruly and mutinous and rather deserving of
Punishment thanof any remuneration.
In 1814 a further attempt
faired no better. But it appears that Yorston may have received some
money in 1815.
However, in 1817 Yorston still had not yet
managed to retrieve 'his personal property from the company, 
The struggle for descent
working conditions and a fair return for service that has been
outlined here was the same struggle that was going on in the
collieries and mills throughout the British Isles. If there was a
difference it was in the absolute success the English Hudson’s Bay
Company had in suppressing the aspirations of the working class. This
was achieved by the brutalization of the workmen.
desperation one of the Brandon House men begged his Masters for
forgiveness and pledged his entire life to the service of the company
in the same subservient way as the wife had called upon her husband to
However, it is a letter from one officer of the
company to another that best portrays the success of the campaign:
I am only able to send you
one man at this time he was engaged by Lord Selkirk's Agent at
25(pounds) per annum & is now on no terms at all. He is one of a party
that was off Duty part of last winter but having been scowered into
obedience by a rejinem (sic) of Bacon & oatmeal & not a little
chastised by the musketoes (sic) for he led a sylvan life he soon saw
his error & is now willing to serve his time out at such, wages as
maybe here after settled by the committee & it is certain he will not
be allowed more than 20(pounds) pe(r) year.
1. E.E. Rich, Cumberland
House Journals and Inland Journal 1775-82, 2nd Series 1779-82. (The
Hudson's Bay Record Society London 1952. xxxvii.
2. Eric Linklater, Orkney
and Shetland. (Robert Hale, London 1971), 83.
3. E.E. Rich, Cumberland,
2nd Series, xxxix.
4. Petition for William Yorston to the Directors
of the Hudson's Bay Company, Kirkwall, 1814, A/10/1 (Hudson's Bay
Company Archives, Winnipeg).
5. Thomas Johnston, The
History of the Working Classes in Scotland. (Forward Publishing Co.
Ltd. Glascow n.d.), 47.
6. G.D.H. Cole and Raymond Postgate, The Common
People 1746-1946. (Methuen & Co. Ltd. London 1963), 7.
7. Ibid., 121.
8. Johnston, Working Classes
in Scotland, 197.
9. John Prebble, The Highland Clearances. (Penquin
Books, Harmondsworth 1969), 61.
10. W. Cunningham, The
Growth of English Industry and Commerce, Vol. 3. (University Press,
Cambridge 1912), 715.
11. Charlotte M. Waters, An Economic History of
England 1066-1874. (Oxford University Press, London 1925), 317.
12. Johnston, Working
Classes in Scotland, 265.
13. Frederic Morton Eden,
The State of the Poor. (Benjamin Bloom, New York 1971), 111.
14. Rich, Cumberland, 2nd
15. Johnston, Working Classes in Scotland, 61.
16. Rich, Cumberland, 2nd
17. William Auld, Churchill, August 1810,
18. Brandon House 1803-04, B/22/a/11, (HBCA).
19. Brandon House 1799-1800,
20. Brandon House 1801-02, July 6, B/22/a/9,
21. Brandon House 1810-11, June 9, B/22/a/18a,
22. Brandon House 1804-05, B/22/a/12, (HBCA).
23. Brandon House 1805-06,
August 8, B/22/a/13, (HBCA).
24. Rich, Cumberland 2nd
25. Brandon House 1803-04, November 20,
26. Brandon House 1799-1800, March 22, B/22/a/7,
27. E.E. Rich, The Fur Trade and the North West
to 1857, (McClelland & Stewart, Toronto 1967), 205.
Rich, Hudson's Bay Company 1670-1870, Vol. II, (McClelland & Stewart,
Toronto 1960), 271.
29. William Yorston & Thomas Norn, Brandon
House, Nov. 1810, B/159/c/1 and Brandon House 1810-11, October 23,
30. D. Cameron, Lake of the Island, March 22,
1804, B/239/b/72, (HBCA).
31. Beckles Willson, The
Great Company. (Copp Clark Co. Ltd., Toronto 1899), 374.
32. Arthur S. Morton, A
History of the Canadian West to 1870-71. (University of Toronto Press,
Toronto 1973), 539.
33. Rich, Hudson's Bay Company, Vol. II, 274.
34. William Auld, Churchill,
August 1810, B/42/b/53, (HBCA).
35. Instructions for
Conducting Trade, Hudson's Bay House, 31 May 1810, B/42/b/54, (HBCA).
36. William, The Great
37. Rich, Hudson's Bay Company, Vol. II, 300.
38. Hudson's Bay House, 31
May 1810, A/6/18, (HBCA).
39. Instructions for
Conducting the Trade, Hudson's Bay House, 31 May 1810, B/42/b/54,
40. Instructions for Conducting the Trade,
Hudson's Bay House 31 May 1810, B/42/b/54, (HBCA).
41. Rich, Hudson's Bay
Company Volume II, 284.
42. Williams Auld, Churchill, 3 March 1811,
43. William Auld, Churchill, August 1811,
44. Instructions for Conducting the Trade,
Hudson's Bay House, 31 May 1810, B/42/b/54, (HBCA).
45. Orders Received by Auld
1810, B/42/b/54, (HBCA).
46. The Petition of William
Yorston, A/10/1, (HBCA).
47. Brandon House 1810-11,
49. Deposition: Thomas
Mason, (Measson), B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
50. Williams Auld, Churchill
August 1811, A/11/16, (HBCA).
51. Deposition: John
Corrigal, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
52. Report of Alex Kennedy
to Auld 1811, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
53. Brandon House 1810-11,
55. Brandon House 1810-11,
November 6, B/22/a/18a, (HBCA).
56. Brandon House 1809-10,
October 14, B/22/a/17, (HBCA).
57. William Auld, Churchill,
August 1811, A/11/16, (HBCA).
58. Chester Martin, Lord
Selkirk's Work in Canada (Oxford University Press, Toronto 1916), 205.
59. Deposition: George
Henderson, 10 June 1813, A/10/1, (HBCA).
60. Deposition: William
Plowman, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
61. William Auld, Churchill,
August 1811, A/11/16, (HBCA).
62. Brandon House 1810-11,
February 22, B/22/a/18a, (HBCA).
63. Brandon House 1810-11,
64. Archibald Mason and William Yorston, Brandon
House, 26 February 1811, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
65. Notation signed William
Yorston, Monday 25 [February] 1811, Brandon House 1810-11, B/22/a/18a,
66. John Isbister, February 24 and 26, 1811,
68. Notation signed William
Yorston, Monday 25 [February] 1811, Brandon House 1810-11, B/22/a/18a,
69. E.E. Rich, Cumberland House Journals and
Inland Journals 1775-82 First Series.(Hudson's Bay Record Society,
London 1951), 142n.
70. Harold Innis, The Fur Trade in Canada.
(University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1856), 159.
71. Hudson's Bay House to
Auld, 31 May 1811, A/6/18, (HBCA).
72. Rich, Cumberland 2nd
73. Alex Kennedy Report to Auld 1811, B/22/Z/1,
75. William Auld Oxford
House July 1811, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
76. Hudson Bay House to
William Yorston 29 November 1817, A/5/5, (HBCA).
77. Alex Kennedy Report to
Auld 1811, B/22/Z/1, (HBCA).
79. William Auld, Churchill,
August 1811, A/11/16, (HBCA).
80. William Auld, Churchill,
August 1811, A/11/16, (HBCA).
81. Albany House 1810-11,
82. Petition of William Yorston, A/10/1, (HBCA).
84. Brandon House 1811-12,
85. Brandon House 1811-12, B/22/a/18b, (HBCA).
86. Petition: William
Yorston, A/10/1, (HBCA).
88. William Auld, York
Factory, January 1813, B/239/b, (HBCA).
89. Hudson Bay House, May
30, 1812, A/6/18, (HBCA).
91. Hudson Bay House,
January 20, 1813, A/10/1, (HBCA).
92. Hudson Bay House,
November 29, 1817, A/5/5, (HBCA).
93. Cook to Swain York
Factory, 20 July 1812, B/239/b/84, (HBCA).
94. E.H. Oliver (ed.), The
Canadian North-West Its Early Development and Legislative Records
Volume II, (Government Printing Bureau Ottawa 1915), 1287.