OTD: Nonsuch sets sail for Hudson Bay

On today’s date in 1668, French explorer and fur trader Médard des Groseilliers set sail on the ketch Nonsuch to trade in the Hudson Bay area.

The Nonsuch left England headed for Hudson Bay, where investors wanted to determine the feasibility of opening a fur trade route in the area. The following spring, the ketch returned to England with high-quality beaver pelts.

It was Sept. 29, 1668, when Captain Zachariah Gillam reached Rupert River on the ketch Nonsuch with des Groseilliers. Together, they build Charles Fort, make a treaty with the local chief and trade throughout the winter for survival.

In May 1670, King Charles II, of England, signed a charter establishing the “Governor and Company of Adventurers from England trading into Hudson’s Bay.” Prince Rupert was the company’s first governor, and the charter gave the company control over a large portion of present-day Canada (then known as Rupert’s Land).


On June 5, 1968, 300 years after the voyage of the Nonsuch, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a multi-coloured five-cent stamp (Scott #482) designed by George Sarras Fanais and engraved by George Arthur Gundersen.

Printed by the British American Bank Note Company, the stamp was Canada’s first comb-perforated commemorative.

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