Con­nec­tion with Revenant movie

Calderdale has a fur trap­pers link

Halifax Courier - - The First World War Centenary Week By Week Februar - By David Glover

Leonardo di Caprio picked up the Golden Globe Award as Best Ac­tor re­cently for his per­for­mance in the Amer­i­can western ad­ven­ture film The Revenant. The film, or rather the book on which it was based, was in­spired by the ex­ploits of fur trap­per Hugh Glass in early 19th Cen­tury Mon­tana and South Dakota. In the film, we are re­minded of a long past era when fur trap­ping in North Amer­ica was wide­spread and nor­mal; al­though to­day I trust the prac­tice is not. How many lo­cal peo­ple re­alise that Calderdale has some sig­nif­i­cant con­nec­tions with the North Amer­i­can fur trade? In the north aisle of Hal­i­fax Min­ster is a tomb­stone bear­ing the in­scrip­tion “Wil­liam Fro­bisher, owner.” Wil­liam lived from 1749-1830, and three of his brothers - Ben­jamin, Thomas and Joseph - all bap­tised here, em­i­grated to Mon­tréal in the 1760s, soon af­ter Québec prov­ince was cap­tured by the Bri­tish from the French. Dur­ing the 1770s, the Fro­bisher brothers were all in­volved with ex­plor­ing the lit­tle-known wilder­nesses of mid and north­ern Canada on gru­elling fur-trad­ing ex­pe­di­tions. One of them even reached the re­mote Athabasca re­gion. In the win­ter of 1783-4, the Fro­bisher brothers’ busi­ness com­pany was merged with that of the great Si­monon McTav­ish [1750?-1804], thushus es­tab­lish­ing the no­table Mon­tréal-based NorthWest Com­pany, which ri­valled the bet­ter known Lon­don-based Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany for con­trol of thehe fur trade, con­test­ing the latat­ter’s mo­nop­oly. But in Mon­treal, the Fro­bishish­ers had al­ready made theirir for­tune. Prince Ed­ward, Duke of Kent, later to be­come the fa­therr of Queen Vic­to­ria, lived fromm 1791-93 in Québec, and when­hen he vis­ited Mon­treal he stayed with Joseph Fro­bisher, who lived in “great style” at Beaver Hall in that place. Joseph - bap­tised at Hal­i­fax on April 18, 1748 - died at Mon­tréal on Septem­ber 12, 1810; and he is re­garded as one of the founders of the com­mer­cial me­trop­o­lis of Canada. Fif­teen years af­ter the Fro­bish­ers’ great­est jour­ney, Sir Alexan­der Macken­zie, the paramount ex­plorer of the Cana­dian North-west, trav­elled over the same ground as them, go­ing much fur­ther. We know that he was in­spired by the Fro­bisher brothers’ ex­ploits, for in a book he had pub­lished in 1810, he men­tioned their great pluck and en­durance. In 1821, the North West C Com­pany was to amal­ga­mate with the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany un­der the lat­ter com­pany’s name, cre­at­ing a fur-trad­ing mo­nop­oly that cov­ered a quar­ter of North Amer­ica. An­other lo­cal link with the fur trade in­volves LtCol Archibald Nor­man MacLeod, a na­tive of the Isle of Mull, who was buried at Coley Church in AprilAp 1841; he was father-in­law to the vicar at the time. MacLeod (the spell­ing of his sur­name varies) was at­tracted

Joseph Fro­bisher. In­set: Ben­jamin Fro­bisher

MacLeod Me­mo­rial, St John’s, Coley

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