HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY by Anna Markland

The Marauder is set in the seas of the Spanish Main which is an odd place perhaps to find mention of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Founded in 1670, this Company still exists today as a retail giant in Canada. It had its beginnings in the North American fur trade, accumulating enormous wealth through the supply of beaver pelts to satisfy the insatiable demand among European gentlemen for felt top hats. It is the oldest chartered company in North America.

 

 

Pursuit of the beaver opened up vast tracts of uncharted lands in the western United States and Canada. Early explorers paddled their way into the history books. This is, of course, the reason for the beaver’s iconic place in Canadian symbolism.

In a previous article, I mentioned the pirate strategy of using false flags. The similarity of the HBC flag to the Royal Navy’s Red Ensign was too tempting not to make use of. As the Seven Years’ War draws to a close, Captain Santiago Velazquez disguises his ship as part of the HBC fleet while in pursuit of British naval vessels off the coast of Florida.

How does a Spanish pirate come to be a hunter of Royal Navy ships? It all has to do with Letters of Marque, which were basically licenses to commit piracy in times of war.

For more information on the North American fur trade, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fur_trade#North_American_fur_trade.