Hudson S Bay Company Archives

Hudson S Bay Company Archives

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives

Reference HBCA Servants’ Contracts

  1. An AGREEMENT made this fifthday of February
  2. In the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty
  3. ~~~~~ BETWEEN Donald Grant aged 23 years
  4. In the Parish of Kirkmichael in the County of Banff
  5. In Scotland of the one Part, and the Governor and Company of Adventurers of
  6. England. Trading into Hudson’s Bay by Angus Cameron Chief Factor
  7. Their Agent of the other part as follows. ______
  8. The said Donald Grant hereby contracts & agrees to enter into the Service & Employment
  9. of the said company in North America in the capacity of Labourer and that he
  10. will embark when thereunto required on board such Ship or Vessel as shall be appointed by or on behalf of the
  11. the said Company and proceed to Hudson’s Bay for the term of 5 years to be completed from the said
  12. Enbarkation, and for such further time as hereinafter mentioned and forthfully serve the said Company
  13. As their hired Servant in the Capacity of Labourer and devote the while
  14. Of his time and labour in their Service and for their sole benefit and that he will do his duty
  15. As such and perform all such work and Service by day or by night for the said company as he shall be
  16. Required to do and obey all the orders which he shall receive from the Governors of the Company in
  17. America or other their Officers or Agents for the time being And that he will with courage and fidelity in his
  18. Said station, in the said Service defend the Property of the said Company and their Factories and Territories
  19. And will not absent himself from the said service nor engage nor be concerned in any Trade or Employment
  20. Whatsoever except for the benefits of the said Company and according to their Orders And that all Goods
  21. Obtained by Barter with the Indians or otherwise which shall come to the hands or possession of the said
  22. Donald Grant shall be held by him for the said Company only, and shall be duly
  23. Delivered up to the said Governors or other officers at their Factory or Trading post without any waste, spoil
  24. or injury thereto. And in case of any willful neglect or default herin he shall make good to the said
  25. Company all such loss or damage as they shall sustain thereby to be deducted out of his wages And that
  26. The said Donald Grant will faithfully obey all Laws, Orders, & Regulations, established or
  27. Made by the said company for the good government of the Settlement and Territories and at all times
  28. During the residence of the said Donald Grant in North America he will defend
  29. The rights and priviledges of the said Company and aid and support their Officers and Agents to the utmost
  30. Of his power. _____ And the said Donald Grant further engages and agrees that in case
  31. He shall omit to give notice to the Governor or Officers of the said Company in North America one year
  32. Afterwards before the expiration of the said term 5 years of his intention to quit their Service
  33. Until the next Ship in the Services of the said Company shall sail from thence to Europe as their hired
  34. Servant in North America upon the like terms as are contained in this contract _____ And the said
  35. Donald Grant also engages and agrees that in case the said Company shall not have
  36. Any Ship which will sail from Hudson’s Bay for Europe immediately after the expiration of the said
  37. term [blank] yearsor of such further Terms as hereinbefore mentioned then he hereby promises and engages
  38. to remain in the Service as a hired Servant of the said company in North America until the new ship
  39. of the said Company shall sail him thence by Europe upon the like terms as are Contained in this Contract
  40. provided always that the said Donald Grant further agrees to keep watch & ward and perform
  41. such other work in the navigation of the Ship in which he will be embarked in the outward and homeward
  42. voyages as he shall be required to performed by the Commanding Officer of the said vessel
  43. And the said Angus Cameron on behalf of the said Company hereby engages that upon
  44. Condition of the due and faithful service of the said Donald Grant in like manner as aforesaid
  45. But not otherwise the said Donald Grant shall receive from the said Company after the rate of
  46. Twenty pounds Sterling ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  47. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  48. Per annum commence on the day of his embarkation for Hudson’s Bay as aforesaid and up to the day
  49. His embarkation from thence for Europe in one of the Ship of the said Company Service
  50. Provided always, and it is herby expressly agreed between the said parties therto, that it shall be
  51. Lawful for the Governor or Governors or other Officials of the said Company in North America at any time
  52. During the said term of 5 Years or such additional term as aforesaid to dismiss the said Donald
  53. Grantfrom their Service and direct his return from thence to Europe in one of
  54. The Ships in their employment and in such case his wages are to cease from the day of his Embarkation
  55. For Europe. _____ And further that in case the said Donald Grant shall at any time
  56. During this Contract desert the service of the said Company or otherwise neglect or refuse duly to discharge
  57. His duty as such hired Servant as aforesaid then he shall forfeit & lose all his wages for the [unintelligible] whereof
  58. There shall be no relief either in Law or in Equity. In witness whereof the said parties have [unintelligible] to set
  59. Their hands. [signed] Donald Grant
  60. [signed] Angus Cameron C.F. [Chief Factor]
  61. Signed in the presence of
  62. Donald Grant
  63. Angus Cameron(___Jany, 1838)


  • This contract was drafted in 1840 and entirely hand written.
  • Content of each line as in the original document.
  • Grammar and punctuation as in the original document.
  • Text which is Italicized and underlined are written in and specific to the individual entering the contract.
  • ‘Blank’ lines are as in the original document.
  • Chief Factor: Each fort or post was commanded by a Chief Factor and his council of officers.
  • Angus Cameron: (1782 or 1783) Born in the parish of Kirkmichael, Banffshire, Scotland. Son of James Cameron and Janet Farquharson. Nephew of Aeneas Cameron, son of Alexander Cameron and Grace Grant. Came to Canada on his own in 1801. First partnered with the Northwest Co.; joined the Hudson’s Bay Company following the 1821 amalgamation. His three children preceded his return to Scotland in 1843. Nothing is known about their mother, except that she was probably an Indian woman who remained in Timiskaming. Angus Cameron died at Nairn, Scotland, 11Aug.1876.

Currently, I have no information about the Donald Grant who signed this contract. A search in the OPRs for Donald’s parents reveals several possibilities. If you have any information about Donald or his family please leave a comment on this site and/or contact me at:

Thank you.

Anita Grant Steele