List 1 (1508-1709)

Indication of Vessels in, or Voyaging to, Hudson Bay and Strait, Including Journeys into Ungava Bay, Foxe Basin, and James Bay (1508-1709)

Return to Introduction

Reminder: the numbers in the final column are indexed to the Sources for Ship List 1; the symbol ‘▪’ indicates ship’s log is available HBCA (Hudson’s Bay Company Archives); the symbol ‘*’ indicates vessel is listed in HBCA “Book of Ships Movements.”

Table 1



Table 2



Table 3



Table 4



Table 5



Table 6



Table 7



Table 8



Table 9



Table 10



Continued in Ship List 2 (1710-1790).

For additional information, see  Sources for Ship List 1.


Proof-reading and up-dating will be on-going. I welcome any suggestions for corrections or for additional information.

Owner’s Goodwill pink

23 Responses to List 1 (1508-1709)

  1. George Baugh says:

    I am interested to have any more information you possess regarding the voyage in 1810 of HMS Clio, commanded by my ancestor, Thomas Folliott Baugh.

  2. hallnjean says:

    Currently, what information I have is limited to very brief mentions in the following sources:

    1) The ship and commander are listed in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives’, “Ships Records Finding Aid,” available at the archives in Winnipeg. That the info. is listed there suggests there is a reference to the vessel in the ships’ logs of that year — those of King George, Prince of Wales, and Eddystone. You might be able to at least partially reconstruct the voyage of the Clio by studying the logs, as the ships likely travelled in convoy. Information on how to research HBC archival documents is available at their website, .

    2) Paul Benyon supplies notes about the vessel’s history on his site, “Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels: Includes a Partial Index for Ships Mentioned by William James in his History of the RN- 1793-1827,” .

    I’ll keep an eye out for your Thomas Folliott Baugh and let you know if I run across anything new.

  3. Tony Partington says:

    I found this website very informative to compare with a ship list of HBC ships that I am trying to compile from the HBC Archives. I am trying to write an article on these ships 1670 -1825 but more from the London end.
    Where can I find a copy of your doctoral thesis to read?

  4. Brian Wyvill says:

    Hi – great website – thanks!

    I am interested in the Seahorse I, listed in the Bay in 1741. You have it down as
    a ‘pink’ of 170 tons. I have come across references to the same ship through other sources and it is listed as a frigate (Beaver article). Also a reference to a captain Fowler in that year not Spurrel ?

    This is of course confusing especially as
    a pink is usually a coastal vessel but 170 tons is perhaps small for a frigate. I am more familiar with royal navy frigates than HBC frigates so perhaps you have some words of wisdom? The project is fiction but it would be nice to get the facts straight. Any help appreciated.

    thanks – Brian

    • hallnjean says:

      Hi, great to meet you Brian!

      As far as I know, no Fowler was captaining an HBC ship until 1744. That year a John Fowler took the Seahorse [I] out to the Bay. According to Oliver Fuller, “The Mariners at Sloop’s Cove,” The Beaver, , he was sent in the Seahorse to “strengthen the defences at York and Churchill.” (there is more on that in E.E. Rich, James Isham’s observations on Hudsons Bay, 1743 [Champlain Society 1949] available at

      The primary record I relied on for the ships of the 1740s was the ‘Book of Ships’ Movements,’ kept by the Company and listing ships with their captains. It doesn’t mention Capt. Jonathan Fowler until 1744 when he was in command of the Hudson’s Bay [V]. According to that record John and Jonathan Fowler were two different master mariners.

      It is clear from the Seahorse logs that Jonathan Fowler Sr. was captain of that ship for a number of years beginning 1751. There are no ships’ logs surviving prior to 1751 — a gap which is reflected in Jonathan Fowler Sr.s’ HBC biographical sheet (which you may have seen already, if not it’s available from the HBC Archives at and Capt. Jonathan Fowler Jr.s’ is at ).

      I have not yet found archival info. on what Fowler Sr. was doing prior to 1744. Quite possibly he had been sailing on HBC ships for years as sailor or mate before making captain, but I haven’t made any solid links to any other bio info.

      As for the ship itself, Michael Dove describes the drawing/watercolour showing the Seahorse [II] done by John Hood ( — the image is available at There is a nice zoom function too, perhaps you can analyze it?

      All Hudson’s Bay Company ships were relatively small and of shallow draught because (with the possible exception of Churchill), it was impossible to approach the shore otherwise — Hudson Bay is shallow. I have come across a number of sources that contradict one another when it comes to describing HBC ships. Often the problem is an author has confused two different vessels of the same name. While to the best of my knowledge the Seahorse [I] was described in HBC documents as a pink, the Seahorse [II] was described as a frigate. Another problem is mentions of ships in early records are none too precise — people were likely to call a vessel any number of different things depending on the fashion of nautical parlance of the time. So in fact very few specifics are known about HBC vessels, and whatever you come across will have to sifted against what you figure makes sense.

      If you’re determined to hunt further, E.E. Rich, a historian who wrote The History of the Hudson’s Bay Company 1670-1870 (3 vols, 1960) is the guy to start with — check his index under ships in volume 1. And/or contact the HBC Archives and ask if there is an information sheet on the Seahorse (they have them for a number of vessels).

      Happy hunting and writing — Norma

      • Damian MacSeain says:

        Hello Norma. Again time has passed since your post, but it is very useful still, thank you. From what you have written, and the links, I deduce the following… That during the 18C, there were in the HBC’s employ a Captain Jonathon Fowler, Sr., and a Captain Jonathon Fowler, Jr., (are they father/son?). There is also a Captain John Fowler, who is not the same person as the previous two. The HCB Bio Sheet for Captain Jonathon Fowler Sr. lists him as having a brother Brother: “Captain John Fowler (fl. 1749-1769)”, which is a bit confusing. Anyway, I have a question based on this info: In the Fort Albany post journal for Aug 27, 1753 (written by the outgoing Factor George Spence) it say: “At night, Mr. Fowler, Second Mate of the Sea Horse, came with News of Ship’s arrival.” The next day he writes: “Early this morning Mr. Isbister and Captain Jonathan Fowler Commander came here.” The HBC Bio Sheet confirms that this Commander is Jonathon Fowler Sr. and leaves me with the question of ‘who is the “Mr. Fowler, Second Mate to the Seahorse in 1753″‘? It may be JF Jr, but his HBC service is recorded as starting later. It may be the other John Fowler, who has no HBC Bio Sheet. Or it could be some other Fowler? It’s not critical to know this for my work of fiction, they’re all minor characters. Your info has already helped immensely. Thank you!

  5. hallnjean says:

    Further to the above reference to an image of Hudson’s Bay Company ships by John Hood, 1769, :

    After using the zoom feature to check out the figureheads visible in John Hood’s pen and wash drawing, I am not convinced that this is the drawing Dove is referring to. He identifies the Seahorse as the ship at the centre of the scene, but a sea-going horse is distinctly visible as the figure-head on the ship on the right.

    The ship at centre appears to sport a buxom female, perhaps winged.

  6. Brian Wyvill says:

    wow! thanks very much for the valuable information. I will follow up and get back to you. Actually this is not for my novel but for a friend. My book has shios of the Royal Navy for which there are continuous log books (generally) thank goodness! All the best – Brian

  7. JEFF MUNSON says:


  8. JEFF MUNSON says:


    • hallnjean says:

      Hi Jeff, and Wow, would I ever like to know more about that artifact and how your friend’s family came to have it!

      My info. on the Black Eagle comes from Alexander Starbuck, History of the American Whale Fishery: From its earliest inception to the year 1876 (1878; Reprint, New York: Argosy-Antiquarian, 1964), pp. 596–97; W. Gillies Ross, Whaling and Eskimos: Hudson Bay 1860–1915 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1975), pp. 40, 49, 152; Randall R. Reeves and Susan E. Cosens, “Historical Population Characteristics of Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Hudson Bay,” Arctic 56, no. 3 (September 2003): pp. 283–92; and the KWM Catalogue of Logbooks and Journals, New Bedford Whaling Museum. Research Library, Kendall Institute online — which seems to have a new web address since I looked last. If you haven’t already searched for Black Eagle logs online, how to do so online is explained at

      The New Bedford seems to have several of the logs, and at least one (# 0917) refers to Edwin W. White. If they’re not available online, it might be possible to order copies.

      I’d be thrilled to get updates on your search.
      — Norma

  9. paula says:

    Do you have any information on passenges or children on board any of the ships dated around 1761-1763?
    My relative was about 12 at the time and he snuck off the ship and hid in a barn until the ship left.
    He said his name was Bill, that he was 12 and was from Bristol. He is the only link we have to finding our roots. He landed in Cocagne Canada.

    thank you for any help you may have.


  10. Serena says:

    I am looking for information on the Robert Taylor ship of 1812… my ancestor is Patrick Cunningham and he was believed to be aboard this ship. He supposedly arrived at the Red River, Canada… but am wondering if there are any records of him aboart the ship, immigration etc. He set sail from Caltry, Sligo, Ireland…

    Would appreciate any information or records that you may be able to find

    • hallnjean says:

      Hi Serena.

      Unfortunately I know very little except that the Robert Taylor of 1812 was a chartered vessel — not owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company. I am not aware of any ship’s log for the vessel in the HBC archives. I do know John Davison has been identified as the captain. But if I come across anything else I’ll certainly let you know.


  11. David J says:

    Looking for information on the fishing vessels that my Great Grandfather Celestine Jean Gueneuc fished on. The name of the vessels are as follows Mogador, L’ Armoricain, Satillite, Saint-Jules, Marie-Joseph and the Qui-Qu’en-Grogne. I think he fished in and around the Terre Neuve area. Any information you can provide me with would be greatly appreciated.

  12. jenny Wilson says:

    Looking for information about my grandmother and grandfather sailed on the ss Harmony out of London to Labarador around 1920s to a mission George Thompson and his wife Annie Gertrude. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Pingback: I am Canadian – the French Connection – Part 3 – The Little King of Tadoussac | Coming out of Hiding

  14. Mark Moore says:

    Hi, I’m not sure if you’re still monitoring this website or not, but I hope this message can find it’s way to you. I’ve been tracing a Thomas Moore, who created the first map of West James Bay around the 1670s. He was known to have traveled with Charles Bayly in 1674 to Hudston Bay – Cape Henrietta and Fort Albany. I noticed you have a mention of Charles Bayly for the HBC ship in 1670. I don’t however see his name for a ship that was used by HBC in 1674. I’m wondering if you by any chance have any information regarding the Prince Rupert ship 1674?

    Thank you for your help, and I love the site, so much fascinating information!

    • hallnjean says:

      Hi Mark,
      Afraid there is nothing in terms of logs etc. for Prince Rupert in 1674.
      As far as I can make out from Arthur S. Morton, A History of the Canadian West to 1870–71, Being a History of Rupert’s Land (The Hudson’s Bay Company Territory) and of the North-West Territory (Including the Pacific Slope) (Toronto: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1939): Bayly arrived 1672 and stayed on in the Bay through 1673 as Governor, and was stationed in 1674 at Charles Fort at the mouth of the Moose River on Hayes (or Factory) Island. He spent the summer (I think 1674 — Morton is terrible for making dates clear) sailing about the Bay in the Imploy [no specific HBCA ship record], and Morton (p. 75) assumes others are aboard, including “doubtless … Groseilliers as his interpreter and trader.” Morton continues:
      “From the Albany [River] Governor Bayly sailed northward past Akimiski (his Vyner’s) Island. At Cape Henrietta Maria he entered the broad inland sea which the Company always called Hudson Bay in distinction from the Bottom of the Bay. On a general westerly course he came to the New Severn River, whose Indian name, Washahoe, is associated with the band living on its banks. … provisions were now short. Moreover, the Imploy had already narrowly escaped disaster in the ice of the Bay, and the Indians reported great sheets of ice to the west. The voyage to Port Nelson was therefore abandoned. On the return course the sloop was driven eastward on to Charlton island, and Bayly lay there in distress for three days. The extensive exploration of this summer gave the Company a clear view of its territory and led to the determination to take possession of it by establishing a post at the mouth of each of its great rivers. Even Charlton Island was brought into its scheme for the organization of the trade.”
      Bayly and crew apparently returned to Fort Charles Aug. 30.

      Hope that helps,

      • Mark Moore says:

        Hi Norma, Thank you for replying with all that information, I wonder if perhaps my relative Thomas Moore who created the map in 1674 was on the ship with Bayly and Groselliers? I know Thomas Moore was supposedly in contact with two traders/captains around James Bay. I was so surprised at how much information I could find about him…so fascinating. I’d love to figure out what boat he was on. I’ve read that Charles Bayly kept very poor records while he was on journeys to Hudson Bay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.