Definitions for "Hudson's Bay Company"
Keywords:  bay, fur, hbc, rupert, oldest
The oldest joint-stock trading company in the English world. It was chartered in 1670 and given exclusive trading rights in Hudson's Bay area, or Ruperts Land. The company started out in Fur Trading and has expanded steadily to the state it is in now, a worldwide retail power.
Incorporated in England in 1670 to seek a northwest passage to the Pacific, occupy the lands surrounding Hudson's Bay and carry on commerce and trade in those lands the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) eventually became the most powerful company in Canada, contributing significantly to the political and economic structure of the nation. During the first two hundred years of its existence the HBC engaged primarily in the fur trade industry, setting up fur trading outposts on all of the major waterways in the country in order to trade with the native populations and gaining a monopoly in the industry after 1821. In 1870 the HBC sold its lands, which at this time comprised of virtually all of western Canada, to the government of Canada. Throughout the twentieth century the Company turned more and more to retail merchandising but kept up its northern fur trade operations until 1990. The Hudson's Bay Company is now a major Canadian based department store and has the distinction of being Canada's longest operating corporation.
Shortened form of the "Company of adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay" chartered by Charles II in 1670. The Company had a monopoly on trade in the West from 1821 to 1859 and remains important as a trading company in the north.