Ernest Hampton

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© Courtesy of Merle Henderson


Ernest Hampton spent thirty years working for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was born in Banchory in the northeast of Scotland in 1905 and joined up when he was nineteen years old. His first posting was to York Factory, on the edge of the Hudson Bay, where he worked as an apprentice clerk for two years. Here much of his leisure time was spent much with his friends Taylor Third and George Fowlie, who were also from the northeast of Scotland. Over the next five years Hampton worked at the posts of Weenusk, Severn and Trout Lake in northern Ontario.

In 1930 he was promoted to Post Manager at Stanley in Saskatchewan, and then later returned to Manitoba in 1934 to take over management of the Oxford House post. His fiancée, Hilda McKenzie (b. 1903), travelled from Scotland to Canada that year and they were married at Stanley Mission. Both became very involved in the communities in which they lived, Hilda playing the organ in the Church at Rossville, for example, and Ernest becoming a scout master at Waboden, northern Manitoba,. Their two children, Myron and Merle, were born in Canada and spent their early years at HBC posts in Manitoba, though in 1939 Myron was sent to his mother's relatives in Banchory, so that he could go to school.

Ernest Hampton's career took him and his family to fur trade posts all over northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He ended his working life with the Company at Wabowden where he was Post Manager from 1952-1954. The Hamptons returned to Scotland in 1954, and spent most of their retirement living in Edinburgh. They retained fond memories of their time in Canada and often spoke with pleasure of their experiences in the north. Ernest Hampton died in 1995.

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