Taylor Montieth Third

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© Courtesy of Marjorie Medford


Before joining the Hudson’s Bay Company at the age of 17 in 1926, Taylor Montieth Third worked at the family farm and shop at St Fergus in the northeast of Scotland.  His elder brother, George, already worked for the Company, and undoubtedly encouraged Taylor to join up.  Both the Third brothers worked in the Nelson District, in northern Manitoba for most of their time with the company, though George also spent two years at Severn, in northern Ontario.

Like many young men from the northeast, Taylor Third’s first post was as an apprentice clerk at York Factory, where his duties would have included checking inventories, assisting with the post accounts, copying letters, and undertaking any other administrative duties as required.  His starting salary was $240, and by the time he left the Company’s service in 1931, this had risen to £504.  He received a boarding allowance on top of this.

York Factory Big House, c1910.
© Courtesy of Tom Moir.

Many of Taylor Third’s colleagues were from the northeast of Scotland, and included George Fowlie and Ernest Hampton. He also would have seen his brother quite frequently, especially during his first year in the service, when George worked as mate on the Fort York, the Company’s motorized schooner, which was used to transport goods between HBC posts on Hudson Bay.  In these circumstances, the distance from home may not have seemed so great. 

Taylor Third left the HBC at the end of his contract on July 31 1931 and returned to the northeast of Scotland.  His elder brother, who had been destined to succeed their father in the business, had died of septicaemia, and Taylor was asked to come home and take his place. Subsequently, Taylor developed a pub, then a small hotel, alongside the shop. He died in 1978.

Key Artefact - Cloth

© Photograph by John McIntosh


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