Henry Kelsey

(c. 1667—1724) explorer in Canada and Hudson's Bay Company official

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English explorer of Canada. Henry Kelsey's main claim to fame lies in the journey he made in 1690–1692 from York Factory on Hudson Bay across the Canadian prairies. Possibly born in 1667 the son of a Greenwich mariner, John Kelsey, he entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company as an apprentice in 1684. One difficulty with a birth date of 1667 is that he was described twenty-one years later, in 1688, by Governor George Geyer at York Factory, Hudson Bay, where he was stationed, as “the Boy Henry Kelsey… a very active Lad.” More significantly, Geyer went on to note that he delighted in the company of Indians, “being never better pleased than when he is travelling amongst them,” and in 1689 he journeyed along the coast north of York Factory with a young Indian companion.


From The Oxford Companion to World Exploration in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: World History.

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