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Formed just over 350 years ago, the Hudson’s Bay Company had a trading monopoly over a vast area of North-West Canada, rich in Arctic furs. Its ships regularly called in to Stromness for supplies and workers, and the resulting income gave a huge boost to Orkney’s economy through hard times. A high proportion of its men were Orcadians – among them Joseph Isbister, Governor William Tomison, and the great explorer Dr John Rae.

Polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini tells the story of the company and its impact.

You can watch this free event from here, through the YouTube link below, or if you’d like to join questions and discussion, you can also go to the Science Festival’s YouTube channel

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