Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Tomison (c1739-1829)

Fur trader.

Born in South Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands, he joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1760, spending seven years at York Factory. In 1767 he was sent inland to winter with the Aboriginals, and he remained there until 1790, when he became chief at York Factory. There he tenaciously defended the internal trade on the Saskatchewan River. He was called home by the HBC committee in 1796, and he returned a year later as inland chief. He retired in 1803 but was called back into service to head an unsuccessful expedition to the Athabasca country, finally returning home in 1810.

More information:

William Tomison, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VI, 775-77.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 29 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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