Prince of Rupert's Land

Carolyn Harris, a Canadian historian who specializes in royalty, reveals in this interview that few Canadians realize that Canada’s early destiny was steered by a swashbuckling cavalier.

Interview by Nelle Oosterom

Posted September 15, 2015

Most Canadians will know Prince Rupert as the name of a port city in British Columbia.

And some may be familiar with the Rupert’s Land of history. This was the name given to a large swath of land that formed the Hudson Bay drainage area. This land, which consists of much of modern-day Canada, once belonged to the “Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay.”

The governor was Prince Rupert, a seventeenth-century adventurer who came from the royal courts of Europe.

Carolyn Harris, a Canadian historian who specializes in royalty, spoke with Canada’s History to fill in some of the blanks about Prince Rupert and his place in Canadian history.

More from Carolyn Harris

The Queen's Land

The stories behind the names embedded in Canada’s geography.

Rupert's Land

The dashing prince who did much to shape the direction of Canada was not your run-of-the-mill royal.

Help keep Canada’s stories strong (and free)

We hope you will help us continue to share fascinating stories about Canada’s past.


We highlight our nation’s diverse past by telling stories that illuminate the people, places, and events that unite us as Canadians, and by making those stories accessible to everyone through our free online content.


Canada’s History is a registered charity that depends on contributions from readers like you to share inspiring and informative stories with students and citizens of all ages — award-winning stories written by Canada’s top historians, authors, journalists, and history enthusiasts.


Any amount helps, or better yet, start a monthly donation today. Your support makes all the difference. Thank you! 

You can also read Carolyn Harris’ article “Rupert’s Land” from the October-November 2015 issue of Canada’s History.

Related to Business & Industry