Prince Rupert of the Rhine: Pirate Prince of the Caribbean #17thCentury #StuartAge

One of the most dashing and iconic figures of the War of the Three Kingdoms is Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The son of Frederick V, Elector of Palatine, and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James VI of England, he fought for King Charles I’s against Parliament. The force and swiftness of his cavalry charge usually struck terror in the Parliamentarians (although it could have been more disciplined). To this day, portraits of Rupert still causes hearts to flutter.  While Rupert is mostly known as a Royalist cavalry commander, he did enjoy a brief sojourn as a Pirate Prince, sailing…

The Hudson’s Bay Company: a 17th century multicultural start up

This year, when Canada recently celebrated her 150th birthday, I thought about how we became a nation and all the long line of diverse people who paved the way. Curiously enough, Canada’s early story revolves a department store—the Hudson’s Bay Company. When you think Hudson’s Bay Company, you’re probably thinking of HBC, Bay Days sales and that iconic point blanket. I think of all that, but I also see an institution with a quintessential Canadian history, that started as a multicultural startup in the 17th century. It started with a dream. Two French Canadian trappers (coureurs de bois), Pierre-Esprit Radisson…

#OTD in 1645: The Battle of Naseby + an excerpt from Traitor’s Knot

The turning point for the English Civil War happened on this date on Broad Moor, Naseby. Up until then, the Parliamentarians were struggling against the King’s forces, and the Royalists fully expected that victory was imminent. They were probably planning on returning home to their families in time for the fall harvest. And then Naseby happened. The days leading up to the battle were filled with constant rain which lifted late the previous night or early morning, leaving a thick fog to cloak the steady march of both armies. The Parliamentarians, led by General Thomas Fairfax and his Lieutenant General,…