William Mactavish

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William Mactavish
William Mactavish, circa 1860s
Born 29 March 1815
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 23 June 1870(1870-06-23) (aged 55)
Liverpool, England
Nationality Scottish
Occupation HBC governor of Rupert’s Land
Spouse(s) Sarah MacDermot
Children James William Mactavish (1860-1900), Andrew Dugald Mactavish (1866-1943)
Parent(s) Dugald Mactavish (1782-1855) and Letitia Lockhart
Website http://www.clanmactavish.org

William Mactavish or McTavish (29 March 1815 – 23 July 1870) was a Scottish-born representative of the Hudson's Bay Company, who acted as governor of Rupert's Land and Assiniboia prior to the transfer of Rupert's Land to Canada and the creation of the province of Manitoba in 1870.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Edinburgh to Dugald Mactavish and Letitia Lockhart, and was the younger brother of Letitia MacTavish Hargrave. He came to Canada in 1833 to work at Hudson's Bay Company under the patronage of his Uncle John George MacTavish who was a chief factor.[1][2] He worked at York Factory under his sister Letitia's husband James Hargrave.

Red River[edit]

In 1857, MacTavish went to Red River to be in charge of Upper Fort Garry. He was appointed governor of Assiniboia in 1858 and later governor of Rupert's Land and Assiniboia.[1] He was imprisoned by Louis Riel and resigned on 15 January 1870. He died of tuberculosis after returning to the United Kingdom.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d J. M. Bumsted (1999). Dictionary of Manitoba Biography. Univ. of Manitoba Press. pp. 168–. ISBN 978-0-88755-318-9. 
  2. ^ J. M. Bumsted; Alexander Begg (2003). Reporting the Resistance: Alexander Begg and Joseph Hargrave on the Red River Resistance. Univ. of Manitoba Press. pp. 271–. ISBN 978-0-88755-360-8. 

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