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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Clouston (1793-1850)

Blacksmith, farmer.

Baptized in Orphir County, Orkney Islands on 29 January 1793, he joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1812, serving as a blacksmith at York Factory. In the years that followed, he moved to a variety of HBC posts including Brandon House (1815-1816), Swan River (1816-1817), Fort Hibernia (1817-1818), and Fort Wedderburn in the Athabasca district (1818-1821) where he was promoted to management as Clerk. He took charge of Berens House in April 1821. Subsequently, he served the next seven years at Fort Chipewyan until his retirement to the Red River Settlement at 35 years of age to become a farmer.

On 2 September 1828, he married Nancy Sutherland (1804-1848), daughter of James Sutherland (1778-1844) and Jane Flett (1785-1835), at the Red River Settlement. They had seven children: Jane Clouston (1827-1889), James Clouston (1829-1908), Nancy Clouston Flett (1832-1902), Isabella Clouston (b1835), Jemima Clouston (1838-1888), Robert Clouston (1841-1845), and Sarah Clouston (1843-1856).

He died at Red River on 14 July 1850 and was buried in the St. John’s Cemetery along with his wife and three of his children.


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

This profile was prepared by Donald Young and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 June 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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