Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Frances Ramsay Simpson (1812-1853)

Fur-trade wife.

Born in London into a merchant family, Frances married her cousin George when she was eighteen and he was on furlough in England. The couple left soon after the ceremony for North America. Frances was one of the first European women to travel west by canoe from Lachine to York Factory, and in Red River she created a new social standard before her withdrawal back to London because of ill health in 1833. She had continual trouble with pregnancy, but returned to North America (to Lachine) in 1845. She found her husband’s autocratic behaviour and his constant absence to be major problems, particularly given her continual physical suffering.

Her correspondence is in the Hudson's Bay Company Archives.

More information:

Frances Ramsay Simpson, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VIII, 811-12.


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

Page revised: 27 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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