The Royal Proclamation Charter for the Company of Adventurers

  • Thea Burns


The text of the Royal Proclamation Charter for the Company of Adventurers (2 May 1670) is well known from printed sources. The rights and powers granted to the Hudson's Bay Company by the Charter, as well as challenges to these, have been thoroughly studied. Other features of this document are less familiar. These include the formal and informal administrative procedures which led to the physical production of the Charter, the Charter's documentary form, shape and size, and its language, calligraphy, decoration, and seal. This paper sets out to describe and comment on these features.


Le libellé de la Royal Proclamation Charter for the Company of Adventurers (2 mai 1670) est bien connu grâce aux sources imprimées. Les droits et pouvoirs octroyés à la Compagnie de la baie d'Hudson par la Charte ainsi que leur contestation out été étudiés en profondeur. D'autres caractéristiques de ce document nous sont moins familières. Cela s'applique aux procédures administratives formelles et informelles entourant la création de la Charte comme telle, son style documentaire, sa forme, sa taille, son langage, sa calligraphie, son ornementation et son sceau. L'article décrit et commente ces caractéristiques.

Author Biography

Thea Burns
Thea Burns is Associate Professor and Paper Conservator in the Art Conservation Program at Queen's University where she has taught since 1987. She has also worked as a paper conservator for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Queen's UniversityICity of Kingston Archives and in private paper conservation practice in Canada and the United Kingdom. Her educational background includes McGill University (BA First Class Honours in Fine Arts), Queen's University (MAC), Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies, and Harvard University (Certificate in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper).
How to Cite
Burns, Thea. 1998. “The Royal Proclamation Charter for the Company of Adventurers”. Archivaria 45 (February), 170-93.
Studies in Documents