Who Was the Scribe of the Radisson Manuscript?

  • Germaine Warkentin


This article returns to the subject of my "Radisson's Voyages and their Manuscripts" (Archivaria 48, Fall 1999) in pursuit of a problem unresolved there: identifying the scribe of the only extant manuscript (Oxford: Bodleian Rawlinson A 329) of Pierre-Esprit Radisson's first four travel narratives, a text written about 1668-9 and copied (as I argued on the basis of paper evidence ) ca. 1686-7. The new palaeographical evidence described here shows that the scribe was Nicholas Hayward, a professional notary and a frequent member of the London Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company between 1668 and 1690. The article examines Hayward's career and his possible relationship with Radisson, but also considers the ways in which the London Committee handled the problem of archiving the papers of the new company. Hayward's documented expertise in French translation shows the Bodleian manuscript cannot be a rough-hewn translation, as Grace Lee Nute suggested in 1943, but is almost certainly written in Radisson's own Francophone English.

How to Cite
Warkentin, Germaine. 2002. “Who Was the Scribe of the Radisson Manuscript?”. Archivaria 53 (May), 47-63. https://www.archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria/article/view/12836.

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