The Library will be CLOSED Monday, June 25 for staff training.

1. The Bluenose, the Amphion, and the Nonsuch

Index | Next

By the entrance windows, there are three model ships encased in acrylic, the Bluenose the Amphion, and the Nonesuch. Their builder, an artist wishing to remain anonymous, donated all three.

The Schooner Bluenose (1921-1941) was donated by E.W.F to Uxbridge Township Library in July 1993.

The Royal Swedish Yacht Amphion (1790) was donated by E.W.F to Uxbridge Township Library in June 2000.

Inscription displayed with the Amphion:

"The Amphion was designed and equipped as a fast pleasure vessel, to be employed for displacement of King Gustavus III of Sveden. However, the AMphion took part in military engagements too: in fact, aboard this ship, the king led the victorious gifhgtings against russion felt at Svenksund.

The Amphion was armed in the dockyards at Djurgarden (Stockholm) and was launched in 1778. Its last news dates back to 1850 which was the supposed period of its unrigging.

The Amphion's original plan, a masterpiece of harmony and purity of lines, is ascribed to Fredrik AF Chapman, the fist naval designer who codified ships' projection on exact mathematic rules, instead of empiric customs of his epoch."

The Ketch Nonsuch (1650) was donated by E.W.F Uxbridge Township Library in September 1997.

In June of 1668, a 53-foot ketch called the Nonsuch weighed anchor and set sail from Gravesend, England. She was off on a trans-Atlantic voyage bound for Hudson Bay.

Her mission was to prove a fur-trade theory, promoted by Radisson and Groseilleurs, that the North American fur trade would be more efficient and expeditious via Hudson Bay rather than the complicated, but established, St. Lawrence River route.

On September 29th, 118 days later, the wooden square-rigger arrived at the southern tip of James Bay. She anchored off the mouth of a river that the crew christened Rupert after Prince Rupert, one of the eighteen backers of the voyage and a cousin of King Charles 11.

The following spring, after somehow surviving a typically inhospitable winter with only rudimentary protection from the elements, the crew began a brisk trade in furs with the Cree of the area. That October, its cargo bulging with prime beaver pelts, the Nonsuch was back in England. The furs sold quickly as there was a strong demand for them for manufacture into fashionable beaver felt hats. So encouraged by the outcomes of the voyage, and motivated by the potentially lucrative future prospects, the group of investors approached King Charles for a charter to establish a trading company. His Majesty duly granted their request on May 2, 1670 and the Hudson's Bay Company was born.

Summary of the Nonsuch story, by Laird Rankin, author of The Return Nonsuch: The Ship that Launched an Empire.

Index | Next