Henry Brown was born in Breck-be-South, Birsay, Orkney in 1799. In 1821 he entered the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company and sailed on the Eddystone for Moose Factory on James Bay. (1) From 1823-1824 he was employed as a labourer and middleman (2) at Lac Seul in the Albany District and it is likely that his years of service were all in that area. He retired to Red River in 1828.
Henry married Isabella Slater, daughter of James Slater of the HBC, according to the “custom of the country” during his years in the Lac Seul area. They were formally married at Red River in 1829 at which time their sons Thomas and John were baptised. Henry and Isabella would eventually have fourteen children. They first lived in the Parish of St. Paul (Middlechurch), but by the time of the 1870 census, they were living at Poplar Point with their son George. Their sons Peter and James also farmed in that area.
Their sons Thomas and Henry Jr were part of the group of Red River people who left with James Sinclair for Washington Territory in 1854. Thomas was accompanied by his wife Jane Mowat and three children. They settled in what became Washington State. Henry also settled there, married and raised a family.
(1) HBCA C.1/314: Passenger list of the Eddystone outward bound 1821.
(2) Refers to his position on either York boat or canoe