MISSENDEN, SAMUEL, employee of the HBC; fl. 1685–88.
“A gentleman for whom the Company had good future expectations,” he entered upon a somewhat dramatic career in 1685. He was assigned to Port Nelson where he served as chief warehousekeeper, presumably until 1686. He was then advanced to the post of chief at New Severn and deputy governor at Port Nelson and commended for his study of the Indian language.
Suddenly he was back in England in 1687, claiming to have come over in the Company’s service. Subsequently it turned out that Pierre Radisson* had urged him to witness to charges against Governor Geyer that proved to be “falce and malitious.” Instead of returning as governor of the Bay, as Radisson had promised, Missenden was dismissed from the Company’s employment.
A few days after returning to England in 1687 Missenden was required, with other Company employees, to present himself at Whitehall. “The concerne of this Compa. against the French,” i.e., the capture by de Troyes of three Company posts on James Bay in time of peace (1686), was to be laid before the king.
He is next heard of on the Continent. He went to Hamburg to visit his father, who probably had mercantile interests in that important trading centre, and he wrote from Amsterdam, hinting at interloping ships to the Bay. (Interlopers were trespassers on the Company’s monopoly.) His offer to return to Company service in 1688 was declined as not being “to the conveniency of the Company.”