POWER (Powers), RICHARD, HBC employee; d. 1681.
In 1674 Power seemed likely to be arrested “at the suite of James Tatnam,” because he, Power, had evidently impounded the beaver which Tatnam had traded independently. Not content with taking home beaver skins himself, Tatnam had enticed a seaman into bringing more, but was obliged to pay up when the man confessed. Private trading was a practice that the Company was determined to stamp out and since they offered to go bail and handle any suit against Power, he had probably brought this particular incident to light.
Power was mate on the Prince Rupert in 1676, second mate on the Shaftesbury the following year, and sailed as master of the Prince Rupert in 1678. While he was favourably regarded at headquarters in London and he was appointed to Governor John Nixon’s council in 1680, his conduct in Hudson Bay was severely censured by Governor Nixon. When Nixon assumed his post in 1679 Capt. Power and a companion, Dr. Rainer, came on board at Point Comfort, “both so drunke as beasts” and used abusive language to the retiring governor, Charles Bayly.
Power came home in command of the Prince Rupert in 1681 and died very suddenly a few weeks later of smallpox.