SKRIMSHER, SAMUEL (the name is found as Scrimshire, Skrimshire, Skimisher, but he signed Skrimsher), HBC employee; son of Samuel Skrimsher and probably a cousin of James Isham; d. 18 May 1755.
Aged about 14 Samuel Skrimsher went to Hudson Bay in 1733 to serve as an apprentice at York Fort (York Factory, Man.). Following the expiry of his apprenticeship in 1740, he was employed at the fort as a book-keeper and warehouse-keeper. He served as second under Thomas White (1744–46), James Isham (1746–48), and John Newton (1748–50). In August 1749 Newton complained to the London committee of Skrimsher’s “Lazy Habit,” and Skrimsher was consequently recalled to London by the committee’s letter of May 1750. Before the order reached the bay, however, Newton drowned and Skrimsher took over at York. His command was short-lived, for Isham arrived at York on the company’s vessel Prince Rupert (Capt. George Spurrell) in August 1750 and assumed charge. Skrimsher took passage by the vessel to London. There he evidently convinced the committee of his worth (perhaps on account of his knowledge of Cree or his having journeyed between York and Churchill), for in the summer of 1751 he returned to the bay, appointed for five years to the charge of Flamborough House. This “small Factory house” had been established in 1749 on the Nelson River to collect provisions for York and to prevent any sea-borne interlopers from ascending the river and intercepting Indians coming to trade at the bay. Skrimsher continued in charge until he died on 18 May 1755, apparently from being struck on the face by a drunken Indian. He was buried at York, the inscription on his tomb noting his age at death as 34.
HBC Arch. A.1/38, pp.268, 270, 324; A.6/6, p.203; A.6/7, pp.45, 150, 188, 217, 276, 282, 325–26, 329; A.6/8, pp.28–29, 132, 135, 231, 237; A.11/114, ff.104–6, 109–9d, 113d, 117, 122d, 129d, 134, 139, 144–45, 184–85; A.16/31, ff.32, 68, 82; B.68/a/2; B.68/a/4; B.68/b/1, ff.8–8d; B.68/b/2; B.239/a/33; B.239/a/39. PRO, Prob. 6/131. HBRS, XII (Rich and Johnson), XXV (Davies and Johnson). Rich, History of the HBC, I.