Semple, Robert

Robert Semple, governor-in-chief of Rupert's Land (b at Boston, Mass 26 Feb 1777; d at Red River Colony 19 June 1816). The son of a prominent London merchant and former Loyalist, Semple travelled extensively on his father's business and became a prolific author. His travel accounts included Walks and Sketches at the Cape of Good Hope (1803), Observations on a Journey through Spain and Italy to Naples, and thence to Smyrna and Constantinople (1807) and Sketch of the Present State of Caracas (1812).

Semple's commercial activities brought him to the notice of Lord SELKIRK who effected his appointment as "Governor of the Company's Territories in Hudson's Bay" in Apr 1815. He left immediately for RED RIVER COLONY and the following spring was caught up in the struggle between the Hudson's Bay Co and the North West Co. On 19 June 1816 he unwisely challenged a party of Métis allies of the Nor'Westers led by Cuthbert GRANT. Semple and 20 of his men were quickly enveloped and slain.