Robert Semple

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(1777-1816) Traveller, merchant, writer and civil servant. Born in 1766 in Boston, Mass., of British parents, and travelled and traded extensively, publishing his recollectiomns and sketches. He visited the Cape Colony in 1802 for some time, possibly running a business in Cape Town, and journeying from the Cape to "Blettenberg's Bay". This visit and his journey are described in a book called Walks and Sketches at the Cape of Good Hope, to which is subjoined a journey from Cape Town to Blettenberg's Bay (London, 1805), and contains comments on early theatre (or the lack thereof) and other entertainments in the colony.

He then travelled widely in Europe and eventually became, in 1815, governor of the Hudson Bay Company’s factories and territories. He was killed in a faction fight at Red River in the Hudson Bay area in 1816.


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