RUPERT'S LAND, a former district of Canada. The generous charter of Charles II. given in 1670 to the Hudson's Bay Company gave rights of possession, trade and administration of justice “of all those seas, streights and bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the streights commonly called Hudson's streights, together with all the lands, countries and territories upon the coasts and confines of the seas, streights, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks and sounds aforesaid, which are not now actually possessed by any of our subjects, or by the subjects of any other Christian prince or state.”
The general interpretation given to this was that it included all the country drained into Hudson Bay. As Prince Rupert was first governor of the Hudson's Bay Company his name was given to the concession under the name “Rupert's Land.” It will be observed that Athabasca, New Caledonia and British Columbia were not included in this grant. They were held under the title Indian Territories by the Hudson's Bay Company by licence terminable every twenty-one years, the last term closing with 1859. Rupert's Land was transferred to Canada by the imperial government in 1870, and ceased to exist as a political name. It is still used as the title of the episcopal diocese, which is in the main coincident with the province of Manitoba.