YOUNG (Yonge), JAMES, of Wapping (London), captain with the HBC; fl. 1688–93.
“A stout and coragious man,” he entered the service of the Company at a critical period. In 1688 only two forts – York and New Severn – remained in its possession. Three others had been captured by Pierre de Troyes in 1686. As captain of the Dering [I] Young was instructed to leave eight or ten hands at Churchill River to establish a settlement and then to winter at York 150 miles to the south. It was the following year (1689) before a house was built at Churchill, only to be burned and abandoned within a few months. Young’s complement of men included a harpooner, Edward Mills, so that the whale fishery could be profitably developed. Although Mills had been “bread in the Greeneland whalefishing trade,” he met stiff competition from the inexperienced Capt. Young who took just as many whales.
Young arrived back in England in 1689 bringing the disheartening news of Capt. Marsh’s failure to resettle Albany. He sailed the Dering [II] frigate out in 1690 under an Admiralty pass, for Anglo-French rivalry had erupted into open war by then. The seas were full of French privateers, and possibly the prospect of continued danger prompted Young to seek release when his contract expired in 1691. However, he took out the Loyalty that season and in 1693 filled in at the last moment for Capt. John Simpson who had proven unsatisfactory.