The story of the North West Company in Montreal has its roots in the coming of two brothers from Yorkshire: Joseph and Benjamin Frobisher. Together with other partners such as James McGill, Simon McTavish... they organized the fur trading company which was soon to become the most important commercial concern in
British North America.
The copy of Beawes' Lex Mercatoria (1761) illustrated here, is signed on the title page by Benjamin Frobisher, Montreal, January 29th 1767. Beawes was the leading authority on merchant and marine law in the commerce of the Atlantic world. Benjamin, the younger brother, was the office manager of this concern and his copy of this book is therefore the single most important artifact relating to the operations of the North West Company.