||13 Feb 1813
2nd Lieutenant -
|| 5 Nov. 1830
||25 June 1835
2nd Captain -
|| 6 March 1844
||19 Aug. 1847
Governor of Falkland Islands -
||1841 - 1849
||13 Jan. 1855
Chief Commissioner of Lands and
Given command of Columbia
Detachment of RE. Dormant commission as Lieutenant-Governor of BC.
||Appointed Autumn 1858
Arrived in Colony with wife & 4 children.
||25 Dec. 1858
Left Colony with wife & 7 children.
||11 Nov. 1863
|| 5 Dec. 1863
|As a Colonel,
Moody's Regimental Pay would have been 330 Pounds per Annum plus a Colonial Allowance
of 1200 Pounds
25 Jan. 1866
Retired, full-pay -
Died at Bournemouth -
Born on Feb
13 1803 in Barbados, Richard Clement Moody became the second-most important
leader in the formation of BC. Like our first BC Governor, James
Douglas, who was born in British Guyana, Moody brought Caribbean
ingenuity and vision to the frontiers of Western Canada.
entered the army at an early age. Moody’s father Thomas was
also a Colonel in the Royal Engineers. A graduate of the Royal Academy
at Woolich, Moody joined the Royal Engineers in 1830 and served in
Ireland and the West Indies, as well as a professor in Woolich.
After Moody had been sick twice from yellow fever, he drew plans
submitted to Queen Victoria for restoring Edinburgh Castle.
In 1841 he
went to the Falkland Islands as Lieutenant Governor, later Governor
where he stayed until 1849. In 1858 Moody was appointed Chief
Commissioner of Lands and Works and Lieutenant Governor of the new
colony of BC. Moody was soon sworn in as Deputy to Douglas on
the mainland and empowered to take his place, if anything should
happen to the Governor.
role in the colony was two-fold: to provide military support and to
carry out major building projects with the Government considered
necessary to keep up with a sudden growth in population and commerce.
Sappers were specially trained in surveying, reconnaissance, and
constructing roads, bridges, and fortifications. They
represented many trades such as printers, draughtsmen, photographers,
carpenters, blacksmiths, and masons.
and his sappers were sent to BC because of the 1858 BC Goldrush. On April 25th 1858, 495 gold-rush miners arrived in Victoria.
Governor James Douglas commented that "they are represented as being
with some exceptions a specimen of the worst of the population of San
Francisco – the very dregs in fact of society". By the
middle of July 1858, the number of American miners exceeded 30,000.
Rev. Lundin Brown held that "never
in the migration of men had there been seen such a rush, so sudden and
Moody sent out his first
detachment of men, under Captain Parsons. They were to arrive in
British Columbia prior to the main Body of RE as well as Moody
You will proceed to
Southampton and take command of the Detachment of RE under
orders for British Columbia.
You will endeavour to embark
them tonight but all must be on board the "La Plata" Mail Packet
early tomorrow morning.
Sir Ed. B. Lytton has
signified his desire to visit and inspect the party on board
immediately previous to the vessel sailing for Colon.
On your arrival at Colon you
will at once communicate with the B. Consul. I enclose you
a letter to him from the Foreign Office. He will afford
you every assistance in his power. I also enclose a letter
I have received from the Colonial Office by which you will
perceive the Directors of the Mail Steam Company have also
instructed their Agents to afford you assistance. You will
avail yourself of this precisely in the manner indicated in the
enclosures to the Colonial Office letter with the exception of
paying the expenses.
You will defray all the
expenses of Transit, food and quarters for the party.
Keeping vouchers in triplicate for every Kind of disbursement.
Doubtless the gentlemen above referred to will enable you to
simplify your operations in this respect.
I place in your hands the sum
of 500.00 Pounds and you are at liberty to draw on H.M. Treasury
to an extent not exceeding a further sum of 500.00 Pounds.
I enclose you blank forms of bills for this purpose.
You must distinctly
understand you are to be guided by the utmost economy and are
not to incur any expenses but such as are indispensably
necessary to convey you to Victoria in Vancouver's Island.
For all these expenses your receipts and vouchers must be
I also enclose Foreign Office
letters to the B. Consul at Panama and San Francisco.
These gentlemen will afford you their aid in getting your
In crossing the Isthmus by
rail it is indispensable the Men do not carry any arms, not even
side arms. You will use your own discretion as to their
dress but allow no departure from military discipline in
proceeding to the Train-cars and in leaving them for their
quarters in Panama.
Your chief difficulty will
probably be in getting forward from Panama. The Admiralty
has sent instructions to the Naval Officers along your route to
afford you all aid in their power.
If any B. Vessel of War be at
Panama you will ascertain whether such might not be in a
position to convey yourself and party to your destination or en
route towards it. If such arrangement be practicable avail
yourself of it, but if not, the naval Officer in command the
British Consul and the British Mail Packet Agents and
Correspondents will aid you in obtaining a passage to Victoria
by a merchant Vessel. The Naval Officer in command will
probably be able to assist you by causing the Merchant Vessel to
be inspected as to her sea-worthiness, proper supply of
Provisions, water, etc.
You will state to the Consul
at Colon and at Panama that Captain Grant will certainly proceed
via Panama and will probably be accompanied by 12 RE's.
Request them to be prepared to aid.
You will endevour not to call
at San Francisco. It will add to the expenses and may be
predudicial to discipline.
On your arrival at Victoria,
Vancouver's Island you will report yourself to the Governor and
submit to him instructions your have received personally from
the Colonial Minister and from myself that to carry out the
objects of the Government as conveyed to me subject to the
Governor. It is essential every facility should be
afforded to you to proceed with the party as early as possible
to the Fraser River. To effect this it is of course
necessary the Governor furnish you with the means of transport
with free rations to which the party are entitled and with some
reasonably good Barrack or Building quickly convertible into a
Barrack located on the Fraser River. It is most probable
Fort Langley may be the best position temporarily, and it is
possible the Governor may be able to rent the Buildings there
from the Hudson's Bay Company and appropriate them to the
Military Detachment under your command as well as for those
about to follow.
Of course it is impossible
for me to give your precise instructions to you on this head.
You will find the Governor has been very fully instructed in the
matter and from his well-known character for energy and
judgement I have no apprehensions in my own mind that if you
frankly place yourself in unreserved communication with him you
will find difficulties quickly mastered.
The main duties you are to
Keep in view are these:
1 To "House" and "feed" your
2 To prepare for those that are to follow.
When the first duty shall
have been effected, and the second be in progress, you will
after Captain Grant's arrival, take his orders for a selection
from your party, and you will with them proceed up the "Fraser
River" to the first rapids or Falls (if time will admit) and
return, making a most careful reconnaissance of both banks but
more especially the North Bank. You will certainly proceed
as far as Fort Yale.
I am very anxious you should
be prepared with an extremely full and careful reconaissance for
me against my arrival devoting your attention chiefly to such
distance up the River as ordinary merchant trading vessels can
You will use every endevour
to obtain assistance in this matter both from the Governor and
from the Naval Officer in Command. Among other assistance
from the first it is necessary you should obtain intelligent
guides who know every spot of ground on the banks and if a
gentleman among the Hudson's Bay Company's Officers would go
with you it would materially advance the Public Service.
I hope it may be possible for
the Naval Officer in command to assist you with the council of
an officer (and to give a small party of men) for opinions on
points which will readily to occur to you.
It is possible that among the
vessels of war at the Station when you arrive there may be one,
such as a Gun boat, of light draft, and that the Naval Officer
in Command may be disposed to direct that it ascend the River
with you on board in furtherance of this important duty.
By the time you have returned
to Victoria or Fort Langley as the case may be and prepared your
Report, I trust I shall have arrived and after placing myself in
communication with the Governor would hope he may be able to
spare the time to accompany me so that the site of the chief
town may be early settled.
I think it would be well for
you to draw the attention of the Governor to the circumstance
that military considerations of the very gravest importance
(seeing the nearness of the Frontier) enter into the question of
determining the site of the chief town and also of the one to be
laid out at the entrance of the River. It it be absolutely
necessary to commence some occupation at the latter place it
should be confined to the north side and I hope the Governor
would be able to make it a temporary tenure. At all events
the spots marked on the accompanying chart should be reserved.
Should Lt. Colonel Hawkins be
present on your arrival you will of course at once report
yourself to him and will consult with him on all points of your
duty but do not allow anything short of imperative necessity
from causes not known here (to) induce you to deviate from the
general principles I have above laid down for your guidance.
I have the honor to be,
Sir, your most obedient
The enterprise of getting Stores, Sappers
and their Families off to British Columbia was not as smooth as hoped.
I have to acknowledge
the receipt of your letter of 5th Instant enclosing one from the
office of the Comptroller of Transport Services in which I am desired
to report the circumstances under which 20 tons of hay and Oats were
landed from the "Thames City" at Gravesend and also whether I consider
the "Brokers of the Ship are entitled to be paid freight for the same"
in reply to which I have the honor to state as follows, viz.
After the arrival of
the "Thames City" at Gravesend on the completion of her loading with
Stores for Vancouver's Island, Colonel Moody visited the
Military Store Office Tower and expressed his wish that the quantity
of oats and hay that had, by his directions, been previously shipped
should be taken out of the Vessel at Gravesend in order to afford
additional accommodations for the families of the Detachment of
Sappers on board her, as well as for other reasons assigned by him.
proceeded to Gravesend by directions from Mr. Eaton, then principal
Military Storekeeper in the Tower, and on my arrival on board the
Vessel was told by the owner that no portion of the Cargo should be
removed unless a quarrantee was given him that full freight should be
paid for the quantity of Stores taken out.
The Officer of Royal
Engineers who was on board in command of the Sappers (Luard) stated he
could give no such quarantee, and I also expressed my incompetancy to
afford the security required, altho' I felt no hesitation in saying
that I considered under the circumstances of the case, that there was
a just claim for its being so paid, upon which the owner of the Vessel
told me that if I would give him my opinion in writing he would
immediately withdraw his opposition and allow the Oats and hay to be
removed and which was done on the terms for which he stipulated and I
conclude he is in possession of the memo with which I furnished him on
It will be seen what
my views on the case were at that time and which subsequent
consideration has not in any respect induced me to alter.
I have, etc.
Brighton, 7th August,
Moody and his family set
sail from England on board the "Asia". The Moody's travel with a group
of people who will later be important in the early life of the Colony.
"The trip across has been most pleasant. I was at
the same table with Colonel Moody and his wife, Capt. Gosset and do.,
Mr. Crickmer the chaplain and do., all en route for Vancouver, and
very excellent friends I am with them all. Gosset is an old Marplot of
Dick's (Burnaby's Brother) and promises to keep up his character. I
think there will be a row between him and Moody before they have been
in Columbia very long; but he may get better, tho' at present he is
-- 12th November, 1858,
Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.42
"...Col. Moody, is a very delightful amiable good
man...He is a very religious man, but does not go in a canter, views
low and somewhat Methody, but sincere and practical and therefore of
course respectable. From all I see I do not think he has quite enough
energy and go in him to settle the colony off hand as it ought to be
done, he is timid and rather uncertain as to the extent of the power
entrusted to him, but you will find that what he does will be well
done and will not need mending. He has been most kind to me and will
assist me in every possible way, I am certain. He and Gosset will have
a difficulty evidently. He told me the other day how grieved he was at Gosset's manner during the whole voyage. He quite ignored or else
talked down the Col. and you would have thought, as everyone did, that
he got his appointment solely by his own merits, and that it was a
very grand one, whereas hr followed Moody from place to place begging
to be taken in any capacity, and it was contrary to the wish of the
Government that the got his birth, which after all is nothing much."
-- 15th November, 1858,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby,
"We are all in the excellent of spirits and
continue a very united party, the only difficulties being the Gosset's
who hold themselves aloof from everyone, are proud, disagreeable and
trying to make mischief. Happily he is most unpopular with everybody
he meets, and any hopes he may have of injuring Col. Moody or
thwarting his plans will very certainly be disappointed."
-- 19th December, 1858,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby,
arrived at Esquimalt Harbour on Christmas Day, 1858 and Moody went
promptly to work.
At the conclusion of BC’s ‘Ned McGowan War’, as it was Sunday morning,
Colonel Moody invited forty miners to join him at the courthouse for
worship. As no clergy was present, Colonel Moody himself led
worship from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
"It was the
first time in British Columbia that the Liturgy of our Church was
read," wrote Moody. "To me God in his mercy granted this
privilege. The room was crowded with Hill’s Bar men…old
grey-bearded men, young eager-eyed men, stern middle-aged men of all
nations knelt with me before the throne of Grace…"
After dealing handily with "Ned McGowan's
War" in Yale, Moody dropped off his Royal Engineers at Derby and
continued on to Victoria.
H.M.S. Plumper arrived yesterday afternoon from
British Columbia, bringing Lieut. Gov. Moody.
--29th January 1859
The British Colonist
That same day, Moody
noticed a potential problem in The British Colonist of the 15th of
January and wrote to correct it, ere it did damage.
Victoria, 28th Jan., 1859
Sir --An article in your paper of the 15th Inst. (Ditches and
Quartz) commences with the following sentences:
"As the immediate supervision of British Columbia now devolves
on Lt. Governor Moody, we hope to hear that among his first acts
will be," etc., etc.
It is possible the above might lead to misunderstanding, and I
therefore take the earliest opportunity of requesting you will
do me the favor greatly to qualify it.
I serve under His Excellency Governor Douglas, receive his
instructions, and carry out his orders in all matters relating
to British Columbia.
I have the honor to
Your obedient servant,
Col. Com. and Lt. Gov
The British Colonist
When Moody returned from
the "Ned McGowan War", he found that his correspondence pile had grown
large. His wife had been assisting him but with the growing family,
Mary Moody was not always available. Moody required staff.
"[...] request the appointment of some gentleman of
ability and experience qualified to take charge of such duties as I
may assign to him in the office [...]"
to Governor Douglas
"Col. Moody takes me altogether into his confidence
and now that business is so slack and likely to be so for a while, he
wants me to be his private secretary, and has made application to the
Governor for it. All the men at present surrounding him are the
nominees of Douglas, and take care to watch him closely and report all
they see and hear, and Moody is afraid that they will try to oust me
and put in another of the Governor's creatures which he is determined
not to stand. Begbie the Judge is a thorough courtier, and works the
crooked policy against Moody, and like the rest is doing all in his
power to retard B. Columbia and to build up this place, which is the
stronghold of Hudson's Bay interests, and where all the old set, from
the Governor downwards, have a great landed stake."
--22nd February, 1859,
The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.64
RE Camp, Queenborough
17th March, 1859
Captain Parsons having no place of security in Camp, I should
feel greatly obliged to you, if you would kindly cause a small
iron safe capable of holding a few folio volumes to be
purchased, and have the money intended for his use placed in it
and sent to Queenborough early.
We have no
one in Victoria to whom to apply who would take the same
interest in assisting us as yourself.
Your most obedient Servant,
To Captain Gosset, RE
After the Thames City
arrived on the 12th of April, 1859, Moody set out his grand plan of
the Camp at Queenborough. Building commenced immediately.
The Beaver left yesterday morning for
Queenborough with a large amount of freight and a considerable number
of passengers among whom was Gov. Moody.
--16th April 1859
The British Colonist
The British Colonist, 30 May 1859
The Celebration of
the Anniversary of Her Majesty’s Birthday at Queenborough
24th of May was a day of general rejoicing and
festivity in Queenborough, the capital of British Columbia, in
honour of the anniversary of Her Majesty’s birth, and what
rendered the day so peculiarly interesting was its being the
first time Her Majesty’s subjects in this distant part of
the world have had an opportunity of expressing their loyalty
and devotion to their beloved Sovereign. The sports and games
went off with éclat, amid the applause of a large concourse
of people. The weather lowered opinions at the dawn of the
day, but changed towards noon to one of those bright, sunny
days, which are so well known in dear old England as
To the stroke of time, the bugle summoned the troops of
the garrison to the place of rendezvous, whilst loud hurrahs
followed in their wake, giving to the parade ground of the
North Camp, a very animated appearance, which was moreover
graced by the attendance of Mrs. Moody, Mrs. Grant, Mrs.
Spaulding and others of the fair sex.
The troops were drawn up in line at 11:30. A field
piece manned by the blue jackets of Her Majesty’s Ship
Plumper, which ship, by the way, had been gaily dressed in
flags, occupied the extreme right. The Royal Engineers on the
left under the command of Captain Grant. The Royal Marine
Light Infantry on the left under the command of Captain Bazalgette, R.M.L.I., Major Magin having been unfortunately
indisposed. The Lieutenant Governor Colonel Moody, R.E., and
staff, having inspected the troops, a Royal Salute of 21 guns
was fired at noon, accompanied by a feu-de-joie from the
forces. He then addressed the troops in very feeling and
soldier-like terms, after which, the national Anthem was sung
by all present in a strain that filled many with emotion.
At this stage of the proceedings the scene was most telling in
effect. Three cheers were then given for our Most Gracious
Queen, when all testified by volumes upon volumes of fervent
vociferation how they felt and could pay a tribute to the good
Queen of England, and how she reigns in the affections of her
people. It is truly a happy and glorious thing to think of a
nation’s loyalty, called forth by something more than lofty
station and high descent, rendered to a Queen who has
manifested those virtues, attainments and powers which win for
her a high place in the hearts of an intelligent and mighty
people. We need hardly add that Colonel Moody was warmly and
enthusiastically cheered by the troops and civilians more than
once in the course of the day.
following is the programme of the sports and amusements as
drawn up by Captain Luard, R.E., Lieutenant Sparshott,
R.M.L.I., and Dr. Seddall, R.E., : - Foot and hurdle-races,
putting shot, throwing the hammer, high and long jumps,
tossing the caber, bobbing for treacle rolls, bobbing for
“bubs” in water, wrestling and boxing, boat races, etc.,
etc. Concluding with a sack race and greasy pole: a Blue
Jacket having succeeded in attaining the envied grease crowned
crest with little less difficulty than the Argonauts of
ancient lore, received a like reward. The soldier’s wives
and children were entertained with tea and cake, kindly
provided by Mrs. Moody and the hilarity of the day was much
enhanced by a scratch band from the Engineers, Marines and Plumpers. In the evening the Royal Engineers entertained the
garrison and the officers of H.M.S. Plumper at dinner.
"He (Moody) and I get along famously. He is not
quite energetic enough in business, nor sufficiently master of details
to make office work under him easy or pleasant; but his every thought
and act is so good and kind that all the inconveniences fade away and
I have been for some time quite one of the family, and until like
Solomon I have built me a house, as all good masons are bound to do,
he insisted on my living with them taking meals, etc. and I sleep in
and have to myself a jolly marquee (tent) - with two beds in it - in
one of which a stranger is now and then buried."
-- 23rd June, 1859,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 95
By the Summer of 1859, Finances in the Colony
was strained and Douglas dismissed all of the civilians working on Moody's
"...With reference to Mr. Burnaby's services I
considered and consider the assistance of a gentleman of his
qualifications an essential aid to me, and I regret the decision at
which your Excellency has arrived...It is possible I may be under the
necessity of requesting an officer may be selected in England to carry
on some of the duties that have hitherto been conducted by Mr.
-- August, 1859,
to Governor Douglas
"Colonel Moody is to
work without any Civilian aid at all, and I do not think he will
remain here very long, for he has been baffled and worsted, and
certainly when the time came for action, belied all the hopes his
friends had formed as to his character and abilities. He promised to
do great things, and affected to be playing a very deep game, and
till tried there was nothing to lead one to doubt otherwise, but Gosset has been working against him, well knowing his man, and has
bowled him over on some serious points. First came expenditure;
Moody building up houses, and laying out towns, employing Civilians
to chop and clear, etc. but in spite of all entreaties, never doing
the least thing to organize his materials and to work with method. Consequence? Great outlay of money and not much to show for it. All
the difficulties of accounts etc. thrown on my shoulders, with no
manner of assistance or regulation to get them into shape.
Next he made an excellent and extensive contract
with one Mr. Trutch, who left England with us on the "ASIA" - for the
survey of the rural lands of B.C. - This with the Governor's sanction
verbally given, subsequent investigations into the pecuniary state of
the Colony, and letters from Home about Finance induce old Douglas to
back out of his word, and to condemn the whole affair as a gross
indiscretion; Result? Moody induces Trutch to waive his rights and
forgo the Contract for the sake of getting him out of a mess, this
after declaring in the most indignant way that he would hold to the
matter through thick and thin.
Then my case,
of course, I was included in the sack of Civilians, and instead of
making a fight for me, as being an insult to remove a man's
confidential Secretary, he "caves in" as before and lets them snub
him as they please. He shows so little desire to give me a big lift
either, that it really looks as though he only cared about himself
and his own reputation, and I almost believe what I hear on all
sides, that he has been noted for getting hold of men to do his
work, and pull him through with credit and leaving them in the
lurch. It is painful to feel or write this, as I have really a
personal liking for him and he for me, but it is always the case
with these Methodistical men, I fear, though I has always taken him
for a bright example of the other way. We part the best of friends,
and all the folks here are well with me but Gosset, who is a fiend
incarnate, and hates me for Dick's (Burnaby's Brother) sake I verily
think, as well as my own. He is the most unpopular man here, but
certainly an able one."
--21st July, 1859,
The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 100
|New Westminster Times
1st November 1859
"...First on the list of questionable differences which have become
notorious in these colonies, was the case of Colonel Moody, versus
officer, Captain Grant. The Colonel on a certain occasion, denying
that Captain Grant had ever reported the brig "RECOVERY", as
available for return to her owners, and the Captain as stoutly
averring to the contrary, a dispute which lasted many days, and
terminated by Captain Grant defying the Commandant and producing a
witness to prove the accuracy of his (Captain Grant's) assertion;
but the colony was the loser and had to pay for the services of the
vessel during the time the Colonel persisted in retaining her. By
this misunderstanding the public certainly did not profit, nor did
the animus engendered between the Commissioner of Lands and Works
and his chief officer, in any way facilitate the arrangement of
"Colonel Moody appears to go lower and lower
down, fails to fulfill all the promises he made, as to policy and
action, and subsides into mere listless ill-used on-entity."
--27th November, 1859
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.125
"...[Governor Douglas] has taken Colonel
Moody, and crumpled him up small: never was there a man so well armed
for the fight - sent out on purpose to out manoeuvre the old Hudson's
Bay factor - he talked a great deal of all his intended moves: while
the old Boy, who had measured his man, let him go on and on: muddling
his work, and doubling his expenditure; and then when the time came
for it quietly sat upon him, which the gallant Colonel allowed. At one
time from his talk I thought him an exception to the rule that all
members of the Canting school are weak and wishy washy - but he has
proved true to the Colours of the faithful and of course was writing
slip slop to Missionary meetings when he ought to have been hard at
work on the country - after waiting Mrs. Moody's convenience in regard
to an increase in the population."
from The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 127
Every returning miner from British Columbia gives
us the same glowing accounts of the diggings. From many
agriculturalists we have received communications replete with common
sense, and all unite in describing that colony as rich in farming
lands. But, from Alexander to New Westminster the same loud complaint
of the want of roads, and consequently of supplies, is constantly
urged upon our notice. Roads denied us by the marvelous blindness of
the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, - a blindness as culpable,
as it is inexplicable; for there is no man in the colony who has not
long since recognized the necessity of immediate and energetic
measures being adopted to carry out a good system of roads.
Notwithstanding repeated remonstrances, British Columbia is
allowed to languish, its population rapidly diminishing, and ere
long, unless fresh energy is infused into the Lands and Works
Department, the colony will have sunk into its former
During the past year, hundreds of
thousands of dollars have been frittered away upon works which have
not even respectability in our eyes. The main body of Sappers and
Miners who, under an efficient leader, would have become the sinews of
life to the colony, have for months been allowed to remain in
comparative idleness, or their energies wasted in beautifying a costly
and useless camp.
The result of the non-existence of roads is painfully visible
to every man interested in the well-being of British Columbia. Miners leave the country disgusted with the high cost of
provisions, agriculturalists prevented from settling by the want
of means of communication with the various towns on the Fraser;
in a word, a few more months of such gross mis-management and
the colony will be too far gone to recover. The road system, or
rather the no-road system, has assumed the form of despotism. If
we ask why we have not roads been constructed, we are told that
the chief commissioner has been better employed building a showy
residence and carrying out his ideas of a pretty camp, which,
however, unfortunately for him, no one can see the utility of. It required but little genius to develop the resources of
British Columbia. The path was clear. Colonel Moody is found not
to possess even that small amount of genius, although the
colonists have been unceasing in their endeavors to drive him to
a right sense of their requirements. Had he but drifted with the
tide he would have achieved for himself a reputation, - and done
this colony an amount of good which it is impossible to
calculate. Colonel Moody's tone on his arrival led us to expect
great things of him, consequently the greater is our
disappointment at the entire absence of the qualifications
necessary for a chief commissioner in a colony such as British
Columbia, which a year's experience of the Colonel's doings has
taught us. Our representations have hitherto been in vain. The
prosperity of British Columbia is a matter of vital importance
to us all, and we are not going to shrink from advocating a
course which we honestly believe to be the only one that will
effectually remedy the great evil complained of by all classes
of the community, the appointment of an energetic, able officer
to the post now so unsatisfactorily filled by Colonel Moody.
--17th December 1859,
The New Westminster Times
As the first Christmas in
the Colony approached, the Camp buzzed with various preparations.
"We have really been quite gay, in the Camp
this Xmas, on the Friday before Xmas everybody dined with us,
Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Spalding and the gentlemen..."
--2nd January, 1860
Letters of Mary S. Moody
FESTIVITIES AT NEW WESTMINSTER
We have had a gay time during Christmas here. Our Lt. Gov.
Col. Moody, gave a dinner on Friday last, to which a large party
were invited. On Saturday, many private parties were given in
camp, and the Men employed in cutting various trails came into
the city; these, joined the Men employed on the wharves, formed
themselves into a band, each armed with a candle, and gave a
serenade at nearly every home. A Christmas Carol in a noisy way. All the inhabitants received them well, with scarcely any
exception, and were only too glad to see the bones and sinew of
the country enjoying themselves, and received the honor that was
done them in the best of spirit, paying all largesse required. Christmas Day being Sunday, was of course devoted to its proper
use, without festivities. On Monday, the Non-commissioned
officers gave a Ball at the theatre, that they have erected by
private subscription amongst themselves, which went off very
well, to which most of the inhabitants received an invitation,
and on Tuesday the festivities were ended by the Officers giving
a grand dinner at their Mess-room, to which several ladies
received invitations, and every thing passed off pleasantly.
-- 7th January 1860
The Weekly British Colonist
Despite the Holiday
season, the level of frustration in the Lands and Works department and
Moody in particular, appeared to increase in the Victoria papers.
H.M.S. GANGES AND TRIBUNE -
These vessels are stated in Tuesday's Colonist,
to be about leaving for England with the marines recently embarked. This is incorrect; these vessels will not go home for some months. The
Marines were embarked because the Colonial Authorities were desirous
of diminishing the expenses of the Colony. For our part we would have
retained this useful body of men, and sent off the Sappers and Miners,
as one Sapper costs more than three marines and certainly the marines
have been more useful. Were the Chief Commissioner to employ the skill
and talents of the fine body of men under his orders in their
legitimate duties, and for which they were sent out, viz., in the
making of roads, we should nor object to their remaining, but under
the present circumstances we consider that they are a useless burthen
on the Colony.
-- 31st December 1859
Yet in New Westminster,
the papers and apparently the populace thought well of Moody.
An address, signed by all the principal people in
the city of New Westminster, was presented to Lt. Gov. Col. Moody,
RE., congratulating him on the birth of a daughter, (a British
Columbian) which happy event took place two days back. The deputation
presenting the address were kindly received, and thanked for the honor
they had done him.
-- 10th January, 1860
Weekly British Colonist of 14th January
During this time, the
explorer John Palliser, visited visited New Westminster and was
entertained by Moody.
"Shortly after this I went myself to visit a part
of British Columbia, and was most kindly and hospitably entertained by
Captain Parsons, Col. Moody and the officers of the Royal Engineers
quartered at New Westminster. The site, distant on the river about 1
1/2 miles above the town, chosen by Col. Moody and the engineers as
the site for the barracks and the officers' houses, is preferable to
that chosen for the site of the town. But it is worth serious
consideration, whether it would not be more advisable to proceed about
18 miles up the river and choose the site where Fort Langley now
stands, where there is a good deal of naturally cleared land, and the
timber not formidable. The site of
Fort Langley for a British town would have this disadvantage, it is on
the same side of the river as the American boundary line."
--From Appendix IV, pg. 537
Letters of John Palliser.
The brooding feud between
Moody and Gosset was now beginning to build up steam. The Clergy came
to the rescue.
To the Editor, Victoria Gazette
Sir - I am obliged to you for inserting the letter of "Spes"
in today's Gazette, in reply to that of your correspondent "Tenas
Mosquito", published on the 3rd inst.
opinion respecting British Columbia's views of Captain Gossett,
may go for what it is worth, but as I believe it is correct, I
now affix my name instead of "Spes".
Captain Gossett, it is believed, owed his appointment to British
Columbia to the friendly offices of Colonel Moody. How far he
has been the coadjutor of his patron - how far he has worked for
himself - or how far he has followed Col. Moody's example "in
going where he was sent", is well known - but what he has done
for British Columbia is not known, unless he will tell us
himself. No one denies Captain Gossett a head, even better than
"Tenass Mosquitos", which according to himself "is not a very
It is not what I should have
wished, to appear in a letter like the present or to have to
come so publicly forward, but the case of "British Columbia
versus Vancouver", "The lands and Works versus Victoria
Government House", have gone by default long enough, and what is
every British Columbian's business is nobody's judging by the
quiet way in which misrepresentations, roughriding, and
insidious puffing are received. Such questions between two
colonies, constituted like British Columbia and Vancouver,
assumes a totally different character at home and colonial
questions discussed in England. They carry with them important
issues to individual British subjects, for here the welfare of
the individual is bound up inseperably with the welfare of the
I am, Sir, etc.
--10th February, 1860
New Westminster Times
After the loss of Robert
Burnaby and the rest of Col. Moody's Staff, the other officers decided
amongst themselves that they would take turns performing the duties of
an Aide-de-camp for their Colonel, whom they felt could not be seen
with no assistance at all.
ARRIVAL OF THE STEAMER OTTER
The steamer "Otter, Captain Mouat, arrived on Thursday
evening from New Westminster, bringing 400 oz. of gold dust and
9 passengers, including Col. Moody and Captain Grant
-- Saturday 11th February, 1860
The Weekly British Colonist
"...There has been a great outcry against the lands
and Works department - in this I do not entirely concur - there can be
no doubting the fact that too much care has been bestowed, and money
expended on "fancy paths and picturesque ravines" at New Westminster,
which town site is badly chosen; had Langley
Captain George H. Richards who thoroughly surveyed the BC Coast,
Colonel Moody’s name has been immortalized in BC history with the
city of Port Moody. The city was established from the end of a
trail cut by the Royal Engineers, now known as North Road to connect
New Westminster with Burrard Inlet.
THE NORTH ROAD - We believe it is the intention
of the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to proceed at once with
the formation of this road to Burrard Inlet. All the Sappers who can
be spared from the Camp will, we hope, be put upon the work.
--5th January, 1861
The New Westminster Times
BURRARD INLET - The wagon road on the north line
to Burrard Inlet was commenced last week by the Royal Engineers, and
exhibits every indication of being a creditable work when completed.
--12th January, 1861
The New Westminster Times
Port Moody was
developed to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the
USA. The town grew rapidly after 1859, following land grants to
Moody’s Royal Engineers who then settled there. All of the
officers returned to England, but most of the sappers and their
families chose to remain, accepting 150-acre land grants as
compensation. Port Moody was the Canadian Pacific Railway's
original western terminus.
At last, the constant
bickering and disagreements between the Governor and Colonel Moody
irritated the Colonial Office in London.
April 12th 1861
"...I think that Governor Douglas has given a sufficient
explanation of the course he took. In a new Colony such as
British Columbia, promptitude and vigor are indispensable. Colonel Moody is inclined to be guerulous and has shown more
activity since he was in Columbia, in writing letters than in
effecting good works. I am afraid too that he has a disposition
to write private letters to this Office which is an
objectionable and unfair practice, and is one by which we ought
to take care that no man finds that he gains an advantage over
the Governor of a Colony."
Moody sets off to
Victoria but leaves some questions unanswered regarding the upcoming
Sale of Lots.
Lands and Works Department, New Westminster
16th August, 1861.
May respectfully to request that I am informed
whether (in the absence of yourself at Victoria which I do not
anticipate) I am to receive Scrip as cash at the coming sale.
2. If so, for what Lots - Town? Suburban? or Country lands?
3. At what rate?
4. I take this opportunity of, with deference commenting, that is
Scrip, which was issued?
(Reply on same letter)
You are accept Scrip precisely as cash - valuing it
10.4 per acre or 4 Pounds 2 Shillings according with the nature of the
Scrip that was issued from the Draft.
"CERTIFICATE OF CLAIM"
Are hereby informed
that for the future this Scrip will be accepted (at the value at
which it was issued) in full or part payment for TOWN, SUBURBAN,
and COUNTRY LANDS, purchased by them under the provisions of the
sundry Proclamations relating to the occupation and sale of
Lands in this Colony.
R.C. Moody, RE
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
New Westminster, 21st August, 1861
24th October, 1861
The British Columbian
Colonel Moody, RE, who has been absent at
Victoria during the last five or six weeks, arrived by the "Otter" on
Wednesday. His return has been anxiously looked for by the people for
some time, many of whom think his absence has been too protracted for
the good of the Public Service. It is enough that our Governor resides
there; but we are disposed to be very jealous of those who have nobly
resided amongst us from the first paying long visits to Victoria.
--22nd Aug, 1861
The British Columbian
Colonel Moody, RE, accompanied by Captain Parsons
and suite, left by the steamer "Colonel Moody" on Wednesday of last
week on a tour through the upper country. We believe it is the
Colonel's intention to inspect all the Public Works personally, and
make himself better acquainted with the wants and resources of the
colony. He will probably be absent about a month.
--5th September, 1861
The British Columbian
Mrs. Moody writes to her
family as the weeks pass.
|"I don't know when I shall hear from Richard again, he has never been away so far away before. Captain Parsons is with him. There is a difference of opinion in Camp as to which of the two will knock up first, they are both dyspeptic you know."
-- 12 September 1861
Mary S. Moody
Col. Moody came down from the upper country on
Saturday last after a lengthened tour. The gallant Colonel looked
well, apparently none the worse for having roughed it a while in the
mountain regions. We congratulate him on his safe return.
--17th October, 1861
The British Columbian
New Westminster, 22nd October, 1861.
My dear Crease,
Accept my sincere Congratulations -
Now I feel happy. From the very first, when you came in to the old House of
"Shakes" dripping wet from that Brunette Excursion, I longed for
you to be one of us. At last it has Come about. For Cary
I have a sincere regard and of his abilities I think most
highly. I know that at times he has not thought of me as I would
wish to be thought of - but I invariably put it down to the
misrepresentation of others for Cary could not really know me. I
trust he does know me better now. I have always though he made a
mistake in giving us up for Vancouver Island. I am sure B.C. is
to be the Colony - I have told Cary I think he made a
mistake, nous verrons, as time rolls on.
Well Mr. Attorney General so you are Diplomatic! and have the
Official Reserve as to your appointment though it is in the
Gazette in the Times. You are right, the Newspaper announcement
is not sufficient, though in the official London Gazette. The
regular official letter duly signed must first come - I remember
a case in point in the War Department.
was duly gazetted in the "Official London Gazette" as Lt. Co.
but (from an accident I presume) the official letter to the
General Comb. at Malta did not arrive until a long time after,
and in the interval I had to do duty as captain, and was always
addressed as such.
The Wife and I are
looking forward to happy days with Mrs. Crease, your children
and yourself - Remember us most kindly to her and tell the
children I am all ready for a Romp and so is Dr. Seddall,
Captain Luard, Captain Parsons, and Lt. Palmer. You must all be
of the "Camp Family" somehow or other.
TERRIBLE CASUALTY - While a royal salute was being
fired in honor of the opening of the first British Columbia Industrial
Exhibition, yesterday, at 2 o'clock p.m., Peter Rose, while engaged in
ramming down a charge, was blown into the river by the accidental
discharge of the piece. Before a boat could be brought to the spot,
the body sank and was not again seen till after a lapse of 15 or 20
minutes, it was recovered by means of a grappling iron, when life was
quite extinct. The deceased was a native of Malta, 45 years of age and
had been for some time employed as bar-tender in the Blizzard Saloon. We would here notice the praiseworthy promptitude with which the boats
from HM Gunboat "Grappler", which lay out midstream, reached the scene
of this sad accident. Owing to the general feeling of regret caused by
the melancholy mishap, Col. Moody's address, which was to have been
delivered at half past 2 o'clock, was postponed till the evening.
--14th November, 1861
The British Columbian
THE LOCAL INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION
Came off on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week, and
to say that it was a decided success would be saying too little
as it far surpassed the anticipation of the most sanguine
promoters. The idea of holding a local exhibition and receiving
samples of vegetables, etc., which could not be sent to London
was a second thought, conceived too late to afford an
opportunity for having the Colony generally represented. Indeed,
Hope was the most distant point that was represented in the
agricultural department; and, as will be seen by a reference to
the prime list in another column, the Messrs. Moore of that
place carried off the first prize both for wheat and peas. But
although confined almost entirely to this district, it was truly
surprising to see the display the things made when brought
together and nicely arranged. And if there are any of those
creatures called "croakers" still extant, we feel assured a
visit to the exhibition last week could not have failed to
produce a perfect cure. In addition to the articles noticed in
the report published today, we would make special mention of
half a dozen heifers sent in for exhibition by Colonel Moody,
from his farm, "Maryfield", as an example showing the good
condition maintained by such feed alone as young stock
obtain in the forest suburbs of this city, all year round!
These heifers are all of good breeds - one is the produce of
the Colonel's valuable Devon cow. They were all calved and
raised in this neighborhood, and therefore afford the best
evidence of the adaptability of the country for stock raising
purposes. We would likewise notice a very fine boar, also raised
at "Maryfield", as possessing very valuable qualities as a
"porker", and as a breed easily kept in good condition. These
animals - for which no provision was made in the programme -
were sent in by the President, Colonel Moody, prompted by the
deep interest taken by him in all such matters, and will, we
have no doubt, be the harbingers of a regular and important
--21st November, 1861
We are happy to announce the birth of a second
British Columbian to Colonel Moody, RE, thus affording another fie to
this Colony. The Colonel's numerous friends will be gratified to learn
that both mother and child are doing well.
--5th December, 1861
The British Columbian
On the 28th ult.,
at the Camp, New Westminster, the wife of Colonel Moody, RE, of
-- 5th December, 1861
Here, let the writer introduce the list of the wishes which were outlined by Sir Lytton to Col. Moody at the interview held before the latter's departure to British Columbia.
He should give immediate attention to means of transport by land and water.
Report on the unification of British interests on the Pacific.
Report on harbours of the Colony and the existence of all minerals, especially, coal, and on fisheries, timber, oil and agriculture.
Keep his force from drink.
Show courtesy and tact for all foreigners.
Work harmoniously with the Governor.
See the Colony was self supporting.
Survey the land most needed and send full reports on permanent settlement as the Home Authorities wished to establish responsible government as soon as possible.