Johnathan Morey

Johnathan Morey volunteered for service in British Columbia with the Columbia Detachment in 1858.  He and his family traveled on board the Thames City.

Mrs. Wardle (daughter of Serjeant Morey) of 2406 West Sixth Avenue was only two and one-half years old when the old Thames City arrived at Esquimalt, but she remembers the ship stopped at Varpariso on the trip around South America from the Old Country.

"I had a sister born on the ship, too, but that wasn't extraordinary -- several babies were born and for that matter died, on that long journey." she said.

Mrs. Wardle's family settled at New Westminster for some years before going to Hope, where her father's contracting business took him."

-- 12th April, 1939
The Daily Province

  Morey arrived in the Colony the 12th April, 1859.

"Married-- at the Holy Trinity Church, in this city, on Tuesday the 12th inst., by the Rev. C. Knipe M.A., William E. Stein, Esq., Hot Springs, to Frances, daughter of Serjeant Morey of the Royal Engineers, New Westminster."

--The British Columbian
November 14th, 1861


At Holy Trinity Church, New Westminster, on Sunday the 12th inst., by the Reverend Knipe, M.A., William E. Stain, Hot Springs, to Frances, daughter of Sergeant Morey of the Royal Engineers, New Westminster.

-- 20th November, 1861
The British Colonist

When the Detachment was disbanded in 1863, Morey, like many of the men of the Corps, stayed on in the young community and colony.  Also, like many other men of the Corps, Morey had a wife and family with him, and they became proud citizens of the city. 

In the mid-1800s, a serjeant's Regimental Pay per Diem was 2s. 10 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem 3s. to 5s.

Morey worked in a number of capacities and was a Colonial Constable for a time.  After BC became a Province of Canada (1871) the city could hire its own police officers and Jonathan Morey is recognized as the first such officer for the City of New Westminster.

Francis Morey
In 1873 the New Westminster City Council saw fit to hire a constable that was responsible only to the City.  In March of 1873 Jonathan Morey was hired as the city’s first Constable.   Morey was an ex-Royal Engineer and was hired to patrol Columbia Street during the day.  His salary was $30 a month and was increased to $50 a month in 1875.

The job of constable was not highly sought after as the pay was low and responsibilities were high.  Some of the duties included those of Gold Commissioner, Stipendiary Magistrate, Justice of the Peace and Coroner.  The Constables were also responsible for registering all mining claims, serving tax notices, collecting licence fees, acting as Indian Agent and settling civil disputes involving sums of less than $200. 

Soon after the hiring of Morey the City hired night watchmen to watch over the dock and to watch out for fires.  At times the City referred to these watchmen as Constables.

Jonathan Morey policed the city of New Westminster from March 1873 to Sept. 1878.  In 1878 the BC Penitentiary was built to house prisoners from all over the province.  He died on Sept. 4, 1884. 

Above is a photo that shows the original grave marker for Jonathan and his wife Francis, and a new marker dedicated in 1998 commemorating his position in City history.

A son, Henry, is also buried nearby.