On the

Reids of Victoria

Captain James Murray Reid and his daughters Catherine Balfour Reid and Mary Anne Reid, one other daughter and his wife Mary Petrie arrived in Victoria in December 1852, having left London on June 30, 1852.  James Reid was in command of the HBC's brigatine "Vancouver".  It was lost on Rose Spit off the northeastern side of the Queen Charlotte Islands in August 1854, and was set on fire to prevent the cargo (which included spirits) from falling into the hands of the Indians. 

James Reid decided that he, his wife and his daughters would stay in Victoria.  He changed his career and became engaged in "mercantile pursuits" as an importer.  He purchased waterfront lots in Victoria so that he could have both warehouses and wharfs.  He and his family became extremely rich and lived in a smart house in Bastion Square.  He was appointed port warden for Esquimalt and Victoria in 1859, and in 1862 he was elected town councillor for Victoria.  He sold the business in 1862 to devote himself to public service.

He was born on October 15, 1802 in the Orkney Islands and he died on April 24, 1868.

He entered the HBC marine service in 1822, becoming first officer of the "Prince Albert", and then later the "Prince Rupert", both of which travelled from London to Hudson Bay.  He received command of the "Vancouver" in about 1849.

Sister Catherine Balfour Reid (elder sister we believe) married William John McDonald, a well known Victoria pioneer, who was afterwards Senator, on Tuesday, March 17, 1857.  William John McDonald had arrived on the "Tory", landing at Victoria on May 14, 1851.  He travelled with such worthies as the Thornhills and the Deans.  He joined his father-in-law in the mercantile importing business in 1858.