Doctor John Vernon Seddall

Photograph courtesy of BC Archives
Call Number A-01745

John's father, Thomas Seddall was born circa 1801 in Chester, England.  On 15 January 1828, he married Charlotte Letitia Connor, 18+, the daughter of the late Michael and Sarah Connor, of Cheltenham, with the consent of her guardians James Galland and Thomas Seddall.

After moving to Valletta, Malta, Thomas, a wine merchant and mason,  and wife Charlotte had at least 3 children:

1. JohnVernon Seddall, born in Malta on 7 Sept 1831
2. Henry SEDDALL, Reverend, who married 16th April 1857 to Anna Maria BATTY, by the Reverend John Kincaid, uncle of the bride, at Castletowndelvin, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.  She was the second daughter of the Reverend Edward Batty, Rector of Castletowndelvin.  Henry Seddall was Asst. Chaplain at St. Pauls Anglican Church, Valletta.  Henry was also a Freemason, (in MEDLYCOTT, W.C.P.) (1870).  Henry settled on Achill Island, which lies off the west coast of County Mayo.  It is the largest island off the Irish coast and  measures about 14 miles from east to west and about 12 miles from north to south.  Its coastline is about 80 miles long.  The island is separated from the mainland by a channel, Achill Sound, varying from about 300 yards wide at the south to about 4 miles wide at the north.

"There is every reason why Achill should be visited by those who leave home in search of health or innocent employment.  The climate, although humid, is mild and the scenery splendid.  The naturalist, the antiquary, the artist, the poet, will find much in Achill that harmonises with their tastes."

--Henry Seddall, 1884


3. And Cecil D. SEDDALL who unfortunately died 6th December 1854, at the age of 14 years, in Valletta.

Source: Malta: Past and present, being a history of Malta from the days of the Phoenicians to the present time.  355 pp.  London: Chapman & Hall.

Thomas SEDDALL, Wine Merchant, at 258 Strada Reale, Valletta, in 1847 Living at 124 Strada Zecca, on electoral list 1852

Thomas SEDDALL, Master of The Union of Malta Lodge 1852, 1855, 1856

Thomas SEDDALL died 2nd August 1856, at the age of 55 years.   

--the above from Malta Family History : Freemasons 1815-1915

John Vernon Seddall...


RETURN to an Address to the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 23 February 1855;-for,

A "RETURN of the MEDICAL OFFICERS attached to the FORCES serving in Turkey; specifying the Name, Age and Rank of each, the Date of their Appointment, and whether still serving in the East.
NAME Age Date of Appointment Whether still Serving
Surgeon, 33d Foot
MUIR, W.M.  39 22 Nov 1842 Yes 722
Assist. Surgeon, 33d Foot
OGILVY, J.   23 15 Jul 1853 Yes 723
CLARK, T. 22 7 Apr 1854 Yes 724
SEDDALL, J.V. 24 13 Oct 1854 Yes 725
  • Served in the Crimea at the Seige and Fall of Sebastopol, including the assault on the Redan of 8 Sept 1855, awarded Crimea medal with Sebatopol clasp and Turkish Crimea Medal. 

Joined Medical Staff Corp 1 Aug 1856.

On the right, Seddall in his Medical Staff Corps uniform, wearing his 2 Crimean Campaign medals.


  • Attached to RE, Columbia Detachment Aug 1858

Seddall served as the Surgeon on board the Thames City with the main body of the Detachment. The troop ship landed at Esquimalt on the 12th April, 1859.

"We were highly amused with the officers on the "Thames City" the day after they arrived.  I fancied they would be here about one o' clock so I ordered a nice luncheon.  Haunch of Venison, Cranberry Pie etc.  You should have seen how they enjoyed themselves - "What a nice cheery Tablecloth", "What very light bread", "I must have some more pie" Etc, Etc.  We like them all very much, they are so gentlemanly." 

-- 15 April 1859
from the Letters of Mary S. Moody

Upon arriving at Queenborough, the Columbia Detachment began the process of building the Camp - barracks, store-houses, wharves.  On Sunday, the Camp went to Church.

"We shall have no Clergyman until we get the Bishop out, in the meantime Richard reads the prayers when he is there, last Sunday the Doctor played the Harmonium, and the Men sang, and a Wesleyian Clergyman preached the Sermon!"

--6th May, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Among Seddall's other duties, he was occasionally called in as Coroner or to give medical advice at an Inquest.


At 4 o'clock today, the Revenue boat found floating in the River, the body of a white man.  Dr. Seddall held an inquest on the body this evening.  It was not identified.  No marks of violence being found, the Jury returned a verdict, "that the deceased came to his death by drowning."

-- 15th May, 1859
The British Colonist

A week later another inquest on another body takes place.

New Westminster, BC
22nd May, 1859

Proceedings of an Inquest held at New Westminster upon the body of a Soldier (Sapper Jones RE) which was found floating in the Fraser River by Thomas Pamphlet of the "Brig Cadborough" who reported the matter to the Stipendiary Magistrate.

A Jury having been summoned consisting of the following persons - W. J. Armstrong, John T. Scott. T. W. English, Ernest Picht, Thomas Moloney, R. Dickenson, Edgar Dewdney, W. G. Peacock, John Ramage, L. Hoys, E. Brown, J. Kennedy.

The Jury having been duly sworn the following evidence was taken -

1st Witness Thomas Pamphlet being duly sworn states, that being on board the Brig Cadborough this morning about 9 o' clock, he saw what he supposed to be a human body floating down the River, an immediately took a boat to examine it and found it to be the body of a Soldier in his working dress, he got assistance and took it on board the boat.

2nd Witness Acting Quarter Master Sergeant Osment RE having been duly sworn, states, he has examined the body, and by the general appearance of it and the initials on the stockings he believes it to be that of Sapper T. Jones, RE.

3rd Witness Sapper John Murray, RE, having been duly sworn states that on Saturday the 27 April, I came down to New Westminster from the North Camp in a boat under the orders of Quarter master Sergeant Osment RE the crew consisting of six sappers including Jones.  We went alongside the Steamer Beaver and put the baggage of Colonel Moody and Captain Parsons on board.  We then went to the Wharf and afterwards when crossing from the Steamer Governor Douglas to the Beaver, I being I advance, heard a slash in the water and the cry of a man overboard.  This was about 9 o'clock pm. and on the men being mustered we found that Sapper Jones was missing.  From the general appearance of the Corpse I saw today, I believe it to be that of Sapper Jones.

Dr. Seddall, Staff Assistant Surgeon in medical advice states, I have seen the body of the deceased and am of the opinion that he came by his death by drowning.  The contused state of the face and head would lead to the belief, that he struck against the side of the Steamer in his descent to the water.  I  am further of opinion that eight or 10 days must have elapsed since the deceased met his death.

After mature deliberation we the above have come to the unanimous conclusion and return the following verdict - that the deceased met with his death by drowning accidentally.

Spaulding, JP and Coroner

Seddall also appears to have taken on other, less dire duties, in the Officer's Mess.

"The Doctor "caters" for the Mess, so when he hears of anything good he tells me, and so I do to him."

--1st June, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

In August of 1859, the mosquitoes of British Columbia descended en masse and made life there unbearable for many.

"The Mosquitoes did such mischief to Kitty's (Mrs. Moody's servant) foot that the Doctor put her to bed for two days before we left..."

--5th August, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

With the arrival of all of the Detachment, Mrs. Moody sought out assistance for her growing family. She took on one of the Soldier's daughters (at this point we only have her first name, "Fanny"). Sadly, the woman took ill soon after arriving in Victoria.

"Fanny, the Nursery-Maid has been ill for the last few days, and I fear she will need care for some time, if she is pretty well tomorrow I shall send her to her Mother, to New Westminster, as she will be better there under the Doctor's care."

--6th September, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

During all this time, Seddall is living out of doors.

"It (the Moody Home) is a most comfortable house, plenty of space to move in. Richard contemplates giving it up to the officers, as a Barrack, (they are still in Tents) and building a smaller one for ourselves..."

--22nd September, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

As the first Christmas in the Colony neared, the Camp was filled with activity.


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

Seddall often found himself in the service of the community at large, as well as his post at the Camp.

New Westminster Times
21st February 1860

There have been so many births here (it would appear the air is fructiferous) that the officers in camp have been obliged to put over their quarters, "The Doctor does not live here.", in consequence of their having been called up at all hours of the night, in inquiring for him.  Dr. Seddall has been most kind and attentive to all and as there was no doctor here, he has at all times placed his services gratuitously for the benefit of the whole community, and it has great cause to thank him for his repeated acts of
kindness, and some testimonial, if he would accept, I deem should be presented to him; although, doubtless, as the distance from the camp is so great, he will be glad to be relieved when a civilian doctor arrives.

"I have just got a bottle of "Tonic" from the Doctor, for you know of old the Spring is not my briskest time of year..."

--12th March, 1860
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"The Officer's Quarters are begun so we hope soon to have the house to ourselves, we really require more rooms as we sleep 5 in our bedroom.  It is a large house but when you come to pack 20 people as we do now, there is not much spare room, as you may fancy." 

-- 12 March 1860
Mary S. Moody

As the Mosquito Season arrives in Camp once more, the Moody family decide to travel to Fort Hope to escape them.

"...Our good little Doctor has promised to pay us a visit at Hope in the Summer, I don't know what we should all do without him..."

--4th June, 1860
From the letters of Mary S. Moody

Finally, Seddall's quarters are ready.

"We have the house to ourselves now, the dear little Doctor has gone to his own new Quarters.  We quite miss him, tho' we only met occasionally on the stairs.  Zeffie used to go to his room constantly."

-- 5th October, 1860, From the Letters of Mary S. Moody
Officers' Quarters, where Captain Luard and Dr. Seddall lived.
Photograph courtesy BC Archives Call Number A-03371

"You would be amused to see all the 4 children running after him whenever they see him,. He carries the baby also. He is everything you could want in a cheerful friend, kind and good, but we will not allude to his professional ability at all."

--5th October, 1860
From the Letters of Mary S. Moody

But it was not all work and no play for the Camp, as this happy letter from Mrs. Moody illustrates Seddall's powers of organizational skill.

"As a birthday "treat" I must try and give you a full line and particular account of the rise, progress and termination of the ball at the Camp.  I told you that we were intending to have a little party.  Dr. Seddall took the entire management and arranged everything.  We now have the whole house to ourselves, so we have plenty of room, the Drawing Room, Library and Dining Room are all down-stairs, the Library is the only one we have furnished and we use it as a Drawing Room.  The Dining Room was the Doctor's, the Drawing Room was Captain Luard's.  The Doctor fixed to have the Dancing in the empty drawing room, and he had it all decorated for the occasion, the large recess of the bow window was fitted as an orchestra, the windows curtained with Scarlet blankets, relieved with golden Chinese banners.  The Ceiling was festooned with evergreens and faded leaves, the walls decorated with bayonets festooned, lamps and garlands, Scarlet, blue and white bunting plaited in hanging loops all 'round the ceiling, a J.B. over the mantle piece.  You have no idea how nice the room looked, how I wish you could have seen it!  The library drawing room was used as a Tea room, the dining room decorated as a supper room, flags and banners etc.  We mustered 10 ladies all dressed in ball costume, Mrs. Grant in pink beige with flowers, Mrs. Bacon pink Moire Antique, Mrs. Homer in white, Mrs. Spalding in blue Moire, Mrs. Pritchard in black net, Mrs. Moody in black net decorated with pink ribbons.  I apprise you I felt quite respectable, once more!

They all came at 8, soon after dancing began which was kept up till 3 A.M!  Richard allowed me to dance all night and I assure you I thouroughly enjoyed myself.

We sat down 26 to supper, and about 8 were left without seats.  I took very little trouble in the party, the Doctor did it all his own way.  He laid the Supper, cut the sandwiches etc.  Mr. Sheepshanks cut the bread and butter for tea, and superintended the final arrangements for supper.  Everybody in the Camp helped.  3 of the Men performed the music, the officer's Servants helped to wait, we borrowed the Mess table, tablecloth, Napkins, Candle-sticks, Cups, Plates, etc. glasses and candlesticks from Mrs. Grant.  Tea tray from one of the women.  You have no idea how well it all went off, everybody enjoyed themselves.  Certainly the Doctor deserves great credit for all his trouble.  We thought you would all have enjoyed to have taken a peep at our new mode of "roughing it in the bush".  I really was not very very tired after so much dancing.  I feared I should be as stiff as an old horse the next day, however, tho' I was obliged to get up at 6 the next morning I did not feel too tired. I had not danced since I married before.  Captain Parsons and the Doctor wanted to persuare me to allow Zeffie and Dick to sit up, however I would not listed to that and packed them all off to bed before I went to dress."

--15th October, 1860
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Tell dear Em that Petsie wore her new pelisse today for the first time and looked so bonnie and nice in it, Here it is allowable to call attention to any new article of dress, seeing the "dear little Doctor" coming down from his Quarters, of course I stopped and asked at once, "How do you like her new dress?" "Does she not look nice etc.?"

   "...And our "dear little Doctor" being so robust and round himself, does not see why everyone should not be equally jolly and comfortable as himself."

--17th November, 1860
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Seddall, as a medical man, was something of a Naturalist himself.

"I almost forgot to tell dear Em that I consulted the Doctor about the ferns, but he told me there are no rare ones here, nothing different to the English varieties."

--19th November, 1860
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Now I must have a nap for a few minutes, as I am not well you know. I fear I am growing both rheumatic and gouty (the Doctor laughs at me when I describe my idea of "rheumatic gout"). I can get no compassion from the dear little man, so you may infer I am not very bad. "

--29th January, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

It appears that Seddall was also a bit of a prankster and took pleasure in teasing Parsons.

"The Sappers have or rather are making a new road from here to the Sea (about 4 or 5 miles).  When it is finished we are going to have a picnic out there, the Gentlemen, Mrs. Bacon and myself.  The Doctor proposes that Captain Parsons should carry the Pie there and he volunteers to bring the Dish home."

--12th February, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

In March of 1861, Lady Franklin, wife of the famous Arctic explorer, came to visit the Camp.  Her niece, Miss Craycroft, wrote:

"The harmonium is played by Dr. Seddall, who also leads the choir consisting in great measure of members of the Corps. The music is said to be exceedingly good." 

-- 6 March 1861
Sophia Craycroft

A week later, Seddall and Luard entertained the lady at the Moody home.

"Last night the "Mess" came in to spend the evening, Captain Luard and the Doctor gave us some music, flute and harmonium."

--15th March, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Today, Saturday, the Men have a whole Holiday in honour of lady Franklin's visit, it is a glorious day; and the whole Camp is alive, I have left Baby out with Miss Nagle, doubtless she will get assistance from the Doctor, Captain Parsons or Mr. Hankin, RN a Lieutenant who is in attendance on Lady Franklin."

--15th March, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

W. DRISCOLL GOSSET and J. VERNON SEDDALL, Industrial Exhibition: Circular Respectfully Addressed to the Inhabitants of British Columbia, Printed at R.E. Camp by Corporal R. Wolfenden, New Westminster (April 1861)

--from A Memorandum of the Claudet family


The Moody's and the Grant's took Leave at the same time and spent it in Victoria.  They returned in the middle of September, escorted by Seddall.

"When we arrived here (New Westminster) it was raining quite fast, and as we have about 1 1/2 miles to Come from the Town in open boats "against the stream" it was not a very cheering prospect.  The only alternative being a wet dark walk with 5 Children.  However our dear little Doctor (who had come down to Victoria to escort Mrs. Grant and myself home) assured us we should manage very well.  When we arrived we arrived we found Captain Luard waiting for us with the Men and boats, so we managed famously.  The Men carried the Children to and from the boat and we were only "dampish" when we reached the house.  Mrs. Rogerson, one of our Women, was waiting for us.  She and I soon made up the beds and popped the Children into them before they had time to get chilled, we then gave them their supper and they were soon fast asleep.  The Doctor sent me a good tea from "The Mess" and we were none the worse for our uncomfortable voyage."

--12th September, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"We are all growing prematurely old. We had a plum pudding on Saturday in honour of the Doctor's 30th birthday, he even has tried to look grave and sedate ever since.  Susan says, "Dorie Eddally" so nicely." 

-- 12 September 1861
Mary S. Moody


Gentlemen become experienced Nurses here, for they are obliged to help in holding the Babies. If you are out walking and meet a gentleman he frequently says "Can't I relieve you of the Baby for a short time?" or if you are very tired and he does not volunteer such aid, it is quite customary to say" Do carry baby for me please."

-- 4th November, 1861,
From the letters of Mary S. Moody

"HMS Plumper was here last week, and we all dined on board, we had a most elegant dinner, quite English, and a coal Fire which I most thoroughly enjoyed!  They all laughed at me when they came down after dinner, Mr. Sheepshanks said "Now, Mrs. Moody, I am quite sure you have been asleep!!".  It was a terribly wet night, and they all feared we would not go, however Mr. Sheepshanks and the Doctor both said, "I am sure Mrs. Moody will come."

--4th November, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

It does not appear that the Moody Children went to the RE School. Instead they were taught by the Officers.

"The Doctor teaches Zeffie Music and Drawing, and I hope to bribe the Archdeacon to teach Dick Latin with his own boy about the same age."

-- 14th November, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

New Westminster, B.C.
20th Dec., 1861


In consideration of your having purchased from me half of Lot 14, Block 21, in the town of New Westminster, I engage to give you your first chance of purchasing the other half of Lot 14 and Lot 13 adjoining in the event of my wishing to offer them for sale.

I remain,
Yours Truly,
J.Vernon Seddall

To H. Crease, Esq.
New Westminster

The first warrant for a Masonic Lodge, in what was then known as the Colony of Vancouver's Island, was granted in 1859, by the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, authorizing the formation of Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, E.C.  Some months later Union Lodge at New Westminster in the Colony of British Columbia, was formed and received its charter on the 16th December 1861.

--the above from Historical Introduction to Freemasonry

Seddall was the Vice President of the New Westminster Chapter Lodge. 

Some months later, Union Lodge No. 1201 E.C. (later No. 899), New Westminster, in the Colony of British Columbia, was organized, Henry Holbrook being nominated first Worshipful Master. 

Owing to a dispute as to the Junior Warden-elect, a warrant was not granted until the 16th December, 1861.

Union Lodge, New Westminster, was organized on December 16th, 1861, and was constituted as No. 1201, E.R., on June 24th, 1862, by R. W. Bro. Burnaby. Installed were:

R.W. Bro. Henry Holbrook, W.M.
Dr. J. Vernon Siddall, R.E., S.W.
Valentine Hall, J.W.
Capt. J. Cooper, Treasurer
George Frye, Secretary
Dr. S. E. Crain, S.D.
R. Dickenson, J.D.
B. F. Moses, I.G.
D.B. Hickey, Tyler.

by R. W. Bro. William G. Gamble

During the Winter of 1861/62, it grew so cold that the Fraser River froze solid at the Camp.

"Sleighing" was the general amusement. Mr. Palmer had a very nice one, and the children have had sundry drives in it, one day I went with the Doctor, for a drive and enjoyed it very much." 

--3rd January 1862, Mary S. Moody

But the cold also brought its share of tragedy.

"Some 3 or 4 days ago Richard heard that young Annadale was away from here and almost froze to death with the intense cold.  He begged Captain Luard to see if any of our Men would volunteer to go rescue him.  Six of them set out, accompanied by Dr. Oliver, the Assistant Surgeon.  They had to march nearly 12 miles along the ice and thro' the frost.  They went on thro' the night and on the following afternoon returned to the Town with Annandale, his feet and hands are badly frost bitten.  Dr. Seddall was in the Town when he arrived, and the people there begged him to have him removed to the Hospital in Camp, which he did, bringing him up in his Sleigh.  He gave him some Wine etc., and then came to Richard to report the unusual proceeding of admitting a Civilian into a Military Hospital.  All the expenses will be defrayed by the Officers.  He is doing very well tho' it will be some days before he is better.  The Doctor has promised to advise him to write to his Mother etc."

--3rd January, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Baby was baptised on Christmas Day, "Mary" alone.  She was baptised in the School room in Camp.  All the children went to Church, even little Susan.  Dr. Seddall was Mary's Godfather, we both felt she could not have a better man or a kinder friend as her Godparent." 

-- 3rd Jan 1862
Mary S. Moody

"Dearest Richard is still at Victoria, he and Captain Luard are both there, nor do they talk of returning, I am getting very tired of being alone.  The Doctor and Captain Parsons are very good, in doing all they can for us.  They come in 3 or 4 times a day to see how we are getting on. "

--3rd April, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"...We get on so well together (in the camp) that we rather prefer being alone altogether.  We look upon ourselves as a large family.  You would have been amused at the alarm we all felt when we heard a rumour, from Victoria, that the Doctor was going to be married!  However it was a false report, and we are all comfortably assured that our dear little Friend is only a little inclined to "flirt"."

--3rd April, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Zeffie goes to the Doctor every day now for a music lesson, he is very good to her."

-- 20th May, 1862
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"We have had a few mosquitoes, we talk of going to Victoria, but I would prefer remaining if possible, Tho' I am sure the sea breezes would do us all good, the climate here is very relaxing in Spring, very like Devonshire, which never suited either Richard or me, and I am sure Zeffie feels the same.  I have been trying to induce the Doctor to give me a tonic, but I doubt if he will, he is a funny man!  I really think he does not believe in Physic!"

--20th May, 1862
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"I never see anyone now but the Doctor for Miss Nagle is at Victoria.  I can't leave the Children, I can't take them all down to the Town.  The Doctor is very good in helping me to take care of them, in the way of taking the bigger ones out for a walk, etc.  He took Zeffie and Dick to church yesterday morning as I could not leave Charlie for so long, and then in the afternoon he took us all for a long walk in the evening.  We heard the Archdeacon - I have never heard him before, it was very curious that just before Church I asked the Doctor if he had ever preached here on "The Good Shepherd" as I had heard he generally chose that subject.  The Doctor said "Oh! No." and his sermon was the one I expected.  Was it not odd?"

--11th August, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Zeffie is getting on nicely with her Music you will be glad to hear.  The Doctor is so kind and good, an example to us all in every way.  You never hear anyone who does not speak most affectionately and kindly of him."

--23rd September, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"I have not written since the 9th when we had grand rejoicings in honour of the Prince of Wales. I t was a very stormy night however they sent a waggon round for the Company so we got there dry, we had a nice little party of our own I mean from the Camp, 3 young ladies, the Archdeacon's family, the Officers and ourselves, so we got on very nicely.  We intended to have left early, but we really enjoyed it very much, and were much surprised to find it 5 minutes past 4 when we reached home!

The ball was on the 11th, on the 10th the Officers dined with us and the Archdeacon and his daughter, so we were quite gay you see."

--24th November, 1862
From the Letters of Mary S. Moody

Near the end of November, Seddall takes "Leave".  He appears to have gone to San Francisco.

"The Doctor is away also..."

--24th November, 1862,
From the Letters of Mary S. Moody

"We have had a very quiet Christmas time.  The Children spent one day at the Grant's , on New year's day we had the Officers, Grants and Mr. Sheepshanks to lunch - 16 in all."

--7th January, 1863,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Mrs. Moody gives birth to another child in January, 1863, Moody leaves for Victoria  and the Moody household is short staffed.

"The Children have been all so good.  The Doctor: so kind and attentive.  He and Captain Parsons have been Papa, Mama and Nurse to the bigger ones."

--30th January, 1863,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

At last, Seddall's "flirting" catches up with him.

"We have been very gay lately.  Captain Luard and Doctor Seddall are engaged to two sisters, Miss Leggatts, and the ladies have just paid us a visit, nearly 3 weeks.  You can fancy that two such visitors have made the place quite gay -- a dinner party here and at the Mess, Concerts, Theatricals, Riding parties, and a Ball in the Mess Room -- Picnics,  &c &c &c  The Ball was quite a success -- five young ladies, four to engaged to be married -- I enjoyed it very much and danced until 5 am.  Richard got very tired but we were obliged to stay till the end.  The RE Band played beautifully, the room was prettily decorated and the Supper first rate - Mrs. Bonson.

The Ball did us all good, fancy there being  want of gentlemen!!!  We were much vexed that Captain Luard would not send down to Victoria for some.  The Ladies were very nicely dressed.  The Miss Leggatts wore white silk plain, with cherry coloured sashes, broad rushings of the same at the top of the lace berthe, and one rose in their hair -- they looked so nice, we all felt quite proud of them, for now of course we feel that they belong to us (the Camp Family)."

--12 May 1863,
Mary S Moody

For some reason, at this time unknown, Seddall and Miss Leggatt do not marry.

"Dr. Seddall saw young Annadale in San Francisco 3 months ago."

--12th May, 1863,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

"Meggy is thriving nicely...She has not yet been vaccinated, the Doctor says he has no vaccine, and he does not try to get any, as far as I can see!!!  I am going to have Zeffie and Dick vaccinated again."

--28th June, 1863
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

When the Detachment is disbanded in November of 1863, Seddall returns to England, with all the other officers and their wives and children.

Joined the corps of Royal Engineers on 31 May 1864

Seddell is wearing his officers vest a frock coat, with miniature version of his service medals.

Photograph courtesy of BC Archives
Call Number A-01746

  • Promoted Surgeon on Medical Staff 30 March 1867

  • Marries Ellen Golding, 5 Feb 1867, Rochester, England

Marriage Form #4
Report of Officer's Marriage made for the purpose of its being recorded at the War Office, with the view to fascilitate the Settlement of any Claim that may be made on behalf of the Officer's Family, in the event of his Death.
Officer's name John Vernon Seddall
Age 35 years 5 months
Regiment Royal Engineers
Maiden Names of the Lady at full length

Ellen Golding 

Age 30 years 7 months
Date of marriage 5 Feb 1867

Place where ceremony was performed

St Nicholas Church, Rochester
Names of Officiating Clergymen Rev John E White
Rev C. Basauquet


R.M. Parsons, Capt RE
Clara Golding
Eliza Brooke
  • Joined 89th Regiment as surgeon 9 April 1870

  • Died Cape of Good Hope, 8 Oct 1870

Click below for Seddall's...