RSS

Blanshard Arrives to Govern Vancouver Island

11 Mar
Richard Blanshard, Governor of Vancouver Islan...

Richard Blanshard, Governor of Vancouver Island, 1849-1851 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

_

Blanshard is the name of an important street in Victoria.  It commemorates Richard Blanshard, the first Governor of Vancouver Island which was made a British colony in 1849.  Previously it had been governed by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Richard Blanshard must have been one of the most disappointed  men who ever came to Canada.  He was a London merchant who had spent some time in the West Indies and India, and became ambitious to make a name for himself in the British diplomatic service.  When Vancouver Island became a colony, he applied for the job of governor, even though it meant serving without pay.  There was some talk in London, though, that he would be given a beautiful mansion and an estate of 1,000 acres with beautiful lawns and gardens.

His chagrin can be imagined when he stepped on shore from H.M.S. Driver on March 11, 1850, and read the proclamation establishing the new colony with himself as  governor.  It was a dreary day, mixed with rain and snow.  The only estate available for Blanshard was 1,000 acres of unclear land  which he was expected to develop at this own expense.  There wasn’t a place for him to live on shore, let alone a mansion and he had to go back to the ship.

In one of his first letters to the Colonial Office, he complained that there were only three other settlers on the island.  One of them, Captain Colquhon Grant, had arrived the previous year with coaches and carriages, only to learn that there were no roads.  He also brought equipment  for playing cricket, which requires a smoother surface than a baseball diamond!

Blanshard only lasted until November when he resigned.  James Douglas, Chief Factor of the Hudson’s  Bay Company, was appointed governor in his place.  It was a good thing, because Douglas had seen the United States take over Oregon and knew the steps that had to be taken to keep British Columbia from annexation.

Did I whet your appetite?  To read more about this, there are a few good sites to visit.  The first I’d recommend is Birds of a Feather – Victoria B & B’s History of Victoria and Vancouver Island; then you can head on to Google Docto read Bob Reid’s extensive article about The Colony of Vancouver Island 1849-1855; there’s a bit about Fort Victoria at The Canadian Encyclopedia; Richard Blanshard at Wikipedia, also at Wikipedia, there’s more information about the Colony at Vancouver Island.

Happy hunting, everyone — there’s a lot more out there!

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Blanshard Arrives to Govern Vancouver Island

  1. drug assistance

    June 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter
    group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

     
  2. wyposażanie w meble ogrodowe

    June 30, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I hardly comment, but I looked through a few remarks on this page Blanshard Arrives to Govern Vancouver
    Island | Bite Size Canada. I actually do have some questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Is it simply me or does it appear like some of these remarks
    come across like they are written by brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing on other social sites, I’d like to keep up with you. Would you post a list of every one of all your social community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: