Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[ALT de l'image: Lien à une page en français.]

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Chapter 6

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Esquimalt Naval Base

Frederick V. Longstaff

The Victoria Book & Stationery Company, Ltd.
Victoria, B. C. 1941

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

[image ALT: a blank space]

 p129  Chapter VII

Important Dates in the
Maritime History of the West Coast
of America

(List specially prepared by the Author)

1513. The Southern Ocean was first sighted by Europeans from the Isthmus of Panama.
1517. New Spain discovered by Fernando de Cordova.
1520. Magellan discovered his Straits.
1521. Magellan and several of his crew were killed in action by natives on the Island of Mactan, near the Island of Cebu in the Philippines.
1542. The ships under Cabrillo were off the Bay of San Francisco. Villalobos sailed from Navidad on 1st November, and arrived in Malaga Bay on the east side of Mindanao Island (Philippines) on 2nd February, 1543.
1543. Death of Cabrillo, who was succeeded by Ferrelo, who continued the voyage to the north.
1560. Viceroy Velasco appointed Legaspi to command the great expedition to the Philippines.
1564. Legaspi sailed from Navidad on 21st November, arrived at Samar Island 13th February, 1565, with the two chief assistants, Urdaneta and Isla.
1565. First ship sailing eastward from the Philippines, by discovering the route of the prevailing easterly wind, eventually reached Acapulco.
1567. Isla sailed eastward from Philippines to Acapulco with dispatches for the King, and continued his journey across the Atlantic to Spain.
1568. Legaspi's expedition was attacked off the Island of Cebu by a Portuguese squadron, which was repulsed.
1570. Legaspi founds the City of Cebu, supported by Isla and Galli.
1571. Legaspi founds the city of Manila on the island Luzon.
 p130  1572. Isla sent from Acapulco to command the squadron of ships from Manilla to explore coast of China north to 50° or 60°, and from that point to proceed east to search for the northerly coast of New Spain. Legaspi died at Manila in August, and his successor Guido de Laverzaris refused to supply a ship for Isla, who thus could not sail for the Chinese northern coast.
1573. The two ships Espiritu Santo and Santiago, the first with full cargoes of precious metals and mixed goods, ever to make the voyage from West to East across the Pacific from Manila to Acapulco. The inauguration of the Manila galleons.
1574. Siege of Manila by the Chinese pirate Li‑Ma‑Hon, with 95 small vessels and 2,000 men, which was repulsed by the Spaniards who were supported by the natives.
1579. Drake in the Golden Hind reached his furthest north on the Northwest coast.
1582. Galli sailed from Acapulco, on 10th March, for Manila, and on his return voyage he called at Macao, where he loaded Portuguese goods for the vice-royalty of Peru, and eventually reached Acapulco.
1585. Galli in the San Juan sailed from Acapulco in March and arrived at Manila about June. He died in 1586, and Unamuno took over the work.
1586. Unamuno sailed from Manila in the summer and turned up at Macao, where his ship was confiscated by the Portuguese, however he bought a vessel of 30 tons in which he sailed from Macao on 12th July, and arrived at Acapulco on 22nd November.

Vizcaino visited Manila off and on till 1589, and was on the Santa Ana when she was captured on the 14th November, 1587, when he lost all his venture.
1587. Thomas Cavendish in the Desire of 120 tons, raided the ports on the coast of Peru and New Spain.
1592. Mythical voyage of Juan de Fuca, otherwise known as Apostolos Valerianos, on the Northwest coast and discovery of the Strait of Fuca.​a
 p131  1594. Cermeno left Acapulco on 21st March, for Manila.
1595. Four vessels sailed from Manila for Acapulco. Cermeno left in one of them on 4th July, arrived off Cape Mendocino on 4th November, and on the 30th, the ship was wrecked near Drake's Bay, the crew eventually reaching Acapulco.
1602. Vizcaino claimed that his expedition reached Cape Mendocino.
1615. Joris van Spielbergen raided ports on the coast of Peru, defeated the local Spanish squadron at sea, called at Acapulco and crossed the Pacific to the Ladrone Islands.
1708. Woodes Rogers raided the coast of Peru, and crossed the Pacific Ocean westward.
1718. George Shelvock raided the coast of Peru.
1728. Bering discovered the Strait dividing America from Asia.
1741. Bering and Tchirikow sighted Alaska, while in the St. Peter and the St. Paul, which were based on Avacha Bay.
1740. Commodore Anson voyaged round the world westward in the Centurion, returning to Britain in 1743.
1769. Bay of San Francisco discovered and shore line traced by Sergeant Ortega.
1770. Bay of Monterey discovered by Portola.
1774. Captain Perez reached the mouth of Dixon Entrance.
1776. Presidio and Mission founded on the Bay of San Francisco by Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza.
1778. Captain Cook anchored in Nootka Sound and in Cook Inlet.
1785. Captain Hanna anchored in King George's Sound.
1786. James Strange landed on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Captain Dixon anchored in Cook Inlet and King William's Sound. La Perouse in L'Astrolabe passed Nootka Sound, south bound, June.
1787. Captain Meares cruised on coast and anchored in Nootka Sound. Captain Gray in sloop Washington discovered the Columbia River.
 p132  1792. Expedition of Captain Vancouver anchored in Nootka Sound.
1793. Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific Ocean by land from Canada.​b
1794. Captain Vancouver finally sailed from Nootka, 17th October, southbound.
1795. Lieutenant T. Pearce, Royal Marines, received back the land at Nootka Sound from Spain, on 28th March.
1799. Alexander Von Humboldt travelled in New Spain, making observations and notes until 1804.

The Russian American Company fur trading in Alaska, under an Imperial Ukase, and continued trading until country transferred to the U. S. A. in 1867.
1803. Massacre of the crew of ship Boston in Nootka Sound, and the sparing of the armourer Jewitt by Maquinna.
1805. Lewis and Clark arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River overland from St. Louis, and returned to the same place overland in 1806.
1808. Simon Fraser travelled down the Fraser River and reached salt water but not the ocean shore, and returned up the same river to Canada.
1811. Ship Tonquin to Columbia River with men and stores to establish Fort Astoria.
1812. Declaration of war between Britain and the United States of America.
1813. Officers of H. M. S. Racoon hoist British flag at Astoria, and change the name to Fort George.
1814. Treaty of Ghent, 24th December. Peace declared between Britain and the United States of America.
1818. Convention signed between Britain and the United States of America on 12th October. Officers of H. M. S. Blossom return Fort George on the Columbia River to the U. S. A.

Admiral Lord Cochrane led the Chilian Navy in revolt against the Spanish Squadron, from 1818 to 1823.
 p133  1822. 28th March, H. M. frigate Conway, Captain Basil Hall, anchored at San Blas as the first British war ship to do so.
1823. 4th October, Mexican Federal Republic proclaimed.
1824. Governor George Simpson journeyed overland from Canada, to the Pacific Coast at the Columbia River, reaching Fort George on 8th November, with Doctor McLoughlin.
1825. Fort Vancouver established on the Columbia River.

Treaty of commerce between Great Britain and the Republic of Mexico.
1826. Fort Langley established on the Fraser River.

H. M. Arctic ship Blossom sailed from Bering Strait to the harbour of San Francisco, where she anchored off the Mexican Fort on 7th November. She afterwards called at the Sandwich Islands, and then at Macao, in China.
1827. Convention signed between Great Britain and the United States of America, continuing in force Article III, Treaty of 1818, re Oregon Territory Boundary.
1829. Republic of Mexico decreed the expulsion of the Spaniards.
1830. The brig Llama, 144 tons, of Boston, U. S. A., William McNeill master and independent trader, first visited Camosack Harbour.
1833. Hudson's Bay Company coasting vessels first shown in Records as on this coast of the Oregon Territory, Drydale, Llama and Cadboro.
1834. U. S. trading brig Pilgrim on the Californian coast, till 1836, per log of Richard Henry Dana, author of "Two years before the Mast".
1836. April 4th, the Hudson's Bay Company steamer Beaver from London, first arrived at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. Other Company vessels on coast: Nereid, Llama and Cadboro.

Spain recognizes the independence of the Republic of Mexico.
1837. The Pacific Station is shown in Navy List for the first time, the former name being the South American Station.
 p134  1838. March 13th, H. B. Co. given Crown Grant for exclusive trade with natives in countries to west of Rocky Mountains for 21 years.
1839. The Hudson's Bay Company barque Vancouver of 324 tons, arrives on the coast for the first time.

Trading agreement signed at Hamburg between Hudson's Bay Company and the Russian American Company, on 6th of February, for ten years from 1840.
1840. Hudson's Bay Company built a post in the Sandwich Islands.

Pacific Steam Navigation Co., paddle steamer Peru, of 658 tons, arrived at Valparaiso from London, to start a service to Panama. Her sister ship was the Chile.
1841. The United States Exploring Expedition under Commodore Charles Wilkes, U. S. N., was off the Columbia River, and in Port Discovery.

The Island of Hong Kong ceded by China to Britain, and the Charter signed on 5th April, 1843.
1842. The south end of Vancouver Island reconnoitred by Douglas, to enable McLoughlin at Fort Vancouver to select a site for the new headquarters being built on the shores of Port Camosack.
1843. Council held at Red River Post, in June, selects the name Victoria for the new headquarters.
1844. H. M. Corvette Modeste of 562 tons, entered the Straits of Fuca and used Port Discovery, she being the first British Man-of‑War to do so, since Captain Vancouver's visit.
1845. H. M. frigate America inside the straits, used Port Discovery. Her Captain the Hon. Gordon, R. N., visited Fort Victoria for shooting and salmon fishing. He sent officers overland to Fort Vancouver with letters. H. B. Co. deep sea ship Vancouver, first of annual ships direct from London, arrived off Fort Victoria this year.
1846. First complete survey of Esquimalt Harbour, and this was made by Lieut. James Wood and crew of H. M. Brig Pandora, who were helped  p135 for a few weeks by H. M. sloop-of‑war Herald.

The Oregon Boundary Convention between Britain and the United States of America was signed on 15th June.
1847. H. M. Corvette Modeste moored off Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, to look after British interests, from 30th November, 1845, till 3rd May, 1847.
1848. First British war vessel to enter Esquimalt Harbour, H. M. frigate Constance; other vessels, H. M. surveying vessel Herald to Arctic; H. M. surveying brig Pandora inside Straits.

United States of America Military Post established at Fort Vancouver.

May‑December, Presidio on the Bay of San Francisco, saw increase of population from 900 to about 20,000, the start of the gold fever.
1849. H. M. frigate Inconstant inside the Strait and at Esquimalt.

Merchant barque Harpooner arrived from London with twenty‑one settlers.
1850. H. M. paddle sloop Driver arrived with Governor Blanshard from Panama at Fort Victoria on 10th March. He read himself into office on the 11th of March.

H. M. frigate Daedalus first visited Esquimalt. Merchant barque Cowlitz arrived Fort Victoria from London with ten settlers.
1851. The 50‑gun ship Portland and frigate Daphne were inside the Straits for first time.

Mr. James Douglas was appointed the second Governor of Vancouver Island on 16th of May. He built his house on the shores of James Bay.
1852. H. M. frigate Thetis arrived with Captain Kuper at Esquimalt.
1853. H. M. frigate Trincomalee arrived, (afterwards bought by the late Mr. G. Wheatley Cobb, in 1897, and renamed Foudroyant, was for many years moored in Falmouth Harbour off Flushing, flying  p136 the flag of the Royal Anglesea Yacht Club). The frigate took supplies to H. M. S. Plover in the Arctic in 1854.

H. M. steam vessel Virago first time on coast.

H. M. frigate Thetis second year on coast.
1854. Britain and France declared war against Russia, on the 27th of March.

United States Navy took over Mare Island in the North end of San Francisco Bay, 16th September, to be made into a Naval Base.

November 27th, Hudson's Bay Company ship Princess Royal landed the first coal miners at Nanaimo. She had arrived at Esquimalt, November 23rd, having sailed from London on June 3rd.
1857. H. M. survey vessel Plumper arrived on the coast, and continued work until 1861.
1858. On 19th November, at Fort Langley, the wild and unoccupied territories commonly called and known as New Caledonia, were proclaimed to be named "British Columbia", by Governor Douglas of the Colony of Vancouver's Island. Douglas was also sworn in as the first governor of British Columbia.
1859. On 13th February, H. M. frigate Tribune, Captain G. T. Phipps Hornby, arrived from China, with Marines to reinforce the ships at Esquimalt, for San Juan Island dispute.

The Municipality of New Westminster was created by Proclamation of Governor Douglas, on the 20th July, and signed at Victoria.
1861. H. M. survey steamer Hecate, Captain Richards, surveyed the coast until 1863.

The Hudson's Bay Company closed its depot of Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River.
1862. The district about Fort Victoria was incorporated as the "City of Victoria" and this was assented to by the Governor on 2nd of August.

Civil war began between North and South in the United States of America.​c
1863. H. M. survey steamer Beaver started work under Commander Pender and continued until 1870.
 p137  1864. First railway opened from Colon (then Aspinwall) across the Isthmus to Panama.

The China Naval Station was separated from the East Indies Station.

In April, H. M. frigate Tribune, Captain Lord Gilford, arrived at Esquimalt from the South.
1865. Order-in‑Council passed in London, creating the Royal Naval Establishment of Esquimalt. The Naval Base was put on a permanent footing on 29th of June.
1866. St. Paul's Naval Church Esquimalt consecrated 12th December.
1867. Alaska transferred from Russia to the United States of America on 18th October, at Sitka, Captain Peterschoff acting for Russia and General Rousseau for the United States.
1868. The Fenian scare spread to Victoria from Canada and lasted a few months. A guard of Royal Marine Light Infantry was placed at Government House, and retained there until October, 1870.

The schooner Pioneer made a success­ful sealing voyage to the Pribilof Islands. Hutchinson, Kohl and Co. secured the exclusive right to kill seals on the Islands of St. George and St. Paul. This grant was practically the start of the Bering Sea dispute and troubles.
1869. July 6th to 20th, the Imperial French Naval vessels L'Astree and La Motte-Picquet under Rear-Admiral Cloue were at Esquimalt, from San Francisco.

November 17th, Suez Canal was opened.
1870. May 5th, arrival in Esquimalt Harbour of the Flying Squadron from Australia, under Rear-Admiral G. T. P. Hornby, with his flag in the frigate Liverpool. It sailed from Esquimalt on May 28th. As Captain G. T. Phipps Hornby, he had brought H. M. frigate Tribune to Esquimalt in February, 1859.
1871. Thursday, 20th July, British Columbia entered the Dominion of Canada, and a salute was fired from H. M. armour-clad ship Zealous, Rear-Admiral Arthur Farquhar.

Governor A. Musgrave having carried the Union into effect, left Victoria, on the 25th July, in H. M. gun‑vessel Sparrowhawk, on his return to England via Panama.

 p138  In the autumn, the last of the British troops in Upper and Lower Canada, the 60th Rifles and the 5th Battery Third Brigade, R. A., sailed from Quebec, leaving the forts and Barracks to be occupied by the Canadian Permanent Forces. British Troops were still left at Halifax.

The location survey for the Canadian Pacific Railway across British Columbia was begun under the direction of Mr. Sandford Fleming.
1872. October 28th. Lieut.‑Colonel Robertson Ross and son arrived at Victoria, 70 days from Fort Garry, (crossing the prairies on horse-back), via Portland, to report to the War Office on the defence forces and works.
1873. July 26th, H. M. S. Repulse at Esquimalt from Portsmouth, being the first newly commissioned flagship to arrive after the Colony of British Columbia had entered the Dominion of Canada. The Commander-in‑Chief was Rear-Admiral C. F. Hillyar.

March 21st, Captain C. F. Houghton, who retired as Captain in 1861, from the Imperial Army (Infantry), was commissioned at Lieut.‑Colonel in the Militia and appointed the first Deputy Adjutant General of Military District No. 11.
1875. December 24th, Municipality of Nanaimo was incorporated by Letters Patent, signed by Lieut.‑Governor J. W. Trutch.
1876. Coal areas of Nanaimo and Comox were examined for the first time for the Canadian Geological Survey by Mr. J. Richardson.
1877. May‑November, shadow of war with Russia hangs over the South end of Vancouver Island. H. M. S. Opal and Shah at different times spend some weeks at Esquimalt on duty of trade route defence. In May, the Shah and Amethyst fought the Huascar off the Peruvian coast.

May 12th, the following vessels of the Imperial Russian Navy were at Mare Island anchorage under Rear-Admiral Pauzino: Bayan (Flag), Vsadnick, Vostock, Abreck, Tunguz, Japonitz,º and Gornostai. Most of these were under 1,000 tons. Later they left under sealed orders.
 p139  1878. Most of this year, shadow of war with Russia. From June 10th, Lieut.‑Col. De la C. T. Irwin, R. A., directed the construction of the first earthwork batteries at Finlayson Point, Macaulay Point and Brother's Island, by civilian labour, completed by 30th August.

June 24th, the Russian Imperial war vessel Craysser, Captain P. Nasimoff, arrived off Mare Island Navy Yard to have her bottom cleaned.

Coast Line of the Queen Charlotte Islands was explored by Mr. G. M. Dawson for the Canadian Geological Survey.
1879. August 13th, by the steamer City of Chester arrived in Victoria, Colonel J. W. Lovell, C. B., C. R. E., of Halifax, Lieut.‑Colonel T. Bland Strange, R. C. A., of Quebec, under instruction from the War Office to report on defence plans for Victoria and Esquimalt.
1880. May 22nd, Mr. Sandford Fleming was removed from the office of Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A Royal Commission reported on this subject in 1883.
1882. September 19th, His Excellency the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General and H. R. H. Princess Louise, arrived at Esquimalt in H. M. corvette Comus, Captain J. W. East, from San Francisco, which city they had reached from the East by the Central Pacific Railroad. They sailed from Esquimalt on December 7th, for San Francisco. The Comus had come over especially from the China Station for this duty.
1883. January 17th, the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company was incorporated at Victoria, with Captain John Irving as manager.

February 13th, the pioneer steamer Beaver was wrecked in the First Narrows of Burrard Inlet.

May 1st, Lieut.‑Colonel J. G. Holmes, R. C. A., was appointed the second D. A. G. Military District No. 11.

The schooner City of San Diego, Captains Cathcart and Daniel McLean, first left on a sealing voyage to Bering Sea.

The Outer Wharf at Victoria was completed by Mr. R. P. Rithet for the use of Ocean liners and deep‑sea ships.
 p140  1885. Scare of war with Russia over the Penjdeh frontier dispute, (where the frontiers of Persia, Afghanistan and Russia march together) during March and April. The defence of the coaling stations was taken in hand at last.

The last spike was driven on the C. P. R. at Craigellachie on November 7th, thus completing the road of steel.

In the autumn, Mr. William Munsie went to Halifax and bought the schooner Pathfinder, and she was the first of a large number of such vessels which rounded the Horn to engage in sealing on the north Pacific Ocean. She was brought out by Captain O'Leary and arrived at Victoria in April, 1886.

The north-east coast of Vancouver Island and part of Quatsino Sound was explored by Mr. G. M. Dawson for the Canadian Geological Survey.
1886. July 29th, Lieut.‑Colonel E. D. C. O'Brien, R. E., arrived at Victoria from Halifax to survey the land and select sites for the permanent forts for the protection of Esquimalt and Victoria.

July 18th, the "Colonist" published a Report on Defences of Esquimalt by Captain E. Palliser, R. A., to Sir A. Caron, the Minister of Defence.

July 4th, the first through train from Montreal arrived at Port Moody, (on Sunday) at noon, where it was met by the steamer Yosemite, with Mayor Fell on board from Victoria.

April 6th, the Township of Granville was incorporated as the City of Vancouver by a Special Act of the Provincial Legislative Assembly.

June 13th, the great fire broke out in the young city of Vancouver on this Sunday.

June 26th, last stone was laid in the Esquimalt Drydock.

December, Lieut. J. I. Lang, R. E., arrived to continue survey work of Colonel O'Brien at Esquimalt.
1887. April 20th. Major-General Sir R. C. Moody, died at Bournemouth.

July 20th, the Esquimalt Drydock was opened by the entry of H. M. sloop Cormorant, in the presence of Lieut.‑Governor H. H. Nelson, and Rear-Admiral Sir M. Culme-Seymour, who flew his flag  p141 in the masted armoured-cruiser Triumph.

September 29th, the first ship of the new C. P. R. Trans-Pacific Service to call at Victoria and land passengers was the Port Victoria. The first ship in the service was the chartered ship Abyssinia, followed by the Parthia.

November 11th, "C" Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery arrived at Victoria from Quebec, being the first complete unit of Canadian or British troops to be carried across by the C. P. R. from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

November 24th, the Minister of Militia, Sir A. Caron arrived in Victoria on a tour of inspection, and chose Work Point as the site for the Military Barracks.​d
1888. March 18th, Victoria and Nanaimo connected by telephone.

March 29th, the first regular passenger train from Nanaimo entered Victoria over the iron swing bridge at the entrance to the Inner Harbour.

July 6th, arrival off Royal Roads of the chartered mail steamer Parthia from China, for the C. P. R.

July 26th, wreck of pioneer steamer Beaver on Prospect Point, Vancouver Harbour.
1889. June 3rd, Messrs. Dunsmuir's tug Lorne, 150 ft. long by 25 ft. beam, was launched at Victoria.

In the summer a start was made in clearing the primeval forest on Work Point, for the artillery barracks. The work was done by the labour of the Officers, N. C. O.'s and Gunners.​e

November 6th, H. M. second class cruiser Amphion, Captain E. G. Hulton, while proceeding to Burrard Inlet with the Governor-General, Lord Stanley, on board, struck a reef off Kellett Bluff, on the east side of Haro Strait, which damaged her keel, so she had to return to Esquimalt with all her pumps going.
1890. May 21st, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught arrived in S. S. Abyssinia at Victoria from Yokohama, and were taken ashore in the Lorne. They proceeded to Burrard Inlet on the 23rd.

June, H. M. S. Warspite, arrived at Coquimbo from England, and took over from H. M. S. Swiftsure.

July 1st, the Dominion Meteorological Service  p142 Station was opened at Esquimalt, Mr. E. Baynes Reed being in charge.

A start was made in building red brick stores and offices in the Navy Yard, and the first big repairs were made to ships.

The Burrard's Inlet Towing Company this year became the "Union Steamship Company of B. C.", with Mr. Legg, of Glasgow, as the first president and manager. Mr. Webster, of New Zealand, was the promoter.

The Dominion Government telegraph line from Victoria to Cape Beale was opened this year.

Work Point Artillery Barracks were completed and "C" Battery moved in.​f
1891. February 15th, great fire at New Westminster, loss about a quarter of a million dollars, and many important records were burnt.

April 1st, first branch of the Bank of Montreal opened in Victoria.

April 28th, the Empress of India, Captain O. P. Marshall (Lieut. R. N. R.), the first of the new C. P. R. mail steamers, arrived at Victoria from Yokohama, and proceeded to Burrard Inlet the same day. The sister ships were: Empress of China and Empress of Japan. All three had white hulls and swan bows, and displaced 5,700 tons.

June 15th, the agreement between the United States of America and Great Britain, concerning the Sealing in Bering Sea, was signed. After this date H. M. S. Nymphe, Commander C. T. Turner, proceeded to the Bering Sea.
1892. January 5th, the new Dominion Government Lighthouse steamer Quadra, 573 tons, arrived at Esquimalt, from the Clyde, under Captain J. T. Walbran.

March 25th, plan of the Vancouver Island Development Syndicate, of London, England, was considered by the B. C. Government, in relation to the settlement of Fishermen on the West Coast and the development of deep sea fisheries.

July 7th, the Bering Sea patrol sailed, consisting of H. M. ships: Melpomene, senior officer Captain A. A. C. Parr, Daphne, Nymphe and the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company ship Danube, with Mr.  p143 A. H. Maynard, on board to photograph the Seal rookeries etc.
1893. June 19th, H. M. cruiser Royal Arthur arrived at Esquimalt, after the fastest passage ever made from Portsmouth, which port was left on March 18th, making 84 days, and steaming 64 days. Passed the Warspite homeward bound in the Straits of Magellan.

August, Saturday 19th, "C" Battery left Victoria via the C. P. R. for the Citadel at Quebec, and on arrival there, it became No. 2 Company, R. C. G. A.

August. Major H. H. Muirhead, R. E., arrived at Victoria very quietly to organize the Royal Engineer services and prepare for much new work in the forts. Per R. E. Records at Chatham; no mention in local papers.

August 25th, Lieut.‑Colonel J. Peters became the third D. A. G. for M. D. No. 11, and a room in his house was used as his office.
1894. Victoria and Saanich Railway to Sidney was opened.

March, Friday 23rd, detachment of Royal Marine Artillery under Major Rawstorne arrived at Montreal from England, on their way out west.

March 30th, the S. S. Premier brought the detachment of R. M. A. from Vancouver to Victoria, for Work Point Barracks.​g Per "Colonist."

May 19th, the flagship Royal Arthur, Rear-Admiral Sir H. F. Stephenson, arrived in Esquimalt Harbour, with the usual detachment of R. M. A., under Lieut.‑Colonel A. L. S. Burrows.

June 14th. First mention in "Colonist" of Royal Engineers at this period. They are mentioned as attending the funeral of Sir M. B. Begbie, coming between the B. C. Garrison Artillery and the Royal Marine Artillery. The Corps records at Chatham say Lieut. H. W. Gordon, R. E., arrived in Victoria with 20 Sappers from 18th Co. at Halifax.

All the Imperial troops on the Pacific Coast are under the command of Lieut.‑General Sir John Ross at Halifax. The laying out and building of the earth and concrete forts was proceeded with.
1895. The building of Fort Macaulay was completed by the R. E.

 p144  May 10th, Flag-Captain F. P. Trench of Royal Arthur, died, and Captain F. Finnis was sent to fill the office.

Surgeon A. S. G. Bell, R. N., came out for duty with detachments of R. M. A. and R. E.'s, and made a host of friends.
1896. May 24th, Point Ellice Bridge disaster, with great loss of life. Large review of Imperial troops and Militia held on Macaulay Plain.

May 31st, H. M. S. Icarus arrived at Esquimalt, after a long passage from Chatham, owing to consistent rough weather and break down of engines; also she made search in the Straits of Magellan for an English steamer supposed lost.

June 7th, removal of powder from Beacon Hill magazine to that at Work Point.​h

June, Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th, two flagships present in Esquimalt Harbour. H. M. S. Royal Arthur relieved by H. M. S. Imperieuse, Flag-Captain C. H. Adair, Rear-Admiral H. St. L. B. Palliser, the new C.‑in‑C. of Station.
1897. The rifle range on Goose Spit at Comox was first used by Officers and ratings of H. M. ships.

October. Rear-Admiral Palliser in H. M. S. Imperieuse sailed to the south to hunt for treasure on Cocos Islands.
1898. January, arrival of H. M. torpedo boat destroyers Sparrowhawk and Virago from Devonport. They had been commissioned for the Jubilee Review at Spithead, and after recommissioning on August 18th, were escorted out by H. M. cruisers Phaeton and Leander. After six years on station proceeded to China Station, escorted in April, 1903, by H. M. S. Amphion to Honolulu, where H. M. S. Amphitrite took over.

February 8th, H. M. survey vessel Egeria, Commander Smythe, arrived from the China Station, where she had served several commissions.
1899. April 11th, Philippine Islands annexed by the United States.

June to September, H. M. S. Egeria, Commander M. H. Smythe, surveying route of projected Pacific Cable to Australia.

 p145  September 28th, Royal Marine Artillery, under Major Trotter, with Captains Barnes and Poole left Victoria for England, after 6 years tour of duty.

September 29th, 19th Company Royal Garrison Artillery, under Major A. E. C. Myers, arrived at Victoria via Vancouver on S. S. Islander.
1900. January, the 48th Company Royal Engineers, Lieut. R. W. B. Bowden, arrived at Victoria from Chatham, to take over the fixed mine defences of the entrance to the harbour.

May 25th, half the 44th Company Royal Engineers, Lieut. G. C. E. Elliott, arrived at Victoria from Chatham to take over the electric lights of the forts.

April, "A" Company of Third Battalion (Special Service), The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, under Lieut.‑Colonel McKay, arrived at Victoria and was quartered at Hospital Point in the Marine Hospital.

October 23rd, presentation of farewell address to Rear-Admiral Sir L. Beaumont on his leaving to hoist his flag on the Australian Station. Mayor C. Hayward presented the address.
1901. October 1st, Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, arrived at Victoria from Vancouver City, on S. S. Empress of India, landing at 11 A.M. at Rithet's wharf. They were escorted and received by H. M. S. Amphion, Phaeton, Condor and Sparrowhawk, also D. G. S. Quadra. They had arrived by train at Vancouver, and left the same city eastbound, on Thursday, 3rd October.

December 1st, Sunday, No. 21 Company Royal Garrison Artillery, under Major W. Gurdon arrived at Victoria from Halifax via Vancouver.

December 3rd, Tuesday, No. 19 Company, R. G. A., under Major Wynne sailed from Victoria on Empress of China. This was the first unit of Imperial troops to leave Victoria for Hong Kong.
1902. May 25th, Saturday,​i Vice-Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge was guest of Rear-Admiral Bickford, and sailed Monday 27th,​j on Empress of Japan to hoist his flag in H. M. S. Glory as C.‑in‑C. China Station.

May 27th, Tuesday, Major-General Sir C. Parsons, G. O. C. troops in Canada, arrived on first visit of inspection. Guest of Colonel Grant at Barracks.  p146 Left on Wednesday, June 4th, after thorough inspection of works and troops.

June 4th, arrival on Empress of Japan of Coronation Contingent from Hong Kong and Singapore, under Major P. A. Chapman of the Hong Kong Volunteers, Assessor of Taxes, Hong Kong, total of 83 of all ranks. Lieut.‑Colonel J. G. Holmes, R. C. A., called on Major Chapman on behalf of the Lieut.‑Governor and two officers from the flagship Grafton called.
1903. January 13th, Siberian Railway opened from Port Arthur to St. Petersburg, round Lake Baikal.

October 15th, Commodore Goodrich appointed to succeed Rear-Admiral Bickford on H. M. S. Grafton.

December 3rd, H. M. S. Flora stranded at Village Point, Denman Island, and salvage vessels sent to her aid.

December 29th, No. 83rd Company R. G. Artillery, under Lieut.‑Colonel Gurdon, left in Empress of India from Victoria for Hong Kong.

December 30th, No. 58 Company R. G. Artillery from Halifax arrived at Victoria, per S. S. Charmer, under Lieut.‑Colonel English.
1904. H. M. S. Grafton, flagship, became a private ship, returned to Portsmouth to pay off and then replace H. M. S. Narcissus as tender to H. M. S. Excellent.

December 9th, H. M. S. Flora arrived at Devonport from Pacific to pay off.
1905. February 28th, Commodore J. E. C. Goodrich lowered his flag on H. M. S. Bonaventure, leaving only H. M. S. Shearwater and Egeria on the Station, under Commander A. T. Hunt, Senior Officer.

March 4th, H. M. S. Bonaventure steamed out of Esquimalt for the China Station, under Captain H. H. Torlesse, to relieve Thetis.
1906. May 17th, the main body of the Imperial Troops, Artillery and Engineers, finally left Victoria for Vancouver in S. S. Charmer at 8 A.M., en route to England.

March 27th, H. R. H. Prince Arthur of Connaught, arrived on S. S. Empress of Japan from the Garter Mission to the Mikado. He spent three days on Vancouver Island before going on to Vancouver for the eastbound train.
 p147  1907. April 15th to May 14th, Colonial conference in London.

July 23rd, Prince Fushimi, G. C. B., a cousin of the Mikado, returning to Japan from Mission to England, arrived at Victoria, via the C. P. R. Sailed the next day in H. M. S. Monmouth, Captain J. A. Tuke, from Esquimalt, for Japan.
1908. June 25th, H. M. sloop Algerine, arrived at Esquimalt, 26 days from Yokohama, on transfer from China Station. Was at once sent on the Bering Sea Seal Patrol, Commander E. H. Edward.

July, visit of H. R. H. Prince of Wales to Quebec in H. M. S. Indomitable, accompanied by H. M. S. Minotaur, Captain H. G. King Hall, A. D. C.
1909. August 9th, arrival at Esquimalt of U. S. Naval Torpedo Flotilla from Alaska, under Lieut. J. G. Church, U. S. N.

October 18th, Portola Festival at San Francisco. H. M. S. Bedford, Captain E. S. Fitzherbert, came over especially from China Station. Other Ships were Shearwater and Algerine. Also ships from Japan, Germany, Italy and Holland.

July, Imperial Defence Conference held in London.
1910. April 1st, Commander G. W. Vivian appointed to H. M. S. Shearwater, as Commander-in‑Charge for station duties on the West Coast of America. This sloop recommissioned at Esquimalt, November 25th.

November 8th, H. M. Canadian ship Rainbow arrived at Esquimalt, Commander J. D. D. Stewart, from Portsmouth via the Straits of Magellan.

November 9th, Transfer of Esquimalt Yard to Canada.

June, Rear-Admiral C. E. Kingsmill appointed from Commanding Marine Service to the Director of Naval Service.
1911. June 24th, Commander W. Hose, appointed to command H. M. C. S. Rainbow, succeeding Commander Stewart.

Early in November, the Navy League Training Ship Egeria, under Captain Eddie, taken by volunteer  p148 crew to Burrard Inlet, to which place she was towed.

May 23rd, Imperial Conference, London.
1912. April 24th, Commander F. H. Walter appointed to Shearwater, and recommissioned her at Esquimalt on 27th November.

April 6th, Commander F. G. St. G. Brooker recommissioned Algerine at Esquimalt.
1913. July 25th to 27th, H. M. battle cruiser New Zealand, Captain Lionel Halsey, arrived at Esquimalt on World Tour. To Vancouver and back to Esquimalt, August 4th to 9th, for landing large party of Marines and Seamen for review by the Lieut.‑Governor on Beacon Hill, along with the 5th Regiment, Canadian Artillery and the 88th Fusiliers.

November 22nd, H. M. S. Suffolk and Berwick left Barbadoes for Tampico and Puerto; while H. M. S. Algerine and Shearwater left Esquimalt for western coast of Mexico to co‑operate with former ships. The Algerine lost a propeller off Cape Flattery.

December 10th, Algerine again recommissioned at Esquimalt, but by an officer of higher rank, namely Captain Robert G. Corbett, who then became the Senior Naval Officer West Coast of America, and who was the first Captain to be so appointed since the departure of Commodore J. E. C. Goodrich on February 28th, 1905.

May 20th, the new lighthouse tender Estevan was first commissioned by Captain C. Barnes. She had been in port two months after arrival from the Collingwood Shipbuilding Company.

August 14th, the Civil Aid Force, detachments of the Militia under Lieut.‑Colonel J. A. Hall, went into being at Nanaimo, etc., to keep order among the coal miners on strike.

July 8th, all the time-expired R. N. Pensioners to the number of 50, on conclusion of their engagement on Rainbow, left for England. This left 30 ratings on the training ship under Lieut. H. B. Pilcher, R. N.

August 30th, R. M. S. Empress of Asia (16,909 tons, and second of name) made her first call at Victoria from Hong Kong.

Thayer's Notes:

a It is far from certain that Juan de Fuca made the voyages that were claimed for him, or even that he actually existed.

The controversy is summarized on a page originally at the Consulate of Greece in Vancouver, which, however, attaches far too much weight to the mid‑19c article by Taylor (onsite in full); as will be seen from my detailed annotations there, my own firm opinion is that a Greek sailor by the name probably did exist, but that he never clapped eyes on the straits named after him, nor even on the Pacific Ocean.

[decorative delimiter]

b The biography of him by Mark Wade is onsite, much of it of course devoted to that crossing: Mackenzie of Canada.

[decorative delimiter]

c Sic. The War between the States started on April 12, 1861.

[decorative delimiter]

d See Jack Bates, History of Work Point Barracks, Part 2, 1887.

[decorative delimiter]

e Bates, op. cit., Part 2, 1889.

[decorative delimiter]

f Bates, op. cit., Part 2, 1890.

[decorative delimiter]

g Bates, op. cit., Part 3, 1894.

[decorative delimiter]

h Bates, op. cit., Part 3, 1896.

[decorative delimiter]

i May 25, 1902 was a Sunday.

[decorative delimiter]

j May 27, 1902 was a Tuesday. In view of the next paragraph, though, with the arrival of another dignitary which surely was not allowed to conflict, Adm. Bridge must have sailed on Monday, May 26.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 5 Feb 22