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Richard Clement Moody

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Clement Moody

Richard Clement Moody (1859).JPG
Richard Clement Moody, 1859
Governor of the Falkland Islands
In office
1 October 1841 – July 1848
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byNone (Moody inaugural holder)
Succeeded byGeorge Rennie
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia
In office
25 December 1858 – July 1863
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byNone (Moody inaugural holder)
Succeeded byFrederick Seymour
Personal details
Born(1813-02-13)13 February 1813
St. Ann's Garrison, Bridgetown, Barbados
Died31 March 1887(1887-03-31) (aged 74)
Bournemouth, England
Resting placeSt Peter's Church, Bournemouth.
Spouse(s)Mary Hawks, daughter of Joseph Hawks JP DL, Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Married 1852.
Children13, 11 of which survived infancy, including:
ParentsColonel Thomas Moody, Kt.; Martha Clement (1784–1868)
ResidenceGovernment House, New Westminster
Alma materRoyal Military Academy, Woolwich
OccupationSoldier; Engineer; Politician; Architect.
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Engineers

His Excellency, Major-General The Honourable Richard Clement Moody FICE FRGS RIBA (13 February 1813 – 31 March 1887) was a British colonial governor, soldier, musician, and architect. He is best known for being the founder and first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, and for being the first British Governor of the Falkland Islands. He has been described by 20th-century British diplomat David Tatham CMG, as an 'Empire builder'.

Moody founded British Columbia as the Colony of British Columbia, having been hand picked to "found a second England on the shores of the Pacific".[1] The Colonial Office under Lord Lytton desired to send to the nascent Colony 'representatives of the best of British culture' who possessed 'courtesy, high breeding and urbane knowledge of the world'[2] and decided to send Moody, whom the British government considered to be the archetype of the 'English gentleman and British Officer',[3] as Commander of the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia, and the first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.

Moody is considered to be the founding father of British Columbia.[4] He selected the site for and founded the new capital of British Columbia, New Westminster, and has been described as 'the real father of New Westminster'.[5] In British Columbia, he also established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park, and named Burnaby Lake after his private secretary Robert Burnaby and Port Coquitlam's 400-foot "Mary Hill" after his wife, Mary.[6] He also designed the first Coat of arms of British Columbia.[7][8] Port Moody in British Columbia, and Moody Park and Moody Square in New Westminster, are named after him.

He was also the first British Governor of the Falkland Islands, whose settlements he planned and built whose and infrastructure he established. He selected the site for and founded Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, and Moody Brook in the Falkland Islands is named after him. Moody Point in Antarctica is also named after him.

During the Crimean War, Moody was Commanding Executive Officer of Malta.

A member of the prominent British Moody family, which made an important contribution to the administration and expansion of the British Empire during the 19th century, Richard Clement was the eldest son of Colonel Thomas Moody, Knight of the Order of Military Merit; the brother of Colonel Hampden Clement Blamire Moody CB, Commander of the Royal Engineers in China and agent of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada; and the father of Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody CB.

Like his brother Hampden Clement, Richard Clement was a polymath who displayed prodigious abilities in mathematics, music, and architectural draughtsmanship from an early age, and who enjoyed both science and the fine arts. He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a Gentleman Cadet at the age of 14, became Head of School the following year, and left school having completed his examinations one year later.

He planned the restoration of Edinburgh Castle on the basis of musical chords, for which he was summoned to Windsor Castle to present his plans to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, both of whom were delighted.[4][9] He has been described as 'a visionary in a plain land' and 'a man who could conceive of Edinburgh Castle in terms of a musical score'.[10]

Birth and Ancestry

Richard Clement was born, in 1813, at St. Ann's Garrison, Bridgetown, Barbados.
Richard Clement was born, in 1813, at St. Ann's Garrison, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Richard Clement Moody was born at St. Ann's Garrison, Barbados, West Indies. He was the third of ten children of Colonel Thomas Moody, Knight of the Order of Military Merit,[11][12][13][14] a scion of a prominent British family,[15] and Martha Clement (1784 - 1868), who was the daughter of Richard Clement (1754 - 1829), a Dutch landowner of land in Barbados,[16] after whom Richard Clement Moody was named,[17] and through whom he was related to the cricketer Reynold Clement.[18]

Richard Clement Moody's siblings included Major Thomas Moody (1809 - 1839);[12] Reverend James Leith Moody (1816 -1896),[19][12][11] Chaplain to Royal Navy in China and to the British Army in the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Malta, and Crimea;[20] Colonel Hampden Clement Blamire Moody CB (1821 - 1869),[12][11] Commander of the Royal Engineers in China[21][22] during the Second Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion; and Shute Barrington Moody[12][11] MICE (b. 1818), an expert on sugar cultivation.[23][24][25] His paternal grandmother was Barbara Blamire, a member of the Blamire family of Cumberland and cousin of the politician William Blamire MP and of the poet Susanna Blamire.[26]


After receiving private tuition, Richard Clement became Head of School at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at 15 years of age.
After receiving private tuition, Richard Clement became Head of School at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at 15 years of age.

Richard Clement was educated by private tutors[16] before he enrolled, at the age of 14, in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a Gentleman Cadet,[7] where he became Head of the School in his second year before leaving the following year. Like his father[15] and his brother Hampden Clement,[27] Richard Clement was a polymath who displayed a prodigious ability in mathematics, music, architectural draughtsmanship from an early age, and sustained a great interest in both science and the fine arts throughout his life.[4]

Overview of military and civil career

Richard Clement trained on the Ordnance Survey in 1829,[16] and, subsequently, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1830.[16] He was promoted to Lieutenant 1835, to Second Captain in 1844, to Captain in 1847, to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1855, to Colonel in 1858, and to Major-General in 1866.[16][11][28]

Moody served with the Ordnance Survey in Ireland from 1832[16] to 1833.[11] He served on St. Vincent from October 1833[11][16] to September 1837,[11] and, subsequently, on a tour the United States, with Sir Charles Felix Smith, from 1837[11] to 1838.[11][16] On his return from the USA, Moody was stationed at Devonport.[11] Moody served as Professor of Fortifications at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich from July 1838[11] to October 1841.[29][11][16]

In October 1841, Moody was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Falkland-Islands: this position was renamed Governor of the Falkland Islands in 1843, when he also became Commander-in-Chief of the Falkland Islands. He served in these positions until July 1848, when he left Stanley, and arrived in England in February 1849.[16][11]

He served as an aide-de-camp to the Colonial Office, on special service,from August 1849.[16] He served at Chatham Dockyard and at Plymouth during 1851.[16][11] Moody was appointed Commanding Royal Engineer of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1852, as which he served until 1854.[16][11] Moody was Executive Officer at Malta, during 1854, during the Crimean War, but was compelled to resign from this post in May 1855[11] as a consequence of ill health.[16] He toured Germany[11] before his appointment as Commander of the Royal Engineers in Scotland in November 1855.[11][16]

Moody was appointed the Commander of the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment; the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia; and the first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, from December 1858 to July 1863.[11][14]

He arrived in England, from British Columbia, in December 1863.[11] He was Commanding Royal Engineer at Chatham Dockyard between 1864 and 1866.[11][4][14][16] He retired from the Army, on full pay, in January 1866. After his retirement from the military, Moody served as a municipal political Commissioner,[11] and expended his time between the various learned societies of which he were a member.[16]

Marriage to Mary Hawks

On 6 July 1852, at St Andrew's Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, Moody married Mary Susannah Hawks of the Hawks industrial dynasty, daughter of merchant banker Joseph Hawks JP DL,[11][16][30] Sheriff of Newcastle,[31] and Mary Boyd of the Boyd merchant banking family. Mary Hawks's maternal uncles included Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly and industrialist Edward Fenwick Boyd.[32]

After their marriage, Richard and Mary Moody embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe, visiting France, Switzerland, and Germany.[29]

Richard Clement Moody named the 400-foot hill in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, "Mary Hill" after his wife, Mary. However, Mary Moody disliked the nascent colony of British Columbia, and described living there as 'roughing it in the bush' relative to living in England.[33] The Royal British Columbia Museum possesses a trove of 42 letters written by Mary Moody from various colonies of the British Empire, mostly from the Colony of British Columbia (1858–66), to her mother and her sister, Emily Hawks, in England.[34] Mary Moody was highly literate, having been tutored in literature, penmanship, and French, and her letters have been of great interest to scholars studying the relationships between British families living in the colonies of the British Empire.[35][36][37]


Richard Clement Moody's eldest son, Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody, CB (1854 - 1930).
Richard Clement Moody's eldest son, Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody, CB (1854 - 1930).

Moody and Mary Hawks had 13 children.[38] Moody is also reported to have fathered at least two further children with his Native American housekeeper which he left in British Columbia.[16] The 13 children of Moody and Mary Hawks were:[38]

  1. Josephine 'Zeffie'[9] Mary (b.1853, Newcastle, d. 1923). A fabric embroiderer based at Fisherton de la Mere, Wiltshire.[39][40] Married Arthur Newall, son of Robert Stirling Newall, in 1883. Had 2 sons, Robert Stanley FSA, (b.1884),[29] an Office of Woods archaeologist who made landmark excavations at Stonehenge with William Hawley,[41] and Basil (b.1885).
  2. Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody CB, Military Knight of Windsor (b. 23 Oct 1854, Malta, - d. 10 March 1930). Married Mary Latimer, 1881, and had four children. His eldest daughter, Mary Latimer, married James Fitzgerald Martin. His youngest daughter, Barbara Bindon, married James William Webb-Jones.[42]
  3. Charles Edmund (b. 1856, Edinburgh). Attended Cheltenham College. Businessman.[43] Married Kate Ellershaw, 1885. Had 3 daughters, the eldest of whom, Kathleen (b.1886) married Sir Donald Kingdon, Chief Justice of the Gold Coast.[44]
  4. Walter Clement (b. 1858, Edinburgh, d. 1936). Married Laura Rynd, 1888.
  5. Susan (b 1860, Government House, New Westminster, British Columbia, d.1940).
  6. Mary (b.1861 Government House, New Westminster, British Columbia, d. 1938).
  7. Margaret (b. 1863, Government House, New Westminster, British Columbia). Married the Rev. Richard Lowndes, 1887. Had 2 sons and 2 daughters.
  8. Captain Henry de Clervaux (b. 1864, d. 13 December 1900, killed in action at Battle of Nooitgedacht, Second Boer War). He was named after his ancestor William Clervaux of Croft, from whom he descended via Sir William Chaytor. He attended Rugby School and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.[45] Served in the Burmese Expedition between 1885-87 with the 2nd Battaltion the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and received the medal with clasp. Served in Second Boer War as aide-de-camp to Major-General Clements, commander of the 12th Infantry Brigade, and was mentioned in despatches on 10 September 1901.[46][47] Married Daisy Leighton. No issue.[48] Buried at Krugersdorp Garden of Remembrance, South Africa, and commemorated at Hereford Cathedral.[49]
  9. Grace (b.1865, d.1947).
  10. Gertrude (b.1869, d.1914).
  11. Major George Robert Boyd (b. 1865, d. 1936). Married Dorothy Wingfield. His daughter, Rosemary Moody (1903 - 1982), married Richard Edward Holford (1909 - 1983), son of Captain Charles Frederick Holford OBE DSO, on 10 August 1935.[50]
  12. Ruth and Rachel (Twins b. 20 April 1870, d. (both) 21 April 1870).[51]

Governor of the Falkland Islands (October 1841 – July 1848)


In 1833 the United Kingdom asserted authority over the Falkland Islands. In 1841, Moody, aged only 28 years, was appointed, on the recommendation of Lord Vivian, to be the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Falkland Islands.[16] It is likely that the illustrious reputation, at the Colonial Office, of Richard Clement Moody's father, Colonel Thomas Moody, Kt., contributed to the Office's decision to appoint him to such an important position at an unprecedentedly young age,[16] and, furthermore, to grant him powers that were exceptional even relative to those possessed by other colonial Governors.[11] Richard Clement Moody departed England, for Falkland, on 1 October 1841.[11][52] This post was renamed Governor of the Falkland Islands in 1843, when Richard Clement also became Commander-in-Chief of the Falkland Islands.[53] Moody was directed by Lord John Russell to exercise an authority of 'influence, persuasion, and example'.[16] Moody left England, for Falkland, on 9 October 1842.[16] When Moody arrived, on board the Hebe,[53] at Port Louis on 16 January 1842,[16] the Falklands was 'almost in a state of anarchy', but he used his powers 'with great wisdom and moderation'[11][4] to develop the Islands' infrastructure.[16]

During his first years on the Islands, Moody's only social equal was his private secretary, Murrell Robinson Robinson [sic], a surveyor and engineer, who was the nephew of one of Moody's tutors.[54] Moody appointed Robinson as a JP in 1843. However, Moody and Robinson had an altercation in March 1845 in which Moody banished Murrell from the Islands, telling Robinson to set out 'axe in hand' for some other colony.[54]

Moody completed a comprehensive General Report of the Falkland Islands for the British Government: it was completed on 14 April 1842 and was sent to London on 3 May.[16] In his General Report, Moody recommended that the Government encourage settlers and promote extensive sheep farming. He estimated the population of sheep to be 40,000 in 1842 and encouraged the Government to import quality stock from Britain to be crossed with the local breeds: this policy was implemented to considerable success and was adopted by future settlers.[52]

The botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, who arrived on the Islands with the expedition of James Clark Ross, described Moody as 'a very active and intelligent young man, most anxious to improve the colony and gain every information [sic] respecting its products'. Moody granted Hooker full use of his personal library, which Hooker described as 'excellent',[55] and the two developed a close friendship.[56]

George Thomas Whitington had attempted to force Moody to travel to the Falkland Islands in his brig Alarm: Moody refused to acquiesce, and, thereby, provoked a feud between the Moody family and the Whitington family – which included John Bull Whitington in the Falkland Islands – that continued for his entire term as Governor of the Falkland Islands. Whitington criticised Moody in the Colonial Magazine of November 1844.[16]

The Foundation of Stanley

Almost directly after Moody's arrival in 1842 the Antarctic Expedition of Sir James Clark Ross sailed into Port Louis. Ross advised Moody that he should choose for his capital a site that was more easily accessible to sailing ships than Port Louis.[57] Moody followed his advice and investigated the suitability of Port William, which had been recommended by Lord John Russell,[53] which Moody concluded to be the best site for the new capital of the Falkland Islands. He renamed the site Port Stanley after Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, and founded and developed the city, to which he moved his administration moved in 1845.[16] Moody designed Government House in Stanley, although his design was only completed in 1850, one year after he had returned to England. Sir James Ross subsequently named Moody Point, off Joinville Island in Antarctica, after Richard Clement Moody.[58]

In Falkland, Moody levied a tax on alcohol, without any authorisation from London, and, because there was a lack of currency on the island, issued his own currency, of promissory notes, also without authorisation from London. Both measures resolved immediate problems on the Islands, but Moody was criticized in Parliament, by Sir William Molesworth, 8th Baronet, for the latter.[16]

In June 1843, when Moody's office was renamed 'Governor' (from Lieutenant-Governor), Moody was instructed by the Colonial Office to establish a colonial administration with a Legislative Council and an Executive Council.[16] The records of Moody’s 'conscientious' and 'impressive' administration of Falkland are held in the Jane Cameron National Archives in Stanley.[52]

Moody enacted laws, collected duties and taxes, and enforced order. He asked the British authorities for a doctor, a magistrate, and a chaplain: all three were dispatched, the latter being Richard Clement’s brother, James Leith Moody,[19] who arrived in October 1845, proved himself to be 'querluous and eccentric', and engaged in a feud with his brother.[16] Richard Clement established residences, Government offices, a barracks, a new road system, docks, a court of law, a gaol, a school, a church, a graveyard, and a police force.[16] He established the requested Executive Council and a Legislative Council in 1845, each consisting of British officials, merchants, and local landowners.[52][16] Moody's activities were impeded by the incompetence of several members of his administration, and he dismissed several of them.[16]

Moody was also damning of the original community on the Islands, but praised his Royal Engineers: he wrote, our community... chiefly composed of men of the lowest class, formerly seamen in whale ships & sealers, foreigners and Spanish gauchos... the only persons opposed to such wretched material for the formation of a colony are the 5 or 6 gentlemen and the detachment of Royal Sappers and Miners.[16]

When Moody's father was posted, from the Colonial Office, to Guernsey, and Henry Grey, 3rd Earl Grey became Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, both in 1846, the Colonial Office became less sympathetic to Richard Clement.[16]


In 1845, animosity on the River Plate between the British and the French fleets and the Argentine Government of Juan Manuel de Rosas provoked Moody to request an artillery contingent from Britain and to raise his own militia using his Royal Engineers to train the local population. In 1891, the militia founded by Moody was renamed the Falkland Islands Volunteer Force: it was later renamed again to the Falkland Islands Defence Force, and it saw action in both World Wars and during the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982,[52] when, coincidentally, one of the focal points of the Argentine offensive was Moody Brook, named after Richard Clement.

Permanent infrastructure

Moody’s authoritarian approach caused antipathy between him and his subordinates, especially his unbalanced brother James Leith, the Chaplain to the British Force in the Islands. However, from the perspective of the British Government, Richard Clement Moody's tenure was an overwhelming success, the result of which has been 180 years of British administration of the islands.[52]

In 1994, to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Stanley, Moody, together with James Clark Ross and Lord Stanley, was commemorated on the Falkland Islands stamps issued.[16][53] Government House in Stanley, which was designed by Moody, featured on the stamps issued in 1933, to commemorate the Centenary, on those issued in 1983, to commemorate 150 years of British administration of the Islands, and on those issued in 1996 to commemorate the visit, in January of that year, by Princess Anne.[53] Moody Brook is named after Richard Clement.[59]

In 1845 Moody introduced tussock grass into Great Britain from Falkland, for which he received the gold medal of the Royal Agricultural Society.[11][59] Moody wrote an account of tussock grass in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society (IV.17, V.50,VII.73).[11] The Coat of arms of the Falkland Islands notably includes an image of tussock grass.[60]

Moody left the Falkland Islands, for England, on HM Transport Nautilus, in July 1848.[16] Moody arrived in England in February 1849.[59][11]

Britain and Malta (February 1849 - October 1858)

Moody arrived in England in February 1849.[11] He served as an aide-de-camp to the Colonial Office, on special service, from August 1849.[16] During this period, Richard Clement tended to his father, Colonel Thomas Moody, Kt..[29]

Richard Clement Moody served at Chatham Dockyard and at Plymouth during 1851.[16][11] Moody was appointed Commanding Royal Engineer of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1852, as which he served until 1854.[16][11] During Moody's appointment in this position, a great reservoir at Holmfirth, Yorkshire, burst, on 5 February 1852, and destroyed life and property, and Moody was employed to direct the relief effort and to inspect the other reservoirs in the district.[11] Moody was promoted to Regimental Colonel on 8 December 1853.[11]

Moody was appointed Executive Officer of Malta, during 1854, during the Crimean War. Whilst at Malta, his eldest son, Richard Stanley Hawks Moody, later a distinguished Colonel in the British Army, was born, on 23 October 1854, at Strada Reale, Valletta.[29] However, Richard Clement Moody was compelled to resign from his post in May 1855[11] as a consequence of having contracted Yellow Fever.[16]

He toured Germany[11] before his appointment as Commander of the Royal Engineers in Scotland in November 1855, as which he served until October 1858.[11][16] Moody enjoyed the intellectual society at Edinburgh, whilst in Scotland,[16] met some of the most learned men of the age in both science and the fine arts,[4] and became involved in various architectural projects.[16]

Musical Plan for Edinburgh Castle and Queen Victoria

Moody displayed prodigious musical abilities from an early age. Whilst in Germany, after his resignation from his position at Malta, he drew up plans for the restoration of Edinburgh Castle that were based on a musical architectural principle in which measurements were made 'drawn to musical chords'.[4][3][11] He has been described as 'a visionary in a plain land' and 'a man who could conceive of Edinburgh Castle in terms of a musical score'.<[10] His plans so impressed Lord Panmure that he was invited to Windsor Castle to present them to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, both of whom were talented musicians and both of whom were delighted.[4][9][11][16] The implementation of Moody's plans was disrupted by the retirement of Lord Panmure and they were never implemented. They are retained at the War Office, where 'they still remain a memorial to Moody's talent'.[4]

Founder and first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia (October 1858 - July 1863)


Moody was hand-picked by Lord Lytton to found British Columbia. Lytton considered Moody to be the archetypal 'English gentleman and British Officer'.
Moody was hand-picked by Lord Lytton to found British Columbia. Lytton considered Moody to be the archetypal 'English gentleman and British Officer'.
Moody selected Freemason Robert Burnaby to serve as his Private Secretary, and named Burnaby Lake after him.
Moody selected Freemason Robert Burnaby to serve as his Private Secretary, and named Burnaby Lake after him.

When news of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush reached London, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Secretary of State for the Colonies, requested that War Office recommend a field officer who were 'a man of good judgement possessing a knowledge of mankind' to lead a Corps of 150 (later increased to 172) Royal Engineers who had been selected for their 'superior discipline and intelligence'.[7] The War Office chose Moody: and Lord Lytton, who described Moody as his 'distinguished friend',[61] accepted their nomination, as a consequence of Moody's military record, his success as Governor of the Falkland Islands, and the distinguished record of his father, Colonel Thomas Moody, Knight, at the Colonial Office.[7] Moody was charged to establish British order and to transform the newly established Colony of British Columbia (1858–66) into the British Empire's "bulwark in the farthest west"[62] and "found a second England on the shores of the Pacific".[61][1] Lytton desired to send to the colony 'representatives of the best of British culture, not just a police force': he sought men who possessed 'courtesy, high breeding and urbane knowledge of the world'[2] and he decided to send Moody, whom the Government considered to be the archetypal 'English gentleman and British Officer'[3] at the head of the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment. Moody's brother, Colonel Hampden Clement Blamire Moody, had already served with the Royal Engineers in British Columbia, from 1840 to 1848,[63] to such success that he had been subsequently granted command of the Regiment across the entirety of China.[64]

Richard Clement and his family - which then consisted of his wife and four children - left England, for British Columbia, in October 1858, and arrived in British Columbia in December 1858,[16] with the 172 Royal Engineers of the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment under his command.[16] He was sworn in as the first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia.[16] On the advice of Lytton, Moody hired Robert Burnaby as his personal secretary, and the two became close friends.

Moody's letter to his friend Arthur Blackwood Esq. at the Colonial Office, dated 1 February 1859, contains several passages of sublime poetical description that demonstrate the qualities for which he was preferred.[65][3]

Ned McGowan's War

Moody had hoped to begin immediately the foundation of a capital city, but on his arrival at Fort Langley, he learned of an outbreak of violence, at the settlement of Hill's Bar, that was led by a notorious outlaw, Ned McGowan, and involved a group of restive gold miners.[16] Moody suppressed the rebellion, which became popularly known as "Ned McGowan's War", without loss of life.[16] Moody describes the incident thus:

"The notorious Ned McGowan, of Californian celebrity at the head of a band of Yankee Rowdies defying the law! Every peaceable citizen frightened out of his wits!—Summons & warrants laughed to scorn! A Magistrate seized while on the Bench, & brought to the Rebel's camp, tried, condemned, & heavily fined! A man shot dead shortly before! Such a tale to welcome me at the close of a day of great enjoyment."[66]

Moody enjoyed a warm reception for his success that he describes thus: "They gave me a Salute, firing off their loaded Revolvers over my head—Pleasant—Balls whistling over one's head! as a compliment! Suppose a hand had dropped by accident! I stood up, & raised my cap & thanked them in the Queen's name for their loyal reception of me".[67]

Moody was the founder of British Columbia
Moody was the founder of British Columbia

The Foundation of New Westminster

In British Columbia, Moody 'wanted to build a city of beauty in the wilderness' and planned his city as an iconic visual metaphor for British dominance, 'styled and located with the objective of reinforcing the authority of the Crown and of the robe'.[68] Subsequent to the enactment of the Pre-emption Act of 1860, Moody settled the Lower Mainland. He selected the site and founded the new capital, New Westminster.[16] In British Columbia, he was described as 'the real father of New Westminster'[5] He selected the site, which was a dense forest of Douglas pine,[11] due to the strategic excellence of its position and the quality of its port.[68] He was also struck by the majestic beauty of the site, writing in his letter to Blackwood,

"The entrance to the Frazer is very striking--Extending miles to the right & left are low marsh lands (apparently of very rich qualities) & yet fr the Background of Superb Mountains-- Swiss in outline, dark in woods, grandly towering into the clouds there is a sublimity that deeply impresses you. Everything is large and magnificent, worthy of the entrance to the Queen of England's dominions on the Pacific mainland. [...] My imagination converted the silent marshes into Cuyp-like pictures of horses and cattle lazily fattening in rich meadows in a glowing sunset. [...] The water of the deep clear Frazer was of a glassy stillness, not a ripple before us, except when a fish rose to the surface or broods of wild ducks fluttered away".[65][69]

Moody likened his vision of the nascent Colony of British Columbia to the pastoral scenes painted by Aelbert Cuyp
Moody likened his vision of the nascent Colony of British Columbia to the pastoral scenes painted by Aelbert Cuyp

Moody founded New Westminster,[11] but Lord Lytton, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, 'forgot the practicalities of paying for clearing and developing the site and the town' and the efforts of Moody's Engineers were continuously hampered by insufficient funds, which, together with the continuous opposition of Douglas, 'made it impossible for [Moody's] design to be fulfilled'.[70]

Moody designed the roads and the various settlements of New Westminster,[11] and his Royal Engineers, under Captain J.M. Grant,[11] built an extensive road network, including what would become Kingsway, which connected New Westminster to False Creek; the North Road between Port Moody and New Westminster; the Pacific terminus, at Burrard's Inlet, at Port Moody, of the Canadian and Pacific Railway (which has subsequently been extended to the mouth of the Inlet and now terminates at Vancouver);[11] the Cariboo Road; and Stanley Park. He named Burnaby Lake after his private secretary Robert Burnaby and named Port Coquitlam's 400-foot "Mary Hill" after his wife. Port Moody was established by Richard Clement, at the end of the trail that connected New Westminster with Burrard Inlet, to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the US: it was, subsequently, named after him.[11] Moody also established a townsite at Hastings, which was later absorbed into Vancouver.[71] As part of the survey by the Royal Engineers, multiple tracts were designated as government reserves, including Stanley Park, an important strategic area that would have proven to be invaluable in the event of an American invasion, which was specified as a military reserve. The Pre-emption Act did not specify conditions for the distribution of the land, and, consequently, so large areas were bought by speculators.[7]

Moody requisitioned 3,750 acres (1,517 hectares) for himself,[7] and, on this land, he subsequently built for himself, and owned, Mayfield, a model farm near New Westminster.[71] Moody was criticized by local newspapermen for land grabbing,[7] but the activity was ordered by the Colonial Office.[16] Moody's 5th, 6th, and 7th children, all daughters, were born at Government House, New Westminster. He is also thought to have fathered at least two illegitimate children with his Native American housekeeper.[16]

Throughout his duty in British Columbia, Moody stimulated the favour of the colonists and the approbation of the authorities in London.[11]

Moody designed the first Coat of arms of British Columbia.[7][8]

The Feud with Governor Douglas

Throughout his tenure in British Columbia, Moody was engaged in a bitter feud with Sir James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver Island, whose jurisdiction overlapped with his own. Moody's position as Chief Commissioner and Lieutenant-Governor was one of 'higher prestige [and] lesser authority' than that of Douglas, despite Moody's vastly superior social position in the eyes of the Engineers and the British Government, which had selected Moody to "out manoeuvre the old Hudson's Bay Factor [Douglas]".[72][73] Moody had been selected by Lord Lytton to due to his possession of the quality of the archetypal "English gentleman and British Officer", his family was "eminently respectable": he was the son of Colonel Thomas Moody, Kt., one of the wealthiest mercantilists in the West Indies, who owned much of the land in the islands where Douglas's father owned a small amount of land and from which Douglas's mother, "a half-breed", originated. Governor Douglas's ethnicity and made him "an affront to Victorian society".[74] Mary Moody, the descendant of the Hawks industrial dynasty and the Boyd merchant banking family,[32] wrote, on 4 August 1859, "it is not pleasant to serve under a Hudson's Bay Factor", and that the "Governor and Richard can never get on".[75] John Robson, the editor of the British Columbian, wanted Moody to become Governor of British Columbia, replacing Douglas.[7] In letter to the Colonial Office of 27 December 1858, Richard Clement Moody boasts that he has "entirely disarmed [Douglas] of all jealously".[76] Douglas repeatedly insulted the Engineers by attempting to assume their command[77] and refusing to acknowledge their value in the nascent colony.[78]

Margaret A. Ormsby, author of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography entry for Moody (2002), condemns Moody for a contribution to the abortive development of the city.[7] However, almost all other historianswho have assessed Moody have considered him favourably, have exonerated him from culpability for the abortive development of New Westminster, and consider his achievement to be impressive, especially with regard to the perpetual insufficiency of funds and the personally motivated opposition of Douglas, whose opposition to the project continually retarded its development.[79] Robert Burnaby observed that Douglas proceeded with "muddling [Moody's] work and doubling his expenditure"[72] and with employing administrators to "work a crooked policy against Moody" to "retard British Columbia and build up... the stronghold of Hudson's Bay interests" and their own "landed stake".[80] Therefore, Robert Edgar Cail,[81] Don W. Thomson,[82] Ishiguro, and Scott have praised Moody for his contribution, the latter accusing Ormsby of being 'adamant in her dislike of Colonel Moody' despite the evidence,[83] and almost all biographies of Moody, including those of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Royal Engineers, and the British Columbia Historical Association, are flattering.

Moody's departure

Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment was disbanded in July 1863. The Moody family - now consisting of Moody, his wife, and seven legitimate children -[16] and the 22 Royal Engineers who wished to return to England, who had 8 wives between them - departed for England.[16] 130 of the original Columbia Detachment decided to remain in British Columbia.[7] Scott contends that the dissolution of the Columbia Detachment, and the consequent departure of Moody, 'doomed' the development of the settlement and the fruition of Lord Lytton's dream.[84]

A vast crowd of New Westminster citizens gathered at the dock to bid farewell to Moody as his boat departed for England. Moody always dreamed of returning to British Columbia, but he died before he was able to do so.[85] Moody left his library behind, in New Westminster, to become the public library of New Westminster.[16][7]

Events after Moody’s departure

In April 1863, the Councillors of New Westminster decreed that an area of 20 acres in the suburbs should be reserved and named Moody Square in honour of Richard Clement. The area around Moody Square, eventually completed only in 1889, has also been named Moody Park in his honour.[86] Numerous developments have occurred in and around Moody Park, including Century House, which was opened by Princess Margaret on 23 July 1958. In 1984, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of New Westminster, a monument in honour of Richard Clement Moody, at the entrance of the park, was unveiled by Mayor Tom Baker.[87]

In January 2014, with the support of the Friends of the British Columbia Archives and of the Royal British Columbia Museum Foundation, the Royal British Columbia Museum purchased a photograph album that had belonged to Richard Clement. The album contains over 100 photographs of the early settlement of British Columbia, including some of the earliest known photographs of First Nations peoples.[88]

For Moody's achievements in the Falkland Islands and in British Columbia, British diplomat David Tatham CMG, who served as Governor of the Falkland Islands, has described Moody as an 'Empire builder'.[16]

Britain (December 1863 - March 1887)

Moody arrived in England, from British Columbia, in December 1863.[11] In March 1864, Moody was appointed Commanding Royal Engineer at Chatham Dockyard,[11][4][14][16] as which he served until January 1866.[11] On 25 January 1866, Richard Clement was promoted to Major-General, and, subsequently, retired from the Army, on full pay, later that month.[11] After his retirement from the military, Moody served as a Municipal Commissioner,[11] and expended his time between the various learned societies of which he were a member.[16]

Richard Clement was one of the earliest members of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Richard Clement was one of the earliest members of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Richard Clement was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 23 April 1839, and was therefore one of its oldest members. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Member of the Royal Agricultural Society an Honorary Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects.[16][4]

Moody's personal friends included the politician and novelist Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton,[61] and the biologist Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker.[56]

During his retirement, Moody lived at Caynham Court, Ludlow, Shropshire and later at Fairfield House, Charmouth, Lyme Regis.[29][11] Richard Clement Moody died at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth on 31 March 1887,[11] whilst visiting Bournemouth with his daughter,[16] and was buried at St Peter's Church, Bournemouth.[29] He was not able to fulfil his dream of returning to British Columbia. He left over £24,000 in money, a vast sum in the Victorian age, in addition to his estates.[16]



  1. ^ a b Barman, Jean (2007). The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia. University of Toronto Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4426-9184-1.
  2. ^ a b Scott (1983), p. 13.
  3. ^ a b c d Scott (1983), p. 19.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume 90, Issue 1887, 1887, pp. 453-455, OBITUARY. MAJOR-GENERAL RICHARD CLEMENT MOODY, R.E., 1813-1887.
  5. ^ a b Edward, Mallandaine (1887). The British Columbia Directory, containing a General Directory of Business Men and Householders…. E. Mallandaine and R. T. Williams, Broad Street, Victoria, British Columbia. p. 215 in New Westminster District Directory.
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