Barry M. Gough

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Barry Morton Gough
Born (1938-09-17) 17 September 1938 (age 76)
Victoria, British Columbia
Occupation maritime and naval historian

Barry Morton Gough (born 17 September 1938) is a Canadian maritime and naval historian. In several hundred articles and reviews and more than a dozen books, he has worked to recast and reaffirm the imperial foundations of Canadian history.[1] Active in national and international venues,[2] Gough has made in the British Columbia context a number of monographic contributions to ethnohistory, cross-cultural relations, patterns of missionary acceptance among Northwest Coast peoples, frontier–borderland studies and environmental history.[3]


Gough was educated at Victoria High School, the University of British Columbia, the University of Montana and King's College London. He was tutored in the maritime foundations of imperial history by G. S. Graham, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History in the University of London.[4] In addition to his earned doctorate, Gough was awarded the D.Litt. from University of London for distinguished contributions to Imperial and Commonwealth history. His thesis research on the Esquimalt naval base and British strategic matters in the North Pacific was published in 1971 as The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America.[5]

Teaching and consulting[edit]

Initially on the teaching staff of Vic High in Victoria, B.C., Gough became in turn Lecturer, Assistant and Associate Professor, Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and Co-director of the Centre for Pacific Northwest Studies. From 1972 to 2004 at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., he was Associate Professor, Professor and University Research Professor. Founding director of Canadian Studies at Laurier, he was Assistant Dean of Arts from 2000-2003 and on retirement was appointed University Professor Emeritus.[6]

His printed studies are used in a variety of academic curricula and teaching contexts.[7] One such example, from 1998, is "Possessing Meares Island" in The Journal of Canadian Studies.[8] Gough was advisory editor to Macmillan Publishing for World Explorers and Discoverers (1992)[9]) and to Scribner’s for Explorers: From Ancient Times to the Space Age (1998),[10] and was editor of the magazine American Neptune based at Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts (1997-2003).[11]

His contract work in history has included Great Lakes shipwrecks research, the Meares Island case for the Nuu Chah Nulth, and the Alaska inland waters case on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice.[12]

Since 2007, he has been Adjunct Professor of War Studies and History, Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont.[13] Gough has had visiting appointments and lectureships at University of Otago, Duke University, the University of British Columbia, Australian National University, University of Natal, National University of Singapore, King's College University of London, and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, U.K.

Affiliations and affinities[edit]

Barry Gough is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of Kings College London, UK, and Archives By-Fellow Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. He is Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and Honorary Research Associate, Malaspina Research Centre, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, B.C. He is also a Serving Brother of the Order of St. John.

He is Past President of the British Columbia Historical Federation, Past President of the Canadian Nautical Research Society, Past President of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island,[14] and past member of the Board of Academic Advisers, The Churchill Centre, Chicago.[15] He is a Life Member of the Association of Canadian Studies, founding member of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States and past chair of the joint committee, American Historical Association – Canadian Historical Association. He lectures on maritime and naval topics and on Canadian history and public affairs.

Gough is Chair, Victoria High School Alumni Association, and is actively engaged in advancing the interests of the Maritime Museum of BC and Craigdarroch Castle Heritage Society in Victoria, B.C., and of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, B.C. He is a long-term member of the non-profit society Universal Jazz Advocates and Mentors (U-JAM)[16] and, as jazz clarinettist, played the Victoria International JazzFest 2014.


Gough has received the Psi Upsilon Distinguished Service Alumnus Award, the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Hoffmann-Little Award for Outstanding Teaching,[17] the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal[18] and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[19] In November 2014, Her Honour Judith Guichon, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, presented Dr. Gough with the Maritime Museum of B.C.'s 2014 SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence.[20]

His writings have won critical acclaim and awards within Canada and abroad. Prizes have included the Clio Prize of the Canadian Historical Association[21] and medals, awards and honourable mentions from various organizations: the North American Society for Oceanic History,[22] the Writers Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize,[23] the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, B.C. Book Prizes, and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing given by the British Columbia Historical Federation.[24]Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History was chosen by the Canadian Nautical Research Society for its 2010 Keith Matthews Award, named in honour of the society's first president to recognize outstanding publications in the field of nautical research. Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-1890 won the same award in 1985, and The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and Discoveries to 1812 earned honourable mention in 1993.[25]

Published works[edit]

Gough had three new titles published in 2014, one each from Heritage House, Douglas & McIntyre and Palgrave Macmillan. His 1997 life of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, First Across the Continent, continues as a central contribution to the study of North American exploration in the 18th and 19th centuries.[26]

Selected bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Works by or about Barry M. Gough in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  2. ^ International Who’s Who 2004, entry at "Gough, Barry Morton"; Europa Publications/Routledge, p. 634; online here; retrieved 2011-02-02.
  3. ^ Inventory of work, University of Victoria Libraries, Victoria, B.C., search term "Barry M. Gough," online here; retrieved 2011-02-22.
  4. ^ G. S. Graham (University of London), 1964 lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, School of History and Anthropology, "An epoch of Maritime Empire: the nineteenth century," published as ‘’The politics of naval supremacy: Studies in British Maritime Ascendancy’’ (Cambridge, 1965); online here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  5. ^ W. Kaye Lamb on The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 by Barry M. Gough, BC Studies, No. 12 (Winter 1971/72), pp. 75-78; online here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  6. ^ Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont., Barry Gough fonds online here; retrieved 2011-02-09. The Canadian Studies curriculum was brought within the North American Studies program as of the academic year 2008/2009; Laurier Faculty of Arts homepage here; retrieved 2011-05-10.
  7. ^ Teaching material ranges from young adult non-fiction in the Scribner Science Reference Series (Geography and Exploration – Biographical Portraits, Barry M. Gough, ed.; online here; retrieved 2011-02-24) to coursework for civilian and military personnel in the DNDLearn modules, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ont., online here; retrieved 2011-02-26.
  8. ^ Gough, Barry M., "Possessing Meares Island," Journal of Canadian Studies, 1 July 1998 (Trent University, Peterborough, Ont.); online here; retrieved 2011-02-21.
  9. ^ Bohlander, Richard E., ed., World Explorers and Discoverers (New York: Macmillan, 1992); bibliography and reading list online here; retrieved 2011-02-24.
  10. ^ Explorers sequence, information here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  11. ^ As editor-in-chief of The American Neptune: Maritime History and Arts, refer here; for museum context, refer here; retrieved 2011-02-23.
  12. ^ The case reference can be found here; retrieved 2011-03-01.
  13. ^ Letter of appointment as adjunct professor of history, War Studies, RMC (online listings password-protected); course readings for HIE208 Canadian Military History (2010), Module 2, Week 3, Barry Gough and Roger Sarty, "Sailors and Soldiers: The Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Forces, and the Defence of Atlantic Canada, 1890-1914"; online here; retrieved 2011-02-26.
  14. ^ Gough address at Churchill birthday event 30 November 2005: "Titans at the Admiralty: Sir Winston and Admiral Lord Fisher"; speakers archive online here; retrieved 2011-02-17. Churchill Foundation Vancouver Island,
  15. ^ Readings and reviews at Churchill Centre, Chicago online here; retrieved 2011-03-02.
  16. ^ Gough was 2012 president of U-JAM. Laura Lavin, "Gallery gets jazzy," Saanich News, 27 Jan 2012, A-13; online here; retrieved 2012-02-28.
  17. ^ Psi Upsilon Distinguished Service Alumnus Award, discussed online here; retrieved 2011-01-30; the Hoffmann-Little Award for Outstanding Teaching, online here; retrieved 2011-01-30.
  18. ^ Honours recipients, website of the Governor General of Canada, retrieved 2014-11-25 at
  19. ^ Churchill Foundation Vancouver Island, newsletter 30 Aug 2012, "Barry Gough, recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, to give Presentation at Victoria Golf Club," retrieved 2012-10-17 at
  20. ^ Katherine Dedyna, "Maritime historian honoured for his work," Times Colonist, 27 Nov 2014, A-6; retrieved 2014-11-27 at; co-honourees Leonard McCann and Captain Tom McCullogh received their medals earlier at the Vancouver Maritime Museum; award recognition was also given in Victoria to the Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Sciences (ROPOS). Staff, "SS Beaver medals awarded to Vancouver-based recipients," BC Shipping News, 29 Oct 2014, retrieved 2014-11-26 at
  21. ^ CHA's Clio Prize criteria, at here; retrieved 2011-03-02; Dundurn citation, including Clio Prize : "Barry Gough, sailor-historian, is past president of the Organization for the History of Canada and the Official Historian of HMCS Haida, Canada's most decorated warship. His acclaimed books on the Royal Navy and British Columbia have received numerous prizes, including the prestigious Clio Award of the Canadian Historical Association";; retrieved 2011-03-02.
  22. ^ The North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) gives the John Lyman Book Awards annually for books published in six categories of the maritime history field. Gough's Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America (Harbour Publishing) was 2007 winner in category “Canadian Naval and Maritime History”; Through Water, Ice and Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812 (Dundurn Press) received a 2006 Honourable Mention in category “Canadian Naval and Maritime History”; and Fur Traders from New England: The Boston Men in the North Pacific, 1787-1800 (Arthur H. Clark Co.) was 1997 winner in the category “Primary Source Materials, Reference Works, and Guide Books”; discussion of awards online here; retrieved 2011-02-19.
  23. ^ Writers Trust of Canada list online here
  24. ^ B.C. Historical Federation criteria online here; retrieved 2011-02-27; and list of winners online here; retrieved 2011-02-02.
  25. ^ Entry on 1993 awards list for Keith Matthews Prize, Canadian Nautical Research Society, retrieved 2014-11-25 at; CNRS award citation text on website of Pen and Sword Books, ref. ISBN 978-1-84832-077-2, online here, retrieved 2011-10-05.
  26. ^ Mackenzie's overland explorations to the Arctic and Pacific coasts are discussed by Jamie Morton, writing on Gough’s First Across the Continent: online here; retrieved 2011-02-21.
  27. ^ Fortune's a River context here; retrieved 2011-02-27.

External links[edit]