Frederick Seymour

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Frederick Seymour
Frederick Seymour Governor of British Columbia.jpg
Seymour, as Governor of British Columbia
Governor of Crown Colony of British Columbia
In office
Preceded by James Douglas
Succeeded by position abolished
Governor of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia
In office
Succeeded by Anthony Musgrave
Personal details
Born (1820-09-06)6 September 1820
Belfast, Ireland
Died 10 June 1869(1869-06-10) (aged 48)
Bella Coola, British Columbia
Occupation colonial administrator

Frederick Seymour (6 September 1820 – 10 June 1869) was a colonial administrator. He served as the second Governor of the Colony of British Columbia from 1864 to 1866, and the first governor of the union of the two colonies, also named the Colony of British Columbia from 1866 to 1869.

Seymour was the son of Henry Augustus Seymour, who was himself the illegitimate son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 2nd Marquess of Hertford. Upon the latter's death in 1822, Seymour's father was forced to surrender his civil service position and property, and leave Ireland for Belgium. In 1842, Prince Albert helped secure a position for Seymour in the colonial service. For the next twenty years, he served in various positions in a series of colonies mired in political and economic difficulties: Van Diemen's Land, Antigua, Nevis, British Honduras, and the Bay Islands.

In 1864, Seymour attained the apogee of his colonial career as successor to Sir James Douglas as Governor of the Colony of British Columbia. He inherited an administration deeply in debt, and a restless population of British colonists demanding responsible government. Seymour continued his predecessor's initiative of building wagon roads into the gold mining districts of the Cariboo, and quickly responded to the attack by Tsilhqot'in warriors on the rest of a road party they had been persuaded to join, in which a party of road workers at up the Homathko River beyond the head of Bute Inlet. He resisted, however, pressure to amalgamate British Columbia with the Colony of Vancouver Island to consolidate the revenue and debts of the two colonies and reduce administration costs. Eventually he relented, and the colonies were united in 1866. Seymour was named governor of the new united colony.

The next three years were unhappy ones for Seymour as he battled a succession of illnesses and faced an increasingly restless population. After Canadian Confederation in 1867, sentiment turned strongly towards the colony seeking admission as a province of Canada. Seymour was lukewarm to the proposal, but regained much of the goodwill he had lost by successfully improving both the economy and infrastructure of the colony, culminating in the construction of a graving dock at Esquimalt.

His term slated to end in 1869, Seymour made one last journey as governor to the Nass River, on the northwest coast of the colony, to mediate a dispute between First Nations tribes. While returning, he became ill with dysentery and died at Bella Coola.

Places named for Seymour[edit]

  • Mount Seymour is a peak, a provincial park, and ski hill located in the Coast Mountains northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia. There are two other, much lower, Mount Seymours; one on Quadra Island, offshore from the town of Campbell River, the other on Moresby Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
  • There are two watercourses named the Seymour River. One flows from Mt. Seymour to Burrard Inlet, and the other into Shuswap Lake.
  • Seymour Arm is an arm of Shuswap Lake, British Columbia.
  • Seymour Inlet is located in a maze of inlets on the north flank of Queen Charlotte Strait.
  • Frederick Sound are located on the northern British Columbia coast opposite the Queen Charlotte Islands.
  • There are two bands of mountains named the Seymour Range in British Columbia. One is located on Southern Vancouver Island, and the other north of Shuswap Lake in the upper reaches of the Seymour River, at the head of which there is a Seymour Pass.
  • Seymour Street is a major north-south artery in downtown Vancouver, bounded to the south by the Granville Street Bridge, and to the north by Cordova Street.
  • Seymour Landing on Seymour Bay, on the southeast coast of Bowen Island, just west of West Vancouver.
  • Seymour Island, an islet in Sunderland Channel on the north coast of Hardwicke Island, in the Johnstone Strait area between Vancouver Island and the mainland to the north of it.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Willoughby J. Shortland
President of Nevis
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Rumbold
Preceded by
William Stevenson
Superintendent of British Honduras
position abolished
New title Lieutenant Governor of British Honduras
Succeeded by
John Gardiner Austin
Preceded by
Sir James Douglas
Governor of Crown Colony of British Columbia
position abolished
New title Governor of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Musgrave