Richard Clement Moody

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His Excellency, Major-General
Richard Clement Moody
Richard Clement Moody (1859).JPG
Richard Clement Moody, 1859
Governor of the Falkland Islands (1841-1848)[a], Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia (as Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia and Officer commanding Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment) (1858-1863)
Monarch Queen Victoria
Personal details
Born (1813-02-13)13 February 1813
Barbados, West Indies.
Died 31 March 1887(1887-03-31) (aged 74)
Bournemouth, England
Resting place St Peter's Church, Bournemouth.
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Mary Hawks, daughter of Joseph Hawks JP DL of Jesmond House, Newcastle upon Tyne. Married 1852.
Relations Benedictus Marwood Kelly, James William Webb-Jones
Children 13, 11 of which survived infancy, including Richard Stanley Hawks Moody
Parents Thomas Moody, Martha Clement
Residence Government House, New Westminster
Alma mater Royal Military Academy, Woolwich
Occupation Major-General in British Army, Colonel in Royal Engineers, Politician, Architect.
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army and Royal Engineers.
Rank Major-General in British Army, Colonel in Royal Engineers.
Commands Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment
a. ^ Until 1843, the official title was Lieutenant-Governor of the Falkland Islands

Major-General Richard Clement Moody (13 February 1813 – 31 March 1887) was a British imperial Governor. He was the first Governor of the Falkland Islands, the founder of the Colony of British Columbia (1858–66), and first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia. He selected the site for and founded Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, and selected the site for and founded the new capital of British Columbia, New Westminster. In British Columbia, he also established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park and named Burnaby Lake after his private secretary Robert Burnaby and named Port Coquitlam’s 400-foot "Mary Hill" after his wife, Mary.[1] Port Moody in British Columbia and Moody Brook in the Falkland Islands are named after him.

Birth and Ancestry[edit]

Moody was born at St Ann’s Garrison, Barbados, West Indies, the 3rd of 10 children (7 male, 3 female) of Colonel Thomas Moody (1779-1849), Royal Engineers[2][3] and Martha Clement (1784-1868), daughter of Richard Clement of Barbados. His eldest brother, Thomas (b. 10 December 1809, d. 21 March 1839) was a Captain of the 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot. Another brother, Hampden Clement (b. 10 January 1821, d. 1869), was a Colonel in the Royal Engineers. His youngest brother, Wilmot (b. 6 June 1824, d. December 1853), was a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. His 3rd great-grandfather, Henry Moody (b.1620), married Hannah Washington, daughter of Robert Washington (1616-1674), the English ancestor of Baron Jakob von Washington [4] and cousin of the second great-grandfather of US President George Washington.[5]

Career Overview[edit]

At the age of 14, he enrolled in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a Gentleman Cadet. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1830, promoted to Lieutenant 1835, a Second Captain in 1844, a Captain in 1847, a Lieutenant Colonel in 1855, a Colonel in 1858. In 1841 he became 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 was the Commander of the Columbia Detachment, the British force that was brought to British Columbia to establish Border during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. In 1858 he became Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia, and Officer Commanding Columbia Detachment, Royal Engineers.[6]

He also became a Colonel of the British Army in 1858 and a Major-General of the Army in 1866.

He was Professor of Fortifications at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich from July 1838 to October 1841.[7]

He also oversaw the restoration of Edinburgh Castle according plans he had drawn up whilst on his Grand Tour, which were based on a musical architectural principle which delighted Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Queen Victoria.[8]

He also commanded the port of Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a time.

Marriage to Mary Hawks[edit]

On 6 July 1852, at St Andrew's Church, Newcastle, Moody married Mary Susannah Hawks, a member of the Hawks family of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Mary Hawks was the daughter of Joseph Hawks JP DL of Jesmond House, Newcastle upon Tyne,[9] a prominent merchant banker of Newcastle upon Tyne,[8] and Mary Elizabeth Boyd, daughter of William Boyd, Banker, of Bunfield Priory, Gloucester, and Newcastle upon Tyne. William Boyd was also the father of Juliana Boyd (1803-1896), the second wife of Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly.[7] William Boyd was the son of another William Boyd, also a Banker of Newcastle upon Tyne, whose great-great grandparents were Francis Liddell, 2nd son of Sir Thomas Liddell, 1st Baronet, Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and his second wife, Frances Forster,[10] daughter of Nicholas Forster of Northumberland and Agnes Chaytor, daughter of Sir William Chaytor of Croft (d.1640).[11]

Via her mother, Moody's wife Mary Hawks was a 7th great-granddaughter of Sir William Chaytor of Croft (d.1640), a 9th great-granddaughter of Sir Henry Curwen of Workington (d.1597), a 10th great-granddaughter of Sir Nicholas Fairfax of Walton and Gilling, Yorkshire (d.1570), and a 13th great-granddaughter of Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland. Via her mother, Moody's wife Mary Hawks was a direct descendent of the House of Plantagenet, a 17th great-granddaughter of Edward III via two of his sons, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence and John of Gaunt.[11]

After their marriage, Richard and Mary Moody embarked on The Grand Tour of Europe, visiting France, Switzerland, and Germany. Upon returning to England, Moody drew up plans for his restoration of Edinburgh Castle based on a musical architectural principle.

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 their as 'roughing it in the bush' relative to living in England.[12] 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.[13] 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 perspective of the English ruling class in the colonies of the British Empire.[14][15][16]


Moody and Mary Hawks had 13 children:

  1. Josephine 'Zeffie'[8] Mary (b.1853, Newcastle). Married Arthur Newall, 1883. Had 2 sons, Robert Stanley (b.1884)[7] and Basil (b.1885).
  2. Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody CB, Military Knight of Windsor (b. Oct 23 1854, Malta, - d. March 10, 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[17]
  3. Charles Edmund (b. 1856, Edinburgh). Married Kate Ellershaw, 1885. Had 3 daughters.
  4. Walter Clement (b. 1858, Edinburgh, d. 1936). Married Laura Ryan, 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 Rev. Richard Lowndes, 1887. Had 2 sons and 2 daughters.
  8. Henry de Clervaux (b. 1864, d. 13 December 1900, Killed in action, Nooitgedacht, Second Boer War). Attended Rugby School. Captain, South Wales Borderers. Served Burma 1885 and received medal and bar. Married Daisy Leighton. No issue.[18]
  9. Grace (b.1865, d.1947).
  10. Gertrude (b.1869, d.1914).
  11. George Robert Boyd (b. 1865, d. 1936). Major in British Army. 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 [19][20]
  12. Ruth and Rachel (Twins b. 20 April 1870, d. (both) 21 April 1870).[21]

At the outbreak of the Crimean War, Moody was posted to Malta, where he became ill with Yellow Fever causing him to take sick leave in Germany, but not before he received promotion to to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and he saw the birth of his eldest son, Colonel Richard Stanley Hawks Moody. Victoria and Albert had been delighted with his plans to restore Edinburgh Castle and commissioned him to do so when he returned to Britain. Whilst at Edinburgh, his second and third sons were born.

Governor of the Falkland Islands[edit]

In 1833 the United Kingdom asserted authority over the Falkland Islands. Moody left England on 1 October 1841 for the Falklands, having been appointed Lieutenant-Governor. This post was renamed Governor of the Falkland Islands in 1843, when he also became Commander-in-Chief of the Falkland Islands. Moody developed the Islands' infrastructure, commanding detachment of sappers erected government offices, a school and barracks, residences, ports, and a new road system. Moody selected the site for and founded Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Moody Brook is named after him.[22]

In 1845 Moody introduced tussock grass into Great Britain from Falkland, for which he received the gold medal of the Royal Agricultural Society.[22]

He returned to England in February 1849.[22]

Founder of British Columbia[edit]

When news of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush reached London, Moody was hand-picked by the Colonial Office, under Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 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" [23] and “found a second England on the shores of the Pacific”.[24] Moody arrived in British Columbia in December 1858, commanding the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, as the first Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia. On the advice of Lytton, Moody hired Robert Burnaby as his personal secretary, and the two became close friends.

Moody had hoped to begin immediately the foundation of a capital city, but upon his arrival at Fort Langley he learned of an outbreak of violence at the settlement of Hill's Bar. This led to an incident popularly known as "Ned McGowan's War", where Moody successfully quashed a group of rebellious American miners.

Following the enactment of the Pre-emption Act of 1860, Colonel Moody and his engineers assisted the process of settling the Lower Mainland by surveying the area surrounding the capital "Queenborough" (rechristened New Westminster by Queen Victoria on 20 July 1859). Moody selected the site and founded the new capital. He selected the site due to its strategic control of the mouth of the river, it defensibility, and its suitability as a port,[25] but he was also struck by its natural beauty, writing,

"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.".[26]

Moody's 5th, 6th, and 7th children, all daughters, were born at Government House, New Westminster.

Port Moody is named after him. It was established at the end of a trail that connected New Westminster with Burrard Inlet to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the US.

The Pre-emption act did not specify conditions for distributing the land, so large parcels were snapped up by speculators, including 3,750 acres (1,517 hectares) by Moody himself. For this he was criticized by local newspapermen for land grabbing.

Moody and the Royal Engineers also built an extensive road network:

  1. He built what would become Kingsway, connecting New Westminster to False Creek
  2. North Road between Port Moody and New Westminster.
  3. 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,

As part of the surveying effort, several tracts were designated "government reserves", which included Stanley Park as a military reserve (a strategic location in case of an American invasion).

The Columbia Detachment was disbanded in July, 1863. Apart from the Moody family, only 22 men and 8 wives returned to England, while the rest, 130 sappers, elected to remain in BC.[27] Chartres Brew replaced Moody as land commissioner.

Later years[edit]

Returning to England, Moody was promoted Regimental Colonel, and the Royal Engineers in Chatham were placed under his command.

On 25 January 1866 he was promoted Major-General and retired. During his retirement, he lived at Caynham Court, Ludlow, Shropshire and later at Fairfield, Charmouth, Lyme Regis.[7]

He died at Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth on 31 March 1887 and is buried at St Peter's Church, Bournemouth.[7]




  • Derek Hayes (2005). Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley. Douglas & McIntyre. pp. 26–29. ISBN 978-1-55365-283-0. 


  1. ^ "Col. Richard Clement Moody -- Postscript". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Dorothy Blakey Smith, ed., ‘The Journal of Arthur Thomas Bushby, 1858-1859,’ British Columbia
  3. ^ "The Sapper Vol. 5 No. 1 June 1958". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "was". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "a veteran diplomat" (3 September 1916). "Baron George Washington Fighting for Austria; Collateral Descendant of the First President of U.S., an Officer of the Austrian Lancers, May Make New Yorker His Heir". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Col. Richard Clement Moody". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "The Photographic Album of Richard Clement Moody, Royal British Columbia Museum" (PDF). 
  8. ^ a b c "Colonel Moody and what he did prior to arriving in British Columbia". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "Person Page". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "The Descendants of Adam de Bucton, circa 1190.". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Genealogical Records of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath: Companions, Hawks-Moody, Richard Stanley.
  12. ^ British Columbia Archives, MS-0060, Letter from Mary Susanna Hawks-Moody to mother Mary Hawks, New Westminster, 4 June 1860.
  13. ^ "Letters of Mary Moody, Royal British Columbia Museum Archives" (PDF). Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  14. ^ "Imperial Relations: Histories of family in the British Empire, Esme Cleall, Laura Ishiguro, and Emily J. Manktelow". Project Muse. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "The University of British Columbia, Records of the British Columbia Historical Association, British Columbia Historical News". British Columbia Historical Association. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Relative Distances: Family and Empire between Britain, British Columbia and India, 1858-1901, Laura Ishiguro, University College London".  Text "" ignored (help); line feed character in |title= at position 55 (help);
  17. ^ "Entry for WEBB-JONES, James William (1904 - 1965) in Who's Who, Oxford Index". Oxford University Press. 
  18. ^ "Colonel Moody's Family". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "Conqueror5". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "Descendants of King James I & VI". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Album - Colonel Richard Clement Moody, Royal Engineers [British Columbia]" (PDF). 
  22. ^ a b c Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Richard Clement Moody
  23. ^ Donald J. Hauka, McGowan's War, Vancouver: 2003, New Star Books, p.146
  24. ^ Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia, (Toronto: University of Toronto), p.71
  25. ^ Ormsby
  26. ^ Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia, (Toronto: University of Toronto) p.7
  27. ^ Ormsby.
  28. ^ Genealogical Records of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath: Companions, Hawks-Moody, Richard Stanley