Moody to Carnarvon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary)
On Passage to B. Columbia
18th November 1858
My Lord,
In reply to your Lordship's letter of the 18h Ultimo 1 desiring an explanation of the causes which led to the employment of the three Vessels named in the margin
Thames City, Briseis, Euphrates. All small class vessels.
2 exclusive of the passages via Panama afforded to the detachments under Captain Parsons and Captain Grant R.E.
I have the honor to report that previous to my appointment, the Thames City had been engaged and I am unable to state with certainty how it was she was selected, but I am under the impression you will find on further investigation (if necessary) at the Admiralty the War Office and the first movement of the question at the Colonial Office that it arose somewhat in the following way.
It had been determined to send out to B. Columbia a large detachment ofOfficersManuscript image Officers and Men of the Royal Engineers in number about 150 and the service being urgent communications were at once made to War Office and Admiralty for the men and for a passage to be provided. It was natural to assume they would proceed in the ordinary way like other troops going out to the Colonies taking with them only their baggage with arms and ammunition. For this purpose the Thames City would have been sufficient. After my appointment when the nature of all our various duties came to be discussed more at length, and in detail, and the circumstances of the Colony considered from the further intelligence received, It was represented to the Secretary of State by myself and others that to expedite the pressing duties for which Royal Engineers in particular were selected it was necessary they should be accompanied by sundry stores and a supply of provisions.
The size of the Thames City was not adequate for this purpose and it was contemplated at one time by the Secretary of State to reject her altogether remunerating the owners for the non-fulfillmentofManuscript image of the Contract.
From the enquiries I made I found that the payment would probably have to be very large and that the loss of time would be considerable, and being aware of the views of the Secretary of State under both considerations, Economy and Expedition, I ventured to recommend that the Thames City should go forward as at first determined conveying with the men a selection of the most immediately necessary stores and that another Vessel should follow with the remainder as quickly as possible.
The Briseis was at once available and her charges for freight comparatively low and if we could fill her there would be no delay. She was accordingly chartered.
In stowing her the Government Goods being all light, and she having no private heavy goods in her, it was found desirable to alter the arrangement of sending in her the few men intended to accompany the stores and to load the space which would have been taken up for their berths and cabin with stores. I was assured she would have been unseaworthy otherwise.
Finally provision was made for conveying these five men with their families in the Euphrates (a vessel advertised to sail for B. Columbia) together with the ammunition which as a Government regula:tionManuscript imagetion could not have gone in the Briseis without troops. In consequence of my urgent request to the Secretary of State it was further determined to send in the Euphrates an additional supply of Provisions. It was rather an advantage that the Euphrates with this supply should arrive sometime after the other two vessels.
With respect to the small detachments under Captains Parsons and Grant via Panama. They formed merely an advanced party and the cost of sending stores with them (beyond their immediate wants) by that route would have been extremely costly.
With the greatest of deference I beg to submit the above arrangements under the circumstances were not only unavoidable but perhaps I may add the best which could have been adopted, I having made a selection of Stores for the Thames City so that no practical inconvenience I trust will arise if the period between the arrival of the T. City & the Briseis does not exceed a month or 6 weeks. Beyond that time the inconvenience might be some delay in getting to work efficiently and even the possibility of this I now fully expect to be able to guard against by arrangements I shall make in the Colony where I shall be three months before the arrival of either vessel.
I have the honor to be
Yr Lordship's Most obedient humble Servant
R.C. Moody
Col. R.E.

Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
I presume that this explanation from Colonel Moody was called for in order that it might be produced if necessary. Put by?
VJ 6 Decr
TFE 7/12
It might perhaps have been worth while to print this with the other semi-confidential papers on B. Columbia. But it is at all events a letter to be borne in mind with a view to possible reference.
C D 9
Of course. Keep this in case it is wanted.
EBL Decr 10
  1. = Car-Moody,18 Oct 58, requesting explanation FIND Carnarvon-Moody,18 Oct 58, requesting explanation
  2. FIND Car-Moody, 18 Oct 58, requesting explanation why 3 vessels needed. Cf. Elliot to Moody, in Corry to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 11 October 1858, 10358, CO 60/2, p. 27.
People in this document

Carnarvon, Earl

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Grant, John Marshall

Jadis, Vane

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Moody, Richard Clement

Parsons, Robert Mann

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty

War Office

Vessels in this document



Thames City, 1856

Places in this document

British Columbia