The Albion, a 488-tonne, 37 m long barque, was owned by Burlinson Sedman.1 Sedman leased the Albion to John Lidgette, who used the vessel to ship spars from Vancouver Island to England, under the condition that Lidgette pay the HBC a duty of 10 percent of the price of the total shipment.2
The Albion entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca on December 21st, 1849, with Richard O. Hinderwell as master and Captain William Brotchie as its supercargo.3 Despite Captain Brotchie's extensive experience of the area, as master of several HBC vessels from 1831 to 1844, the Albion struck a reef south of Victoria Harbour; the reef is now known as Brotchie Ledge.4
Although the licence to cut spars was specifically for Vancouver Island, Brotchie decided to cut spars on the American side, at New Dungeness, in the winter of 1850.5 United States customs officials ordered that Brotchie leave US territory and eventually seized, libeled, condemned, and sold the Albion.6 Later, a commission ruled that the United States was responsible for damages done to the Albion and was obliged to pay Lidgette $20,000.7
  • 1. Barry M. Gough, Forests and Sea Power: A Vancouver Island Economy, 1778-1875, in Britain, Canada and the North Pacific (Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2004), XI, 6.
  • 2. Ibid., 7.
  • 3. Ibid., 8.
  • 4. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009), 89.
  • 5. Gough, Forests and Sea Power, 8.
  • 6. Ibid., 9.
  • 7. Ibid.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents