The town site of Derby, which occupied the site of Old Fort Langley,1 was on the south side of the Fraser River, a few km below present-day Fort Langley.2 Derby was surveyed in the late 1850s by Pemberton and Pearse, in order to establish a mainland capital—as Bancroft notes, Derby was at this time to be the capital of the Mainland, and play the Sacramento to Victoria's San Francisco.3
Its name likely stems from Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby, who was British Prime Minister in 1858; that same year, Moody disapproved of the site and, soon after, New Westminster became the mainland's capital.4 Today, the only nearby feature that bares the name is Derby Reach.
  • 1. G. P. V. Akrigg and H. B. Akrigg, British Columbia Place Names (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997), 62.
  • 2. Derby Reach, BC Geographical Names Information System.
  • 3. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. 32, History of British Columbia 1792-1887 (San Francisco: The History Company, 1887), 406-07.
  • 4. Derby Reach, BC Geographical Names Information System.
Mentions of this place in the documents