Staines, Emma
Emma Staines was the wife of the HBC Chaplain, Reverend Robert John Staines, at Victoria and may have been the first English woman on Vancouver Island.1
Emma and Robert, both teachers, married in July 1846, and they established a school at Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.2 They were a well-educated couple, and they caught the attention of the HBC, who wanted a school at Fort Vancouver.3 Robert was soon appointed as chaplain and schoolmaster for Fort Vancouver, and he and Emma and their nephew, Horace, departed for their new home in 1848.4
While the Stainses were in transit to Fort Vancouver, the HBC transferred their Columbia District headquarters to Victoria.5 So, the Staineses landed there instead in March 1849 and set up a temporary school in the HBC Bachelors' Hall.6
Her husband's political clashes with Douglas cost Rev. Staines his job and his life: the ship he sailed on for England with petitions against Douglas sank in the Juan de Fuca Strait on March 1, 1854.7 After his death, Emma sold their farm stock and returned to England with her nephew in January 1855.8
Staines Island, on the East side of Cadboro Bay, is named after her.9
  • 1. Staines Island, BC Geographical Names Information System.
  • 2. Madge Wolfenden, Staines, Robert John, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Staines Island, BC Geographical Names Information System.
Mentions of this person in the documents