Kelly, William
b. 1813
d. 1872-03-04
William Kelly was born in Sligo County, Ireland, to Andrew Kelly in 1817.1 He arrived in British Columbia in 1859 and stayed until 1862. He wrote about his experiences in the colony, but they were never published because his publisher did not receive a complete manuscript.2 Kelly wrote a letter in 1862 urging the Duke of Newcastle to replace British Columbia's Governor Douglas. Kelly ostensibly disliked the governor due to Douglas' focus on developing Victoria's trade and infrastructure at the expense of the mainland’s development.3
As a young man, Kelly became a local magistrate in Sligo County.4 In 1849, ownership of his father’s bleaching mill was given to Kelly’s brother-in-law, prompting him to ride the Sarah Sands to America, where he travelled to California.5 In 1851 he published An Excursion to California Over the Prairie, Rocky Mountains, and the Great Sierra Nevada. With A Stroll Through the Diggings and Ranches of That Country, a detailed account of his American adventures.6
Kelly arrived in Port Phillip, Australia, on 20 April 1854 to pursue rumours of gold discoveries. He left Melbourne for London in December 1857 after a string of unsuccessful business ventures.7 His novel, Life in Victoria or Victoria in 1853, an account of his time in Australia, was published in London in 1859.8
In 1862, Kelly left British Columbia for France, where he married twenty-six-year-old Marguerite Sidonie Mertens at Boulogne-sur-Mer. He died in France on 4 March 1872 at the age of 59.9
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Douglas, James

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Vessels in this document

Sarah Sands

Places in this document

British Columbia

London

Victoria

The Colonial Despatches Team. Kelly, William. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/kelly.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)