Langford, Edward Edwards
b. 1809-11-23
d. 1895-03-23
Edward Edwards Langford was born 23 November 1809 in Brighton, England. Langford began his career in the British Military, reaching the rank of Captain, but retired in 1834. Langford immigrated to British Columbia in 1851 to manage a farm for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company (PSAC), a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company.1
Langford managed the farm near Victoria, and was paid a salary by the PSAC. In addition, the company covered most of his immigration, managerial, and living costs.2 In 1853, Governor James Douglas appointed Langford a magistrate of Vancouver Island. Langford entered politics in August of 1856, when he ran for and was elected as the representative from Victoria District in the First House of Assembly for Vancouver Island.3 In October of the same year, he was removed from his elected position by Chief Justice David Cameron, Douglas's brother-in-law, ostensibly because he did not possess the required amount of immovable property to hold public office.4 Langford had previously complained to officials of the British Government that Cameron's appointment was a blatant example of nepotism on Douglas's part.5
Langford decided to run for office again in 1860 as the representative from Victoria Town. In order to avoid being penalized based on land ownership, Langford attempted to purchase property from the Colonial Surveyor in the lead up to the election.6 Yet, the land was not sold to Langford as the Colonial Surveyor, Joseph D. Pemberton, claimed that the sale was already underway with another interested buyer. When the land was not sold, Langford wrote to Douglas complaining about the professional conduct of Pemberton. He claimed that Pemberton had offered to show him the sale had been paid for in his records.7 However, Pemberton defended himself by claiming that he had not told Langford the land was paid for, rather that it was sold based on a verbal agreement.8 Douglas found the timing of the complaint suspicious as it coincided with the election, and decided not to investigate Pemberton. Unhappy with both Pemberton and Douglas's conduct, Langford wrote to the Duke of Newcastle; however, Douglas defended himself and his staff to Newcastle, who await[ed] further report[s] but nothing came of Langford's accusations.9
In 1861, an advertisement appeared in a local newspaper attacking Langford. Langford accused Douglas, Matthew Begbie, and Charles Good of financing the advertisement, but decided to sue the printer for libel.10 Chief Justice Cameron presided over the case; Langford refused to answer questions during cross-examination, and was subsequently imprisoned.11 Destitute and with his reputation damaged beyond repair, Langford moved back to England by the end of 1861. The libel suit against Begbie and Good was dropped in 1863.12 Langford died in 1895. Langford, British Columbia is named after Edward Edwards Langford, due to his oversight of the early development of farms and buildings in the area.13
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