Meade, Captain Lord Gilford Richard
b. 1832-03-10
d. 1907-08-04
Richard Meade was a naval officer who captained the Tribune in the Pacific between 1862 and 1866. He was the senior officer stationed at Esquimalt during the so-called Chilcotin War.1 After the massacre in April 1864, Governor Frederick Seymour acquired a gunboat from Meade to carry a party of constables to apprehend the murderers.2
Meade, who went by Lord Gillford until 1879, was the fourth earl of Clanwilliam.3 He was born 3 October 1832, educated at Eton College and joined the navy 17 November 1845, at the age of thirteen.4 He rose steadily through the ranks, reaching captain in 1859.5 His captaincy of the Tribune brought him to the Pacific in 1862.6
At his request, Meade provided the incumbent governor, Seymour, with the gunboat Forward to carry him into New Westminster to take office in 1864. The reception would have lost half its formality had I landed from a common trading Steamer amid a crowd of miners, said Seymour in a despatch to Newcastle.7 Less than two weeks later, the Chilcotin War broke out.8 Meade personally brought the Forward back to New Westminster 15 April 1864, to transport Chartres Brew, the police magistrate, along with twenty-eight special constables, to Bute Inlet to track down the Tsilhqot'in who had massacred Alfred Waddington's party of road builders.9
Seymour took issue with Meade's initial hesitance to provide the ship and his request that the ship should be returned as early as possible despite the lack of a suitable replacement.10 In a despatch to Newcastle, Seymour pointed to the incident as proof of the defenceless state of this colony but also called Meade someone so obliging and anxious to please in other respects.11 Meade took the remarks about the colony's security personally when they ended up in the Victoria papers, and Seymour apologized to him.12
Meade's wife, Elizabeth Henrietta, was the daughter of former Governor of Vancouver Island Sir Arthur Kennedy. They had four sons and four daughters together.13 Meade received his admiralship in 1895, and died of pneumonia at Badgemore, Henley-on-Thames, 4 August 1907.14
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