Moody, Colonel Richard Clement
b. 1813
d. 1887
Col. Richard Clement Moody was born at St. Ann's Garrison, Barbados, West Indies, on 13 February 1813. He was educated in England, by a tutor and at private schools, before entering the Royal Academy, Woolwich. Moody left the academy in December 1829 to join the Ordnance Survey; he became a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 5 November 1830 and was posted to the Ordnance Survey of Ireland in 1832. In 1833 he went to the West Indies with the Royal Engineers, achieving the rank of first-lieutenant in 1835; from 1838 to 1841 he served as professor of fortifications at Woolwich.1
Moody became lieutenant governor of the Falkland Islands in 1841;2 he was appointed second-captain on 6 March 1844 and first-captain on 19 August 1847.3 In 1854, he travelled to Malta as executive officer. Moody was promoted lieutenant colonel in January 1855 and commanded the Royal Engineers at Edinburgh, advancing to brevet colonel on 28 April 1858.4
On 23 August 1858, Moody was appointed commander of the British Columbia detachment of the Royal Engineers, at a salary of £1,200. He was appointed chief commissioner of lands and works and lieutenant governor of British Columbia on 21 September, and departed Liverpool with his wife and four children on 30 October 1858, arriving in Victoria on Christmas day. He was formally sworn into office at Victoria on 4 January 1859.5
He immediately turned to the task of choosing a site for the capital of the mainland colony, and on 28 January 1859 recommended a site on the north bank of the Fraser River, which the Royal Engineers referred to as Queenborough. On 22 July 1859, Douglas proclaimed the city as New Westminster, a name chosen by Queen Victoria. Moody and the Royal Engineers concentrated on surveying and road construction; they were also responsible for the first observatory in the colony, several churches, and a number of maps based on their surveys.6
In April 1863, the Colonial Office decided to withdraw the Royal Engineers from British Columbia; on 6 November, Moody and his officers attended a farewell dinner in New Westminster, then the Moodys and their seven children left the colony, along with twenty-two Royal Engineers and their families. Another 130 men decided to remain in British Columbia.7
Upon his return to England, Moody became a regimental colonel on 8 December and was given command of the Royal Engineers in the Chatham District in March 1864. He was promoted major-general on 25 January 1866, and he retired from the service, settling in Lyme Regis. In 1868, he was commissioner for the extension of municipal boundaries. Moody died on 31 March 1887 while on a visit to Bournemouth.8
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