Moresby, Sir Fairfax
b. 1786–1787
d. 1877-01-21
Admiral Moresby was commander in chief in the Pacific from 1850 to 1853, during which time he recommended the development of the naval base at Esquimalt Harbour.1
Moresby was critical the HBC's monopoly of Vancouver Island, and, as stated in this letter, considered the attempt to Colonize Vancouver, by a Company with exclusive rights of Trade, [to be] incompatible with the free & liberal reception of an Emigrant Community, [and] impl[ied] that difficulties, & embarassments must be the result, however, good the intention—a statement which was refuted by Pelly in this letter to Earl Grey.
Born in Calcutta in either 1786 or 1787, Moresby entered the navy in 1799.2 Over the next fifty years he steadily rose in the ranks and served on or captained several ships around the world.3 He surveyed and arranged the settlement of Algoa Bay, South Africa, and as the senior officer at Mauritius he acted on orders to suppress the slave trade, capturing or destroying several boats and prosecuting their owners.4
Moresby was promoted to rear-admiral in 1849, vice-admiral in 1856, admiral in 1862, Knight Grand Cross [GCB] in 1865, and, finally, admiral of the fleet in 1870.5 He died in Bronwylfa, Devon seven years later.6
  • 1. Eleanor Stardom Finlayson, Roderick, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Grey, Henry George

Pelly, John Henry

Places in this document

Esquimalt Harbour

Vancouver Island