Sangster, Captain James
d. 1858-10-18(?)
Captain James Sangster was born in Port Glasgow, although that is all that is known of his early life. He did serve on several voyages between London and the Columbia District; after these journeys, Sangster entered the service of the HBC in 1832, perhaps as early as 1827, as a seaman.1 In 1837, Sangster commanded the brig Llama and later on the brigatine Cadboro from 1848-1854.2 Although he was a well-liked and skilled in his position, he was described by George Simpson as a confirmed drunkard.3
In 1851, Sangster retired from his work on company vessels and purchased 20 acres in Esquimalt. He later becoming pilot in general, harbourmaster, Victoria's first postmaster, and Collector of Customs -- recommended by James Douglas as reported in this letter.4 Sangster was an odd man, and near the end of his life he would lock himself in his home and had only a small slot for mail in order to avoid people. Inasmuch, his health began to plumet in the 1850s and by 1858 he took his own life to end his misery. Today the “Sangster Plains” and Sangster Elementary School in Metchosin are named after him.5
  • 1. Miranda Harvey, Captain Sangster, 1846-1850: Fort Victoria Journal.
  • 2. Rose Bullen, Captain James Sangster, Sangster Elementary School: History.
  • 3. Harvey, Captain Sangster.
  • 4. Ibid. ; Douglas to Packington, 11 November 1852, 933, CO 305/3, 147.
  • 5. Harvey, Captain Sangster ; Bullen, Captain James Sangster.
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Douglas, James

Simpson, George

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Vessels in this document

Cadboro, 1824-1860

Places in this document




Oregon Territory, or Columbia District