Turnour, Captain Nicholas Edward Brooke
b. 1827
Nicholas Edward Brooke Turnour served with the Royal Navy on British Columbia’s coast from 1864 to 1868.1 During that time he commanded the steam corvette Clio.2
In 1865, Turnour and his ship were dispatched to Fort Rupert on northern Vancouver Island to arrest three members of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation who were accused of killing a man from Nahwitti.3 After the suspects refused to surrender, Turnour and his crew shelled the village and burned more than 50 canoes.4 Turnour’s and his crew’s actions would have lasting consequences on the village, as residents were forced to rebuild what little was left of the village or move to the mainland.5
According to this despatch, Turnour was applauded by the colonial government for taking this course of action, highlighting the immense power imbalance and injustice that existed in Indigenous/colonial government relations at that time.
Turnour joined the Royal Navy in 1843, serving in Nicaragua and Russia prior to arriving in British Columbia.6 Daniel Pender named Turnour Island in his honour.7
  • 1. John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1971), 499-500.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Andrew Scott, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2009).
  • 4. Tsaxis (Fort Rupert), Northwest Coast Village Project.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1971), 499-500.
  • 7. Ibid.
Mentions of this person in the documents
The Colonial Despatches Team. Turnour, Captain Nicholas Edward Brooke. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/turnour_n.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)