The Gold Rush and Royal Engineers

Governor James Douglas requested aid from the British Government to keep law and order because of the gold rush and the influx of miners. The Royal Engineers under Colonel Richard Clement Moody were dispatched from England.

The Colony of British Columbia was proclaimed at Fort Langley.


source: BC Archives


A Site for the Capital

Colonel Moody gave his reasons for selecting the site of "New Westminster" as the capital of the Colony. This siting of the capital was proclaimed by the Governor.

The first residence was built by WJ Armstrong. First religious service was held (Wesleyan Methodist). First sale of town lots was held. The first school was built at the Royal Engineers' Camp. Surveying of the site was progressing "as fast as the weather will permit".

"The Royal City"

The new town: the capital: was named New Westminster - the name was chosen by Queen Victoria. (Formerly the site was known as Queensborough or Queenborough) From this naming by the Queen, the city gained its nickname, "The Royal City".





Proclaimed a City / First "Mayor"

New Westminster was proclaimed as a city by the Governor and in this proclamation became the oldest city west of the Lakehead. The first municipal election was held: Leonard McClure elected as President (Mayor).





First Fire Chief

First fire chief of the "Hyack" fire brigade was elected: FA Richards





Hospital Built

The Royal Columbian Hospital was built (At the corner of Agnes St. and 4th St.)





New Governor

Governor Frederick Seymour took over from Governor Douglas.



Library Opening / Irving House

The Public Library was opened and Captain William Irving and family moved into their new home in the city. ("Irving House")



source: BC Archives



Colonies Unite

The Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island were united as one with New Westminster as the Capital.



source: BC Archives



May Day

May Day as we knw it in New Westminster was first held with Nellie McColl crowned the Queen of the May.





A Province

The combined colonies became a province of Canada known as British Columbia.



The City was incorporated

The City of New Westminster was incorporated.



First Police Constable

The City hired its first police constable: Jonathan Morey.