March 8th, 2016 



Christopher Finlay

Father of Mary Cartwright

Christopher arrived on the "Barque Tory" in the year 1851, May 14 Victoria


The following bit was taken from a history of the passengers of the Tory compiled by John Work.

This first concerns Robert Dunsmuir who became one of the most influential pioneers of British Columbia.

Robert Dunsmuir along with two young daughters left Scotland for Vancouver Island in 1850 on the PEKIN leaving in December, a month after the Tory sailed for the same destination. The Pekin arrived at the Columbia River where son James was born at Fort Vancouver, July 1851. A month later the family was moved to their intended destination at Fort Rupert. The family moved 20 months later to Nanaimo

By 1855 Robert completed his contract with the HBC and began his own mining venture with a small operation known as Dunsmuir's Level. It was in this mine that John Work was seriously injured in 1856 and later died.

From John Works History, Page 39 through 42 show the Hudson Bay Compay list of labourers engaged for service on Vancouver Island. These Labourers sailed from Kirkwall, Orkney Islands to London on the "Queen", 15 October, 1850. They were joined by other Company employees sailing from London on the "Tory", to be landed at Victoria on Vancouver Island in May of 1851.

Passenger List

Golledge, Richard; apprentice clerk

Hunter, Andrew; engineer

Johnson (Johnstone), George; surgeon and clerk

Johnson,John Henry - engineer

McDonald, William; apprentice cerk

Mitchel, William; master mariner

Wark John; apprentice clerk

Newton, William Henry; agricultural assistant

Langford and family; bailiff

Deans, and family; bailiff


Atkinson, William

Burris, James, and wife

Bayley, Henry

Bond, Charles

Bond, George

Burden, John

Croghan, William

Cole, Phillip

Cole ,Thomas

Cooke, George

Cluett, Joeseph

Cross, William

Craigie, Thomas

Culey, Goerge

Deanthomas, Aubrey

Dean, George

Eliott ,Jonathan

Francis, Matthew

Fiandez Richard

Fish, Robert

Fish, James

Firth, Robert

Finlay, Christopher

Francis, James

Geal, George and wife

Gorridge, Avey

Grinham ,Thos

Geal ,James

Guthrie ,William

Granich, William L

Hutton, William

Humphreys, John

Harber, George

Hodge, Henry

Holand, Thos

Hanham, George

Hayward, George

Jupp, James

Irvine, John and wife

Isbister ,William

Lane, James

Metcalf, William and wife

Hall, Thomas


Horne, Adam

Holland, James

Malcolm, John

Northover, Wiliam

Pearson, John

Porter, Robert

Pike, Edward

Paarsons, Thomas


Sales, William and wife

Stratford, Joeseph and wife

Staples, Richard

Smith, Richard

Salcomb, James

Shute, Edwin

Stone, Edward

Skea, David

Smith, Thomas

Stove, James

Stockland ,William

Thornhill, Richardand wife

Thomas george

William, Afred

Wicks George and wife

Wiles, Emanuel

Work, John

Work, William and wife

Cooper, James and wife

Blinkhorn, Thomas and wife

The Nanimo museum has in its collection a water colour of the Hudson Bay Company Barque Tory.

I was given a color copy of this print.

In the Nanaimo Pioneer Cemetary lot number RG 9 PLT 9, Christopher Finlay was buried in 1879. This cemetary has been changed into a small park, most of the gravestones are missing. The remainder have been moved.

The following was taken from a Nanaimo newspaper and concerns an interview with the mayor of Nanaimo, Mark Bate.

"Christopher Finlay and Jean Baptiste Fortier, occupied the building beyond the Cook House, which building,the property of Mr. James M. Brown is still standing (This was written in 1907) It was built in 1853. Mr Finlay was well up in his mathematics, and among his other duties, as assistant in the store and office, was that of village pedagogue, after the resignation of Mr Chares A Bailey, and until the appointment of the late Rev. C. Bryant."

"Finlay was a somewhat stern master A few now among us who have grown grey and who were his scholars can doubtless recollect from the sharp slashes they received how free he was in the use of the strap"

"In the language of the immortal Goldsmith:"

A man severe he was, and stern to view

I knew him well, and every truant knew

We had the boding tremblers learning to trace the

Day's disasters in his morning face

Full well the busy whisper circling round

Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned

The village all declared how much he knew;

Twas certain he could write and cipher, too

"He was withal an upright man- would never wrong anyone"

He died suddenly falling on the door-step of his house, Mill Street, on the 23rd of august 1879, age 46 years.

More on Christopher Findlay and his wife.

As you know from my notes great great grandma Finlay returned to the Queen Charlottes to, "Rose City" as Uncle Tom said. Anita Forrest told me that her grandmother Aggie, Grandma Engelson's, sister said that Grandma Findlay returned to a "whaling station" on the Charlottes.. If this is true the actual village was located near Rose Harbour on the south end of Moresby Island (Moresby is one of the two largest islands of the Charlottes.)

The day I heard this I phoned one of my school friends, Dick Bellis, who graduated with me on the Charlottes in 1957. I had a most intriguing chat... It seems that all the Indians from the southern Charlottes eventually moved to Skidegate, One of the two Indian villages left on the Charlottes. Dick's adopted grand father was the hereditary chief of one of the southern villages. Dick wants me to come up and visit him and talk to the elders. He says that the oral history of his tribe is very good and that they should be able to trace our great great granny. I plan to go up to QCI in the spring.

queen charlotte journal