Richard Clement Moody

Colonel Richard Clement Moody was born on the 13th of February 1813 at the military Hospital in Bridgetown Barbados. His father, Thomas, was a Colonel in the Royal Engineers stationed in Barbados.

He studied Engineering at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on the 05 November 1830.

He was made a Lieutenant and posted as Governor of the small settlement of the Falkland Islands with a population of 200 settlers. He arrived there on the 15th January 1842 with an additional 11 men, 3 women and 7 children.

His mandate was to make the settlement of the Falkland Islands viable. He embarked on a building program making the houses more suitable to the harsh environment. Although he was a hard worker he allowed the men to have free time where they could go hunting, fishing, or boating. Game was plentiful and they were able to get fish and fowl to feed themselves.

When he returned to England in 1849 the living conditions of the Falkland Islands were much improved.

In England he worked at Newcastle Upon Tyne on dikes and dams. He met and married Mary Suzanna Hawks, the daughter of a banker. After returning from their honeymoon in Europe he drew the plans for the refurbishment of Edinburgh Castle.

When Britain joined the Crimean War in 1854 he was posted to Malta but became very ill with Yellow Fever and took no further part in the conflict.

Col. Richard Moody 1813 -1887
Col. Richard Moody 1813 -1887

In 1858 Colonel Moody  was appointed Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. He, his wife and 4 children, arrived there on Christmas Day 1858. At the time the population was 500, but 25,000 gold prospectors passed through on their way to and from the gold fields of The Yukon. These men frequented the many bars and brothels on every street. He brought the fledgling colony to good governance.

He set up the first YMCA to try to draw the men away from the brothels. This did not last for long.

He oversaw the building of Port Moody and the road that connects it to New Westminster and Burrard Inlet. Port Moody was not only a trading Port but was to defend New Westminster from attack from the South.

Cl. Moody returned to England in November 1863 with his Wife and now 7 children. He was made a general in 1866 and retired the same year. He died in Bournemouth, England, on the 21 March 1887.

This is another example of someone who was born in Barbados and through hard work made a positive impact on the world stage. He was instrumental in making the Falkland Islands and British Columbia viable settlements, something which endures to today.

Picture supplied by John Skinner.

For a more detailed record of Colonel Moody click here.

Thanks to Markus Fahrner, Museum Coordinator of The Port Moody Museum for the photo of Col. Moody.


Response to “Richard Clement Moody”

  1. Jim Webster

    As usual, excellent research. Thanks for the very interesting story from someone connected to both Barbados and British Columbia.

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