The Nagle Family Victoria and Vancouver, Canada 1858-1880s


The Nagle family moved to the new Crown Colony of Victoria in 1858.



April 25th 1858 Steamship Commodore, master Nagle arrives Victoria

April 25th 1858

On Sunday Apl. 25 the Commodore, Capt. Nagle, arrived with 400 or 500 Emigrants from  San Francisco...There were also 35 men of colour from the same place of diffent trades and calling, chiefly intending to settle here. On Monday (Apl. 26) drinking tea at Mrs Blinkhorn's with my wife, she (Mrs B) told us that on the preceding evening she was surprised at hearing the sounds of praise. They proceeded from the men of colour who had taken a large room at Laing's the Carpenter; and they spent the Sabbath Evening in worshipping the word of God.

Source: Reverend Edward Cridge, from his diary.


July 28  1858 Songish Chiefs to Lease for certain lands in Vancouver Island to Capt. Jeremiah Nagle for 999 years 

Source: coming    





Government House, Victoria

Vancouver’s Island, 5th March 1859



I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to acquaint you that he has this day appointed you to act as Harbour Master for the Port of Victoria, Vancouver’s Island at a salary at the rate of One Hundred pounds per Annum.


            I have the honor to be


                        Your most obedt servant

                        William A. G. Young.

Jeremiah Nagle Esq.


Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.




In town and country the white mans’ life and property is becoming daily more insecure owing to Indian depredations. It was only the other day that Captain Nagle’s little son was threatened with stabbing by an Indian and a basket of strawberries taken from him.

Source: The British Colonist 8th June, 1859 p2.

Nagle appointed Justice of the Peace 8th June, 1859.


Vancouvers Island

By His Excellency James Douglas

Companion of the most Honorable Order of the Bath Governor and Commander in Chief of the Colony of Vancouver’s Island and its dependencies and Vice Admiral of the same

            To all to whom these presents shall come or whom the same may concern


            Know ye that reposing confidence in the Loyalty, Integrity and Ability of Jeremiah Nagle, Gentleman of the Town of Victoria, Vancouver’s Island.

            I have appointed and do hereby appoint him the said Jeremiah Nagle to be a Justice of the Peace in and for the Colony of Vancouver’s Island.

            To have and exercise all and every the powers appertaining and belonging to you as such Justice of the Peace as aforesaid.

            And this shall be your Commission for whatsoever you the said Jeremiah Nagle may lawfully do in the premises during pleasure.

            Given under my hand and seal at Victoria in said Vancouvers Island this eighth day of June, in the year of Our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty nine.

Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.

13/6/1859 Nagle Esq., harbourmaster,  appointed Collector for Victoria.

Collector of Victoria - report has it that J. Nagle, Esq., Harbour Master, will be Collector for Victoria, in the place of A. C. Anderson Esq.

‘The British Colonist’ 13/6/1859 p3


15/6/1859 Nagle Esq., appointed JP Collector for Vancouver’s Island.

 New Appointments - J.Nagle Esq., Justice of the Peace for Vancouver’s Island.

Henry Maynard Ball, Esq., Justice of the Peace, British Columbia..

‘The British Colonist’ 15/6/1859 p3   



I, Jeremiah Nagle do Solemnly Swear that I will honestly and truly perform all the duties of Justice of the Peace in the Colony of Vancouver’s Island to the best of my knowledge and ability, without fear or favour, according to the laws which are or hereafter shall be in force in the said Colony

                        So help me God.

                                    (Signed) J.Nagle

Sworn to before me

Victoria, Vancouver’s Island

This thirteenth day of June 1859.

            Dav. Cameron Esq.

Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.



                                                Government House,

                                                Victoria, Vancouver’s Island

                                                13th June, 1859.



            I am instructed by His Excellency the Governor to acquaint you that after the departure from Victoria of Mr. Hamley, the Collector of Customs for British Columbia, which will take place about the 15th instant, the Custom House Establishment at this Port will be broken up and from thenceforth certain duties which have hitherto been carried on at the Custom House will devolve upon you.

            2. These duties consist in receiving the Port dues upon Shipping, issuing clearances, granting Landing permits, permits for the reshipment of goods, & licences for Harbour Boats; with all of which you are already acquainted, but the various details will be more fully explained to you upon application to Mr. Hamley.

            3. All monies coming into your hands on these accounts are to be paid in full every Saturday afternoon into the hands of Captain Gosset, Acting as Colonial Treasurer.

            4. I am to instruct you that whenever a vessel arrives at or sails from Victoria a report thereof on a small slip of paper is to be made to this office as soon after the occurrence as practicable and a weekly report is to be rendered every Saturday afternoon.

                                    I have the honor to be,


                                                Your most obedient servt.

                                                William A.G. Young.


Letter from the Colonial Secretary dated June 13th, 1859 authorizing one to take charge of the Customs Departmt.

Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.



June 13, 1859 J. Nagle Esq. Harbourmaster has been appointed Collector for Victoria

Source ‘British Colonist 13/6/1859 p3 


June 15, 1859 Nagle announced as new JP for Vancouver’s Island

Source ‘British Colonist’ 15/6/1859 p3 


1859 Late November

"The first Canadian light, hon. Speaker, was a private venture. In late November 1859, Captain Nagle, Victoria's harbour master, paid $100 for the lantern and placed it on McLoughlin Point at the entrance to Victoria's harbour. Half a year later, the tubes in Nagle's lamp overheated and melted down. He had no funds to replace it, and that precipitated the birth of the first lighthouse.

With the backing of Gov. James Douglas, construction began in 1860. Renowned architect H.O. Tiedeman -- who, by the way, also built Victoria's first legislative buildings -- oversaw the construction of Fisgard light. George Davies enjoyed the distinction of becoming the first full-time lightkeeper."

Source: coming 

Co-incidently! First Lighthouse in New Zealand Pencarrow Head, 1859 (DJA)

Source: The lighthouses of New Zealand /J. O'C. Ross. p. 21



Barbarous attack on Captain Nagle -

On last evening as Mr. Nagle was proceeding to his home, he was attacked by two drunken Indians and severely cut and bruised. He was finally rescued and conveyed to his house. We understand that no effect has been made to bring the perpetrators of this outrage to justice.

Source: The British Colonist  10th December, 1859 p2


Sugh-Lake, the Indian arrested for assaulting Capt. Nagle last week, remanded until Wednesday, the 14th, Capt. Nagle owing to the severity of his wounds, not being able to appear as a witness.

Source: The British Colonist  13th December, 1859 p2


Struggle with Indians at Victoria, - Captain Nagle, well known in San Francisco, was attacked, on Dec 9th, on the bridge near James’ bay, Victoria, by some drunken Indians, and seriously injured by them. In a statement which he furnished to the Gazette, he says:

            As I was passing the bridge I observed twoo Indians apparently much intoxicated, right in the pathway. As I was passing, one of them tried to sieze me by the arm. I gave him a push with my right hand, having an ax in my left; the other one, the most sober of the two, then made a blow at me. I kept him off, retreating backwards, but to no effect. They both rushed in upon me, and I struck the foremost a blow with the head of the ax, when he fell stunned, I did not strike him until I had received several blows myself. The one stunned soon recovered himself, and, with a yell of revenge, both rushed madly upon me; my foot slipped, and we all rolled down the hill together, I falling on my back, still holding the ax. Two other Indians now came to the assistance of those attacking me, and here commenced the most fearful struggle I ever had in my life. I now began to use my weapon, but with little effect. Again, we rolled down, and again the struggle was renewed, when they tried to deprive me of my nose and eyes. One of them bit my nose and made a deerp incision in it. I made a hit at him and rolled over on my face in the snow. I then felt the fingers of two of them groping for my eyes, but they only succeeded in tearing the skin from my eye-lids, and a portion of my face. Finding my strength failing me, and being unable to use my ax, I buried it in the snow under me, fearing they might get hold of it. An old chief, as I suppose, then came up, and the struggle closed. I reached Captain Mouat’s house with difficulty, the blood flowing from my wounds.

Source: Sacremento Daily Union  19th December, 1859.


Indian Outrages - Our attention has been directed to attacks made by Indians on pedestrians on the Esquimalt road. In addition Mr. Kavanagh tells us that his wagons hauling wood to the Royal Hospital were turned back on Monday by the subjects of Prince Freezy and grossly abused in a shower of words of couse in plain English. The inhabitants should look to the evil. The non-punishment for the outrage on Captain Nagle is producing its natural effect. Stop it.

Source: The British Colonist  22nd December, 1859 p2






Belle Chain Islets Named about 1860 after Isabel ("Belle"), youngest daughter of Captain Jeremiah Nagle, harbour master for Vancouver Island at the time.

W side Strait of Georgia, off N end of Saturna Island, Cowichan Land District. Labelled simply "Belle Chain" on British Admiralty Chart 2840, 1861 et seq, and on BC map 2A, 1913.


20 April 1860 J. Nagle & A.R. Green to G. Foster Draft Conveyance& release of suburban lot 55 Esquimalt




12/8/1861 Letter by Nagle to British Colonist re Coroner and a sunken steamer.

From Capt. Nagle to Gentlemen of the Jury.

We have been handed the following for publication. It requires no comment.

            Mr. J. Nagle presents his compliments to Capt. Reid and the gentlemen who were appointed by the coroner to investigate the cause of the destruction of the late steamer Cariboo. He observes that the jurymen have censured him for having removed two pieces of heavy machinery to prevent the vessel from sinking alongside the Company’s wharf, and which were totally disconnected by the explosion from the main body of the machinery. He has now the pleasure to Inform them that he has succeeded in recovering the boiler from the bosom of the ocean and has placed it in a situation that the “gentlemen of the jury” can with ease either sit on it or in it.

            Victoria, August 10, 1861.

The British Colonist 12/8/1861 p3 


15/10/1861 Nagle suspended from his Harbourmasters Office after discrepencies in accounts detected.

Suspension of Capt.Nagle. - At a late hour last night, we learned that Capt. Nagle, Harbourmaster for this port, had been suspended from office by order of His Excellency the Governor, and the Henry Wooten, Esq., had been commissioned to act in his place. Rumor has it that the suspension arises from an alleged discrepancy in the accounts of the office. We hope that the matter can be satisfactorily explained by Capt. Nagle.

‘The British Colonist’ 15/10/1861 p3 


16/10/1861 Nagle’s Harbourmaster’s Office investigated for missing funds from cash account run by the clerk, Nagle’s son.

The Harbourmaster’s Office - Mr Wooten remained yesterday in charge of this institution, assisted by Capt. Nagle’s son, who acted as clerk while the office was under the control of his father. The amount deficient is said to be about £100, and occurs, we believe, in the cash account. Capt. Nagle asserts he is fully competent to disprove the charge, and has asked for a rigid investigation into his accounts on the part of the Government. It is impossible to say what action Government will take in this matter; but we trust that every facility will be afforded Capt.N to disprove, if possible, the charge brought against him.

‘The British Colonist’ 16/10/1861 p3 


17/10/1861 Nagle secures an accountant to examine Harbourmaster’s office accounts.

Investigation - Yesterday Capt. Nagle procured the services of an accountant, and a thorough investigation of the books of the Harbourmaster’s Office from the date of its first establishment down to the present time, was commenced. The friends of the Harbourmaster are confident that the matter will be put right in a few days.

‘The British Colonist’ 17/10/1862 p3  


10/12/1861  Capt. J. Nagle opens Shipping Agency and General Commission business.

            Capt.J.Nagle opened an office on Wharf Street near the Post Office for the transaction of Shipping Agency and General Commission business.

‘The British Colonist’ 10/12/1861 p3 




4/1/1862 Nagle suffers riding accident with horse rolling over him.

            Serious Accident - Captain J. Nagle while riding along the southern bank of James’ Bay, near Capt. Mouat’s residence, yesterday noon, met with a serious accident. As he was passing the point indicated, the horse shied at some object, stumbled and fell, and in the fall rolled completely over his rider. The Captain was assisted to his residence and medical aid summoned. No bones were broken, but it is feared that serious internal injuries were sustained.

‘The British Colonist’ 4/1/1862 p3


3/3/1862 Nagle letter ..Snow on the Northern Coast

                        Victoria, March 5th, 1862.

            Editor British Colonist: - I have been informed by a very intelligent Indian who has just arrived from Fort Simpson, that all that section of country is covered by snow in the depth of several feet. He states that it will be impossible for either white men or Indians to work the ground for at least four or five weeks. I therefore would advise all those men who intend to visit the Bentinck Arm or the Stickeen River not to leave for those places before the 10th of April.

                                                            J. Nagle.

Source ‘The British Colonist’ 6/3/1862 p2  


Pickett & Co and an ancient friend, Captain Jeremiah Nagle, have shipping offices near the corner of Bastion and Wharf streets. [Vancouver] I am pleased to find that public expression entirely exonerates the Captain from blame in connection with the charges brought against him by the authorities when acting as Harbour Master. He lost the position, but his deputy, it is now well understood, was alone the guilty party.

Source: Daily Alta, California. 22nd March 1862.


2/11/1862 Nagle offers work to the unemployed.

Labor - Labor!

Editor British Colonist - Sir; In your issue of this morning’s date I read a letter headed “Work for the Unemployed,” and signed “Victor,” who piches into the Government for not finding himself and others employment. He says “Many of us, myself among that unfortunate number, have been lured out of England to this country by gross misrepresentations,” &c. victor must recollect that he left a country where thousands are in the most destitute state, and where Government no more than our own, can give them employment. If Victor will get together from ten to twenty men who are willing to work, I will locate them on 300(?) acres of land , where they can employ themselves by cutting firewood and splitting shingles, sawing lumber and splitting rails for fences, free of all expense, and I will also guarantee them a market for the produce of their labor. I remain &c.,

                                                                                    J. Nagle.

View Street, near the Police Office.

Source ‘The British Colonist’ 2/11/1862 p3  


8/11/1862 Nagle writes to British Colonist re Town Boundaries

Town Boundaries

Editor British Colonist - Sir - My attention was called the other day to the alterations which the House of Assembly recently made in the City Map of Victoria. Formerly its limits were well defined by a circle whose centre was the Old Fort. [Carroll’s Corner Ed. Col]. Now by some ingenious contrivance it is made to extend in a northwest direction 9700 feet, while in a southerly direction , it only extends 3500 feet, which leaves out the property of His Excellency the Governor, the Colonial Secretary, the Auditor-General, the Sheriff of Victoria, and many others, all of whose properties were within the city limits on the old ….map. I have not the least objection to have the limits of the city extended to any size that the wisdom of the House of Assembly may think proper, but I have a most decided objection to having it so arranged that

The property of wealthy and influential parties is to be left out, so as to enable them to elude paying the city rates. You will naturally inquire why I take such an interest in the city limits, and probably you will think I am a great philanthropist. I certainly take a very great interest in the city limits, without possessing the least particle of philanthropy, and the reason is I own property in Victoria West, which was formerly in the District of Esquimal, but by the … trick of Legerdemain, I find my property placed within the limits of the city of Victoria. The concocters of this beautiful scheme, I understand, wereW.A.G.Young Esq., the Colonial Secretary, Jus.D.Pemberton Esq., Surveyor General,  and george Hunter Cary(?) Esq., our upright, conscientious and popular Attorney General.  In conclusion, I may add that where such a piece of injustice as this takes place in our very midstby men in authority in this colony, you cannot be surprised at the contempt which is universally felt towards those who ought to command the confidence and respect of their fellow citizens.

            I remain your obed’t serv’t

                                                J. Nagle.

 Source ‘The British Colonist’ 8/11/1862 p3  


8/11/1862 Reply of British Colonist to Nagle’s letter re Victoria City Boundaries

                        The City Boundary

            Whatever the charges may be brought against our public men in office, no one could ever be bold enough to impute to them any surplus delicacy in any transactions where the rights of the public and their own private interests were in any way likely to conflict. None of this mistaken sentiment of scrupulousness need hope for refuge in the bosoms of the elect, who for the present, control the destinies of this colony. One would think that a natural feeling of justice would enable the members of the government who had anything to do with the getting up or sanctioning the Act of Incorporation, to see that it was nothing but fair that no favour should be shown to any man, be he high or low, but that all should be treated alike - that by no system of juggling should the property of any man be, in order to save it from City taxation, excluded from what to every candid mind is its proper place. But facts, - stubborn facts - are against such an idea. The matters referred to in the letter of Capt. Nagle, published by us today, have been the theme of public remark since the enactment of  the Corporation Act. 




5/2/1863 Nagle writes to British Colonist re postage costs.

Post Office

            Victoria, Feb 5, 1863

Editor British Colonist - Sir - Yesterday I sent a letter to the Post Office to be forwarded to San Francisco - (it was a single one) for which my son paid 15 cents, the authorised rate being only eight cents. Why is this extra 7 cents required on every single letter that is posted for California? It would be as cheap and much more satisfactory if the inhabitants of this place were to purchase from Wells Fargo & Co. their stamped envelopes - (3 can be had for 50 cents), than to pay the Victoria postage.

                        I am etc.    J. Nagle.

            (We have enquired into Mr Nagle’s complaint, and find the practice adopted at the Post Office in giving change, is just the same as that common amongst our commercial classes here; and cannot well be altered until we get smaller coin into circulation than a ten cent piece. It would save both time and trouble if parties would buy stamps and stamp their own letters. - Ed. Col.)


‘The British Colonist’ 5/2/1863 p3 


3/3/1863 Nagle writes to British Colonist re indigent people and the need for appropriate hospital facilities.

The Royal Hospital

                                                Victoria, March 4, 1863.

Editor, British Colonist, Sir, - Last Friday evening my attention was directed to an Indian who was laying on the pathway close o my fence, my children told me that he had been crying all the day., and that he was quite blind. He told me that he belonged to Fort Rupert, and had recently lost a brother and a sister; which I suppose was the cause of his intense sorrow. I wished him to go into an outhouse where he could be sheltered from the heavy rain which was then falling very fast.; he said he would be soon going away, for one of his friends was coming for him. On Saturday morning I found him in the same place, having lain all night in the heavy rain, he was then wet through and extremely cold. After giving him something to eat, I had him conveyed to an outhouse where he still remains. On Monday one of my children, who had been attending on him, came to my office and expressed a fear that the Indian had the small pox. I called upon Dr. Dickson, who, with his characteristic kindness, immediately went over to the house where the Indian was lying, and to our great satisfaction stated that it was not the small-pox the unfortunate man had, but he said he is dangerously ill, and you ought to send him to the hospital as soon as possible, for he requires medical treatment. The Doctor then said, “ you can get an order from the visiting physician which will admit him.” I said, “The order would not have the least effect, for it was only last week that I went over to the hospital with an order from Dr. Haggin to admit a Sooke Indian, who is very ill, but was refused, having been told ‘that there were only twelve free beds, and they were all full!” The Victoria Hospital contains twelve beds, and Victoria is a British Colony, one of the brightest gems in Her Majesty’s dominions! And we are Englishmen and Christians, and yet with our boasted humanity we can only support twelve free beds in this royal hospital of ours.”

On Monday the second inst., I met Dr. Helmcken,. I mentioned the case of these two poor dying men, and asked his advice and assistance, he said, “the hospital can only accommodate a limited number of patients, but I had better see Mr. Pemberton or Mr. Cridge.” I waited on these gentlemen, told my tale of sorrow, and received the same consolation I had from Dr. Helmeken. Now, here are three gentlemen, who have resided here for many years in this colony, holding high and honourable positions, noted for the universal charity and goodness of heart, and yet these men could not assist me in procuring public relief for these dying Indians. Is there not something radically wrong in the system of upholding an hospital which would be a disgrace to an English hamlet? Four years ago I suggested the propriety of having a tax levied on emigrants arriving at this port, of one dollar a head (in San Francisco it is $5 and $6 on all arriving and leaving that place), had that suggestion been carried out we would have had long ere this an hospital which would have been an ornament to the town and a benefit to the people.

            Now, as this is a question of vital importance to every resident on this island, and to every friend of humanity, I wish you to bring this subject before the public, so that some plan may be adopted to ensure an efficient and well-conducted asylum for our indigent and suffering fellow-creatures, - I remain, &c.,

                                                            J. Nagle

The British Colonist, Victoria, March 6, 1863. 


Historically, mining has played a crucial role in the development in British Columbia and Sooke was no exception. Sooke's mining history began with the discovery of copper in 1863 by Captain Jeremiah Nagle


More Copper Discoveries. - A new and rich lead of copper ore had been discovered on Captain Nagle’s farm at Sooke (V.I.) Specimens assayed from twenty-five to thirty per cent of metal. A tunnel had been driven in one hundred and sixty feet on another lead at the same place.

Source: Sacremento Daily Union 18th December, 1863




8/3/1864 Nagle writes letter to British Colonist re failure of Governor to invite Royal Navy officers to a banquet.

                        The Coming banquet

Editor British Colonist - Sir, - I was very much surprised to hear that the officers of H.M. ships lying in Esquimalt, have not been invited to meet His Excellency, Sir James Douglas, at the banquet which is to talke place on the 10th inst. Many of the inhabitants of this town as well as myself, feel very deeply the slight offered to those gentlemen and we are astonished that the gentlemen forming the Committee of Management should exhibit such a want of courtesy to those brave fellows who have done so much to promote the interests of this colony. I inquired of one of the members why these gentlemen were not invited to meet Sir James Douglas. The reply was “We could not afford to invite them all, therefore we only asked the senior officers of the Army and Navy to participate in our sumptuous repast.” I will state the number of officers now on board H.M. ships, the Cameleon has a commander, two lieutenants, master, doctor, paymaster, and an engineer officer. In the wardroom, seven in number; in the gun room there are five officers; in the gun-boats Grappler and Forward there are two officers, and in the Beaver, three, so that the total of British officers on the station only amounts to seventeen. Now, if these gentlemen had been invited, I can safely state that not more than seven or eight would or could have attended. It is now too late to rectify the error that has been committed, but I trust for the future that when the inhabitants of Victoria give a public dinner they will not forget the officers of the Army and the Navy,

                        I remain &c

                                                J. Nagle.

The British Colonist, Victoria, March 8, 1864. 




8/4/1865 Nagle has serious accident in buggy, breaks ankle.

Serious Accident

We regret to have to state that a serious accident occurred to Capt. J. Nagle, of this city, yesterday, by which he sustained a fracture of the bones of his right leg. Capt. Nagle was driving out towards Cadboro Bay in a buggy, with a son of Mr. D. Shirpser, when a portion of the harness gave way, and the horse becoming frightened, dashed off at full speed, throwing both of the occupants out of the carriage. Capt. Nagle’s foot got caught in the wheel, and was twisted round, breaking both bones below the ankle joint . Young Shirpser was thrown on his face, and the wheels passed over the back of his head, bruising it rather seriously. The horse continued his speed till the wheels struck a rock, detaching the shafts from the body of the carriage, when he turned back and stopped at the spot where the accident occurred. Shirpser then mounted the animal, and brought him into town.  Mr. Harvey of Uplands Farm, hearing of the accident, kindly sent his spring wagon filled with hay, and had Capt. Nagle conveyed to his house where he was attended by Drs. Powell and Dickson, who set the broken limb. The unfortunate gentleman also sustained some severe bruises from the fall. We are desired by Capt. Nagle to return his grateful thanks to Mr. Harvey for his kind attention, and also to Mr. Dupois, who drove him home.

The British Colonist 8/4/1865  


11/12/1865 Nagle opens shipping customs and broker’s office in New Westminster.

Changed Quarters - Our old fellow citizen Capt.Nagle has opened a shipping, customs and broker’s office in Front Street, New Westminster.

The British Colonist 11/12/1865 p3 




19/3/1866 Nagle house at James Bay, Victoria, up for sale.

Sale of Real Estate - Today at noon Messrs Daniel Scott & Co. will sell at their auction rooms that delightfully attested house and property at James Bay, the late residence of Capt. Nagle, with water lot in front and other valuable property. This presents a fine opportunity to any persons desirous of securing use of the best sites for residence to be found in this city.

  The British Colonist 19/3/1866 p3


16/7/1866 Nagle sets up business in Bastion St.

Home Again - We are pleased to notice our old citizen, Capt. Nagle, back at his old stand at Bastion Street, where he is conducting a ship agency business in all its branches.

The British Colonist 16/7/1866 p3 



‘The British Colonist’

Friday Morning, June 14, 1867.

Supreme Court of Civil Justice

(before Chief Justice Needham)


Capt. J. Nagle, swore - Have been fifty years connected with nautical matters: was 27 years a master;




4/8/1868 Nagle writes to British Colonist about establishing a Sailors’ Home

Sailors’ Home

                                    Victoria, August 1st, 1868

Editor British Colonist - The accompanning (sic) document was handed to me a few days ago by some of the seamen belonging to this port, in which they request to use my influence in procuring for them ‘a home’ where they can assemble and amuse themselveswithout having to resort to the public houses. For several months I have been trying to establish a Sailors’ Home in this place, but as yet have not succeeded; those with whom I have conversed on the subject have invariably put a very wet damper on it, by saying ‘you can’t succeed, though we wish you would, the place is too young for any thing of the kind,” and many other equally discouraging expressions, so that I am heartily sick and tired of conversing with individuals on the subject. I now appeal to the public, not as a favour, but as a right, to assist me in procuring a “Home” for a hard-working , industrious, but improvident race of men in our community. We have our Masonic and Odd Fellows Societies, our Turn Verein and Dramatic Societies, and many others where our fellow townsmen meet to enjoy themselves, and what is better than even these, are the pleasant homes that many of us have, where cheerful and happy faces meet us after the cares and anxieties of the day. All such pleasures the poor sailor is deprived of; he has no home, no place where he can invite his shipmate to spend with him a social hour or two, without he takes him to some drinking saloon, where many would refrain from going if they had a place they could call their own. It now rests with the inhabitants of Victoria whether the sailor is to have a home or not. I do not fear the result, although I may receive a few more dampers from sympathizing friends whom I really believe will be some of the first to assist me in this undertaking, when they find it fairly underweigh.

                                    Yours truly,

                                                J. Nagle

P.S. -- After the first outlay, which will not exceed $650, the Sailors’ Home will be self-supporting; the particulars will be laid before the public at some future time.


The British Colonist 4/8/1868  



Colonial Secretary’s Office

20th Augt  1869



In reply to your letter of the 12th inst: forwarding a Certificate from certain of the Merchants of Victoria, stating that it would be to their advantage and Convenience if two Port Wardens were authorised by the Government to survey the hatches and report upon the storage of Vessels arriving from Foreign parts, as was formerly the case, I am directed by the Officer administering the Government to authorise Your acting in that capacity in the place of Captain Read deceased.


I have the honor to be


Your obedient Servant

                        Charles Good

Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.





1875 Jeremiah Nagle living at Pandora Street in Victoria

Source BC Voter’s List for 1875 from Sessional Papers of BC Govt 1876



Ottawa, 30th March, 1875.



I beg to inform you that by Order in Council of the 8th instant, on the recommendation of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, in accordance with the provisions of the Act 37 Vic. Chap. 34 the Ports of Victoria and Esquimalt have been proclaimed as Ports to which the provisions of the Act referred to shall apply.

            I beg also to inform you that you have been appointed Harbour Master for the Ports of Victoria and Esquimalt and your salary shall not exceed $600 of the fees to be collected by you from vessels under the 8th section of the Act.

            I enclose a copy of the Act referred to.

            I also enclose a copy of the Canada Gazette of the 27th instant containing the proclamation mentioned, as well as a notice of your appointment.

            I also enclose a form to be filled up by you and returned to the Department.

            I also enclose a copy of the Canada Gazette of the 12th December last containing the Rules and Regulations applicable to the Ports of Victoria and Esquimalt. If you desire to make any emendations or additions to these Rules, you will please send to the Department three copies of the Rules you propose that the same may be submitted to Council.

                        I am, Sir, Your most obedient servant,

                                    Wm. Smith

                                    Deputy Minister of Marine & Fisheries.

Transcription of copy of original from Royal BC Museum archives.




Nagle retires as harbourmaster

Appointment - The latest Canada Gazette contains this announcement: Captain W.R. Clarke to be harbourmaster for the Ports of Victoria and Esquimalt in the Province of British Columbia, cice[?] Captain Jeremiah Nagle resigned.

Source: The British Colonist April 15th,  1881


1881 Canadian Census -Nagle living in the James Bay Ward, Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia 

Nagle Jeremiah Ships Master 79 Ireland

Nagle, Catherine Homemaker England 69

Henderson, Mary Anna


Teacher (female)




Captain Jeremiah William Nagle died on the 5th of January, 1882 at the age of 81. He is buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery, in Victoria. The Colonist newspaper printed an obituary[i] -




Marine/Died at Victoria, BC, Jan 5, 1882, Jeremiah Nagle, n/o Cork, Ire, age 81.   Deceased one of our oldest residents who early in life took up with a seafaring vocation.  He commanded ships in the merchant service to Aus and NZ in the early days of the settlement of those colonies, and was one of the pioneer residents of both NSW and NZ.  From Eng's antipodean empire he sailed to this coast and after a sojourn of a few years in CA came to this city.  In 1859 he was appointed Harbormaster and occupied that position during the piping times of the old free port system till the free port was abolished in 1863.  He was again Harbormaster after confederation, and held that position till quite recently when old age and increasing infirmities obliged him to resign it.  Deceased leaves a large grownup family.  Two sons are in CA, a daughter is  w/o Rev Mr Holmes of Cowichan, and Mrs Phillip Hankin is another daughter.  Mrs Nagle, his estimable wife, survives him; but is feeble and bedridden.  Pallbearers: Hon Senator Macdonald, Hon Justice Crease, Mr T Sidney Dobbin, Capt Clarke, Dr Davie, Mr J W McKay, Mr C Ward, William McKay, jr.  A77 W 32


Hon Senator Macdonald,

Hon Justice Crease, Sir Henry Pering Pellew, lawyer, politician, office holder, judge; b.20 Aug. 1823

Mr T Sidney Dobbin,

Capt Clarke,

Dr Davie,

Mr J W McKay, wife of Nellie who was daughter of Catherine Nagle’s late brother.

Mr C Ward,

William McKay, jr- probably his son.

Photo- Denise Armitage, of Victoria. Thanks Denise.