Victoria, the Queen

Victoria's ascension to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland seemed remote when she was born in 1819. She was, after all, the daughter of the fourth son of George III. Two of her uncles served as king but had no surviving legitimate offspring, so on the death of William IV in 1837, Victoria became Queen of England at the age of eighteen. She reigned for over 61 years,the longest reign of any British Monarch.

She had a brief romantic friendship with the then Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, but met Prince Albert of Saxony in 1839 when he made a state visit to the English court, and proposed to him five days later. They were married on February 10, 1840.

Albert was the staid partner, "extremely strait laced and a great stickler for morality" while the young Victoria was "rather the other way." The prince disliked London and late parties and royal occasions became models of decorum. Their first child, Victoria (called Vicky) was born in 1840, the heir to the throne, Edward, was born in 1841. Altogether she had nine children, the last, Beatrice born in 1857.

Albert became very much a partner with her in her responsibilities and with their royal relatives spread across Europe, they played a significant role in foreign affairs and an important though lesser role in domestic politics. Albert's death from typhoid in 1861 was a terrible blow to Victoria. She suffered a nervous breakdown and lived in near isolation for the next ten years, always appearing in widows weeds. She was a widow at 42, and her widowhood defined her for her remaining 40 years. She blamed her son, and heir for her husband's death, as Albert had come back ill from a trip to smooth over one of the Prince of Wales' indiscretions. As a result, she was estranged from her son for the rest of her life. Prior to Albert's death, the royal couple had an important role in politics, helping to compose political coalitions in the volatile alliances that characterized the House of Commons, and intervening in foreign affairs. After she emerged from her isolation after Albert's death, she adopted a policy of strict neutrality in politics.

In 1877 she accepted Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's invitation to be crowned Empress of India, an event both symbolic and theatrical. Her Golden Jubilee in 1887 was celebrated throughout her empire and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 is regarded by many as the flood tide of British imperialism.

Between ascending the throne and leaving it, Victoria put her stamp on most of the nineteenth century, "the Victorian era". The severeness of the Court, her widowhood and isolation all leant weight to what has been called Victorian morality. She became queen at a time when the place of the royalty was in flux and doubt, actively engaged in politics and left the throne secure in a constitutional monarchy in which the queen or king is a figurehead for the state.

Aboriginal People

The Lekwungen (Songhees)

Chinese Immigrants

Chinatown, 1885

Famous and Infamous

Belle Adams

Mathew Baillie Begbie from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Richard Carr

James Douglas from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Edna Farnsworth

John Sebastion Helmcken

Edgar Marvin

Robert Paterson Rithet

William Robinson (a Great Unsolved Canadian Mystery Site)

John Herbert Turner


Biographical sheets have been created by Hudson's Bay Company Archives (HBCA) staff to provide employment information on individuals who were employed by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and/or the North West Company. Biographical sheets outline the person's employment history and may also include the parish of origin or place of birth; positions, posts and districts in which the person served; family information, if available; and references to related documents, including photographs or drawings. Please note that biographical sheets have not been created for every employee and that the conversion of existing biographical sheets to the website is ongoing.

Mayors of Victoria

Newspapermen of Victoria 1858-1863

If they were really famous also check:

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography
J.B Kerr's 1890 Biographical well-known British Columbians from Early Canadiana Online
Henry J Morgan The Canadian men and women of the time: a handbook of Canadian biography (Toronto : W. Briggs, 1898.)

The Obscure

For everyone, even the most obscure check the censuses and directories for 1881, 1891, and 1901 on