Derby – the first capital of BC

Derby

Derby

Governor Douglas wanted Derby (now Langley) on the Fraser River to be the first capital of British Columbia. This was the site of the first Hudson’s Bay Fort Langley built in 1827. This decision was made despite going against the recommendations of Colonel Moody of the Royal Engineers. Lots were drawn up and advertised for sale by the time Moody and his regiment of Royal Engineers landed in Victoria. Douglas called for tenders on December 1, 1858, for the erection of a parsonage, church, courthouse and gaol, and these were built by E. L. Fell, under contract. A large barracks was built which housed the Royal Engineers and their families.

As time passed, the town of Queenborough (New Westminster) became more populous compared to Derby and became the capital of the mainland colony.