Murray Reid and his daughters Catherine Balfour Reid and Mary Anne Reid,
one other daughter and his wife Mary Petrie arrived in Victoria in
December 1852, having left London on June 30, 1852. James Reid was
in command of the HBC's brigatine "Vancouver". It was
lost on Rose Spit off the northeastern side of the Queen Charlotte
Islands in August 1854, and was set on fire to prevent the cargo (which
included spirits) from falling into the hands of the Indians.
James Reid decided
that he, his wife and his daughters would stay in Victoria. He
changed his career and became engaged in "mercantile pursuits"
as an importer. He purchased waterfront lots in Victoria so that
he could have both warehouses and wharfs. He and his family became
extremely rich and lived in a smart house in Bastion Square. He
was appointed port warden for Esquimalt and Victoria in 1859, and in
1862 he was elected town councillor for Victoria. He sold the
business in 1862 to devote himself to public service.
He was born on
October 15, 1802 in the Orkney Islands and he died on April 24, 1868.
He entered the HBC
marine service in 1822, becoming first officer of the "Prince
Albert", and then later the "Prince Rupert", both of
which travelled from London to Hudson Bay. He received command of
the "Vancouver" in about 1849.
Sister Catherine Balfour Reid (elder sister we believe) married William
John McDonald, a well known Victoria pioneer, who was afterwards
Senator, on Tuesday, March 17, 1857. William John McDonald had
arrived on the "Tory", landing at Victoria on May 14,
1851. He travelled with such worthies as the Thornhills and the
Deans. He joined his father-in-law in the mercantile importing
business in 1858.