We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

Chartres Brew

[ Chartres Brew , Undetermined, BCA A-01127 ]

Chartres Brew was born in Corofin, Ireland, in 1815. As a young man, he served in the Royal Irish Constabulary where he ascended to the position of inspector. In 1858 he was recommended for the office of Chief Inspector of Police for the new colony of British Columbia to maintain law and order in the goldfields. When he arrived in the interior, however, he was appointed Chief Gold Commissioner as a constabulary was not established until after the Chilcotin War.

After the attack on the road crew, Governor Seymour dispatched Brew to lead an expedition into Chilcotin territory from the head of Bute Inlet, and William Cox to lead another from the Cariboo.

Brew was well respected by his superiors and served numerous functions in the colony over the years: magistrate, acting treasurer, acting chief commissioner of lands and works, and appointed member of the Legislative Council of B.C. He died in the Cariboo of acute rheumatism in 1869. His epitaph was written by his friend Judge Begbie: “A man imperturbable in courage and temper, endowed with a great and varied administrative capacity, a most ready wit, a most pure integrity and a most humane heart.”

Secondary Sources

Ormsby, Margaret. “Chartres Brew.” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. IX. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1976, 81-3.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History