William Fraser Tolmie

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William Fraser Tolmie

William Fraser Tolmie (1812-1886) - Born Inverness, Scotland, on 3 Feb 1812, Died at his home, Cloverdale Farm, in Saanich, near Victoria, BC on 8 Dec 1886.

After spending two years, 1829-1831, in the medical school of the University of Glasgow he joined the service of the Hudson's Bay Company on 12 September 1832 as surgeon and clerk. In 1833 he arrived at Fort Vancouver. Tolmie spent time at Fort Nisqually, Fort McLoughlin and Fort Victoria during his service in the northwest. He first travelled to Fort Nisqually in May 1833 performing duties as a surgeon and stayed until Dec 1833. During his stay there, Tolmie was the first white man to climb Mt. Rainier. He secured a furlough in 1841 and returned to Scotland. In 1842 he again travelled to Nisqually to take charge of a large cattle and sheep farm operated by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. On 31 March 1847 he was appointed Chief Trader and on 26 November 1855 the company elevated him to the position of Member of Council and Chief Factor at Fort Nisqually. In February 1850 he visited Victoria and married Jane Work on 19 Feb 1850. In 1859, Tolmie left Fort Nisqually and moved his family to Victoria to manage the Puget Sound Agricultural Company's farms on Vancouver Island. He continued to serve as a Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company and agent of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company until his retirement in 1870.

Tolmie won election to the Second House of Assembly of Vancouver Island and took his seat on 1 March 1859. He represented Victoria District until July 1866, and later, from 1874 to 1878, represented Victoria in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Father: Alexander Tolmie (-)

Mother: Marjory Fraser (-)


  • Jane Work (-) married 19 Feb 1850

Children: (7 sons & 5 daughters)

  • Simon Fraser Tolmie (-)


  • (1829-1831) Medical School of the University of Glasgow
  • (1832-1833) Hudson's Bay Company (at Fort Vancouver and other stations)
  • (1833-1836) Fort McLoughlin
  • (1836-1843) Hudson's Bay Company (at Fort Vancouver and other stations)
  • (1843-1855) Chief Trader Fort Nisqually
  • (1855-1859) Chief Factor Fort Nisqually
  • (1859-1866) Second House of Assembly of Vancouver Island
  • (1874-1878) Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

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