Captain Dodd

Born in 1808 in Norwich, England, Captain Dodd entered service of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1833 as second mate of the Nereide. After various positions on that ship, the Beaver, the Cadboro, and the Cowlitz, he became master of the Beaver in 1845, a position he maintained until 1851. He left HBC service briefly, only to return to occupy both positions of chief trader and master until he became chief factor in 1860. Four months after this appointment, he died and is buried at Quadra St. Cemetery (Pioneer Square) in Victoria.

Captain Dodd and his wife Grace McTavish had seven children. Dodd's character and admirable ability impressed Sir George Simpson, governor of the HBC. He confidently placed Dodd in charge of Fort Stikine in 1842 after drunkenness caused the death of the chief factor's son and liquor was banned.

Later, after he was relieved of his position as chief trader and master of the Beaver, Dodd moved to Victoria with his family consequent of inadequate compensation. However, due to Dodd's respected reputation, he was convinced to take up his position on the Beaver once again in 1852.

Five years later, Dodd took it upon himself to track down the scalp of Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, the victim of "Northern Indians" who had taken fatal revenge for the murder of a chief by American naval forces. He was successful, trading six blanets for the scalp, and was officially thanked by the Legislative Assembly and promoted to chief factor in 1860. He died shortly thereafter of a kidney infection in Victoria, leaving two residences (one on Cormorant Street and one in the remote Gordon Head area) to his family. Dodd House still stands today in Lambrick Park, Saanich.


  • District of Saanich. “Dodd House.” District of Saanich.
  • Hudson’s Bay Company Archives. “Dodd, Charles.” Biographical Sheets.
  • Smith, Shirlee Anne. “Dodd, Charles.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
Miranda Harvey