SS Mount Royal- Deceased

British Columbia, Canada

Hudson Bay Company, SS Mount Royal, Stern Paddle Wheel Steamer

At 3 pm on Saturday, July 6, 1907,
Sunk on route from Hazelton to Port Essington, at Kitselas Canyon, 93 miles from Hazelton.

6 of her crew drowned, or were killed by the exploding boiler:

William Lamplugh Lewis
b- bet July- Sept 1868, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England
birth registered Dudley District, Staffordshire, England
age 2 in 1871 census
killed from the explosion of the boiler.
In St. Peter's Church, Upper Gornal, is a brass tablet in his memory
“In memory of William Lamplugh Lewis second son of the Vicar of this Parish, who lost his life in a vain attempt to save the Engineers of the Hudson Bay Company's steamer Mount Royal, which was wrecked on the Skeena River, British Columbia, July 6th, 1907. R.I.P. Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake, shall find it.”
(see link below, it appears this family already knows about William)

He held First Officer Papers for deep sailing
2nd year with HBC
Previous experience on Steamers on the Yukon River

father- Rev. William Alfred Howell Lewis,
b- Nov 8, 1840, Sedgley, Staffordshire, England,
baptized Jan 5, 1841, Segley Co., Staffordshire
d- Sept 14, 1914 52 S. Judes Rd. West, Wolverhampton, England
B.A. from St. John's College, Cambridge
Vicar of St. Peter's Church, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England (1867-1913)
in Vicarage House, Eve Lane
when he died he left £6617

mother- Edith Ellen Lewis, nee Roberts
b- ca1840 Wokingham, Berkshire, England
They had 13 children:

Grandfather- Rev. William Lewis
b- 1797
d- Jan 10, 1870 at Sedgley, Staffordshire, England
Rev. William Lewis was the Vicar of all Saints Sedgley, Staffordshire, England
He left £3000

Married Jane Matilda Lewis, nee ? July 28, 1864 in Wokingham Co., Berkshire, England
b- ca 1807
d- 1867

1. Sister- Edith Ellen Lewis
b- ca1864, Banham, Near Alloborrow?, Norfolk, England

2. oldest son, brother- Francis Lewis
b- ca 1866, Banham, Near Alloborrow?, Norfolk, England
baptized apr 29, 1866, Banham, Norfolk, England

3. sister- Florence Leah Lewis
b- May 14, 1867, Sedgley, Staffordshire, England
d- Oct 17, 1940 in Birmingham, West Midlands, England
married John Frederick Norris

5. sister- Lilian (Lillian?) Lewis
b- ca 1870, Sedgley, Staffordshire, England

6. sister- Mary Theodora Lewis
b- Nov 24, 1872 Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England
d- 1941
She was the 4th daughter of 13 children
she married Arthur Nutter Thomas, Bishop of Adelaide, Australia

7. brother - John T. Lewis
b- 1874, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England

8. brother- Arthur Howell Lewis
b- July 1875, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England,
d- Aug 11, 1945 in Kamloops BC, age 70
He was age 35 in 1911, immigrated in 1899
he was age 26 when he married, bachelor, Storekeeper
married Celia Mabel Lewis, Sept 23, 1901, St, Savirits?
Celia Mabel Lewis, nee Berridge (nee Lacroix?)
b- Oct 1876, Hanley Castle, England, age 34 in 1911, immigrated in 1901
age 25 when she married
daughter William Berridge and Elizabeth Berridge, nee ?
daughter- Celia Mabel Beatrice Lewis
b- Aug 1,1902 in Chemainus, BC
she married Oswald John Hutchings, June 22, 1922, Christ Church, Vancouver
He was a machinist, when married age 21
son of John Hutchings, b- England and Elizabeth Lewis, b- Wales
1911 family in Chemainus area
in 1901 William was a witness at his brother Arthur's wedding
Clue to finding this family
one article mentioned William had a brother - A. H. Lewis of Chemainus BC in 1907

9. sister- Beatrice Lewis
b- ca 1879, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England

10. brother- Frederic Lewis
b- 1880, Upper Gornal, Staffordshire, England

I am missing 3 siblings of William,
if they had 13 children as one record states

James O'Keefe
b- ca1887, Halifax, NS, came to BC,19 years earlier at age 1.
d- age 20
had 3 sisters and 2 brothers, and a widowed mother when he died
worked for HBC for 4 years prior, 2 years of those on the Mount Royal.

1905 Victoria Directory shows him as a HBC Clerk, “lvs 182 Fort”

His body was found by natives, ca Sept 14, 1907

Father- Michael Lawrence O'Keefe,
b- 1850, Harbor Grace Newfoundland,
d- 1899 in Victoria BC
I now believe he was “Captain Michael Lawrence O'Keefe”

Mother- Agnes O'Keefe, nee Pumphrey, widow “M. L. h. 182 Fort” in 1906
I believe she was Mary Agnes O'Keefe, nee Pumphrey
b- ca 1853 in Harbor Grace, Newfoundland
d- May 25, 1935, in Victoria BC, age 82
shown in 1911 census with son Jack O'Keefe
says she was born in Ireland and immigrated in 1889

brother- Jack O'Keefe
b- May 1894 in BC

brother- Lawrence O'Keefe-
b- ?
employee Simon Leiser & Co in 1905
married Dorothy Ogburn
they had 2 children

sister- Mary O'Keefe,
b- Apr 5, 1879 Harbor Grace Newfoundland
d- Aug 12, 1960 in Seattle WA
HBC Stenographer in 1905
age 26 when she married,
married Harry Nesbitt, age 27 when he married, Dec 8, 1907 at 944 Fort St, Victoria,
b- in Victoria, bookkeeper
son of Samuel Nesbitt and Jane Ann Lannders?

sister- Francis O'Keefe, age 24
when she married Apr 14, 1903 at 182 Fort St, Victoria.
She was b- Newfoundland
she married William Taylor, age 37, b- New York, clerk

sister- Kathrine (Catherine?) O'Keefe
b- June 17, 1885 at Harbor Grace Newfoundland
d- Nov 24, 1967 at Seattle WA
graduate Nurse, age 37 when she married June 20, 1922
at St. Andrews' Cathedral
She Married Henry Samuels
a divorced Furniture salesman, age 48, who lived in Seattle
he was born in IL, USA
father- Frank Samuels, b- Sweden, mother- Hanna Olsen, b- Sweden

brother- John Hilary O'Keefe
b- Aug 25, 1895 in Victoria BC
d- Nov 21, 1967 in BC
buried St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery, New Westminster, Richmond St.
He married Noel Armstrong
they had 5 children
John enlisted in WWI , reg #429247, Sergeant, 47th Batt
Next of kin- Agnes O'Keefe, 516 Harbinger Ave., Victoria, BC

Archibald “Archie” Willis
b- ca1885, in London, England, age 22 in papers
Death Cert says he was age 23
R. Hayward, BC Funeral Co. in Victoria, handled his remains

His body was found and brought to Victoria
I don't think bodies of any of the others that died were ever found.

First year under HBC, previously he worked for CPR
on the SS Princess Beatrice as a Steward as well.

his name was recorded as Wills in error I think in some papers
it is clearly Willis on death cert

Bertram “Bert” Frayne
b- Oct 1, 1886 in ON
age 14 in 1901, so he would have been age 20 or so when he died.
Shown as a Boom Man

Before the accident he was living at 8 Rock Bay Rd until
he moved to an island in the straits with his family the winter before.
This was his 3rd year under HBC
He was single

He was an ex resident of Victoria
Killed from the explosion of the boiler
1905 Victoria directory, he shows as “lives at 12 Rock Bay Ave.”
George Frayne shows as a millman at Alert Bay, same house on Rock Bay.
father or brother?
Bertram Frayne was witness at brother George Frayne's wedding

father- George H. Frayne
b- Feb 27, 1845 in England
d- Jan 20, 1941 at Mill Bay BC, age 90
in 1901 Father was a Mill Foreman, age 56,

mother- Agnes (Lettitia?) Frayne, nee Yearsley
b- Jan 17, 1852 in Hamilton, ON
d- Cobble Hill BC
when son George died mother shown as Agnes Yearsley
mother shown as Agnes at brother Robert's wedding as well.
father born in Scotland, possibly initial S? Yearsley.

brother- Robert William Frayne
b- July 23, 1876 in Toronto, ON, age 65
d- Dec 24, 1959, North Vancouver General Hospital, North Vancouver BC, abt 83, a widow
buried Ocean View burial Park, North Vancouver.
1901 shown as a setter at the saw mill
age 28, living at Mill Bay when he married, farmer
Retired Labourer when he died
He married Lily May MacFarlane, July 11, 1904, St. John's Church, Victoria
b- Dublin Ireland, age 21
d- bef
daughter of James Davies Leanox Macfarlane and Amy MacFarlane

brother- George Frayne
b- Nov 10, 1878 in Hamilton, ON (Toronto shown on death cert)
d- Apr 11, 1959 on Trans-Canada Highway South, at Mill Bay, age 80
Occupation- Realtor
buried in United Church Cemetery, Duncan BC
lived in Crofton when he married, age 27
married Minnie May Garnett, Aug 22, 1906 Mill Bay Church, Cowichan dist.
b- Michigan, MN, age 24 when she married
daughter of Francis Walker Garnett and Elizabeth Eichenberger

sister- Pearl Louise Frayne
b- Jan 8, 1889 in Hamilton, ON
she was age 18, when she married.
married John Maxwell Newman, Feb 14, 1906 at no 3 Bridge St., Victoria
age 25, living at Ladysmith, Grocery clerk
b- Jefferson Co. Texas
son of John Purvis Newman and ?

J. Morishima, (Morshineu?)
b- ?, Japan

He had been working for HBC for 4 years

Frank Amata, ( Aneate ?) (Anatea?)
b- June 15, 1865 in Japan

Frenk Amandi in 1901 in Port Essington, age 35
He worked for the HBC for 8 years.
served 7 years in the Japanese navy
worked as a waiter in the Pacific Club in the winter months.

I think the enumerators and historians, had trouble with Chinese and Japanese names. I have never researched into Japan, so apologize for no more info on these men.

I would imagine Hudson Bay Archives would show who they were paying.

found this link after a day of searching for Mr. Lewis
this would have saved me hours of research


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 11:05
  • by dlgent