Queen Charlotte Strait

Feature Type:Strait - Passage, usually navigable, connecting two larger bodies of water.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Between N end of Vancouver Island and mainland, Range 1 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°50'16''N, 127°21'29''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92L/14
Related Maps: 92L/10
92L/11
92L/13
92L/14
92L/15
92M/4

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924, as labelled on British Admiralty Charts.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

This feature is labelled "Queen Charlotte's Sound" on Captain Vancouver's Chart of the Coast of Northwest America, published in 1798, and on British Admiralty Chart 581, 1867 et seq, and on BC map 2C, 1919 & 1920. Correspondence with Hydrographic Service re: nomenclature and the distinction between "strait" and "sound", and boundaries between this feature and the open waters between Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Islands; this particular feature was determined to be a "strait" - to be labelled "Queen Charlotte Strait" - and the name "Queen Charlotte Sound" would be applied to the open waters between Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Islands. (September - November 1920, file 34275s pt. 1).

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"The restricted body of water between Vancouver Island and the mainland, from a line between Cape Sutil and Cape Caution southeast to several narrow channels north & east of Malcolm Island..." (18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924 (supplement to the Annual Report of the Dept of the Interior, 1924, Ottawa). The northern limit of Queen Charlotte Strait coincides with the southern limit of Queen Charlotte Sound.

Source: included with note

"Named in 1786 after Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. Her majesty, Charlotte Sophia, was the daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg and married King George in 1761. Died 1818. [Captain] Vancouver mentions that the sound was named by Mr. S. Wedgeborough, commander of the Experiment, in August 1786, and that he, Vancouver, adopted the name in his journal and charts. There is some uncertainty as to who was the commander of the Experiment when this name was given...."

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)

"Named August 5, 1786 by [English fur trader] James Strange. Vancouver says Wedgeborough, who was in command of the snow Experiment under Strange named it, but this is a mistake. Guise was captain of the Experiment but the place was not named from the ship, but during a boat excursion up Goletas Channel. Strange says he saw an opening straight ahead to which he gave the name Queen Charlotte Sound. He was not within forty miles of it..." [Note: James Strange applied the name "Queen Charlotte's Sound" to the body of water now know as Queen Charlotte STRAIT - the body of water between Vancouver Island and the mainland, visible from Goletas Channel.]

Source: Wagner, Henry R; The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America; University of California Press, Berkley, 1937

Queen Charlotte Sound was named in 1786 by Mr. S. Wedgeborough, to honour Her Majesty Charlotte Sophia, Queen consort to King George III of Great Britain and Ireland. The following year Captain George Dixon named Queen Charlotte Islands after the name of his ship; in 1792 Captain George Vancouver named the Gulph [sic] of Georgia and Queen Charlotte Strait after King George II and his Queen, thus connecting the royal couple on the map. [see Queen Charlotte Strait for additional biographical information.]

Source: Provincial Archives' Place Names File (the "Harvey File") compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

"...Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) was the youngest daughter of a brother of the 3rd Duke of Meckenburg-Strelitz. The royal marriage having been arranged, she travelled to England in 1761 and married George III the day that they first met. She bore the King fifteen children, was thoroughly domestic in her interests, and never discussed matters of state with her husband. Horace Walpole described her thus at the time of her marriage: 'She is not tall nor a beauty. Pale and very thin; but looks sensible and genteel. Her hair is darkish and fine; her forehead low, her nose very well, except the nostrils spreading too wide. The mouth has the same fault, but her teeth are good. She talks a great deal, and French tolerably.' Queen Charlotte said that she knew no real sorrow in her marriage until the King went insane."

Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; 1001 British Columbia Place Names; Discovery Press, Vancouver 1969, 1970, 1973.