Barkley Sound

Feature Type:Sound (1) - Large body of water from which two or more inlets, arms or channels branch off.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W side of Vancouver Island, SE of Clayoquot Sound, Barclay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 48°53'45''N, 125°16'35''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92C/14

Origin Notes and History:

Barkley Sound adopted in the 5th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1904; not "Barclay Sound" as mis-spelled on British Admiralty Charts 584 and 592, published in 1863 & 1865, respectively, from 1861 surveys conducted by Captain Richards, RN.

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

The misspelling "Barclay Sound" on early Admiralty charts is copied from Land District records, in turn a spelling mistake made by William Eddy Banfield, the government agent and first white settler in the area in 1859, who issued property title and government reserve certificates identifying "Barclay Land District." The spelling mistake is perpetuated in property title descriptions as "Barclay Land District" although the name of the waterbody was corrected to Barkley Sound in 1904. Ironically, William Eddy Banfield's name was also mis-spelled with the label "Bamfield Creek" (referring to the tidal inlet) on the same early Admiralty charts produced from 1861 surveys conducted by Captain Richards, RN. The name was correctly spelled "Banfield Creek" on subsequent editions, however "...when the Post Office was opened in May 1903, the name was spelled with an "m", and it has remained so ever since..." (F.V. Longstaff, writing in the Victoria Colonist, 25 March 1926)

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

"Discovered and named in 1787 by Captain Charles William Barkley (1759 - 1832), of the British trading ship Imperial Eagle, after himself. The Imperial Eagle had previously been the East Indiaman "Loudoun", renamed "Imperial Eagle" and sailing under the Austrian colours to evade the procuring of a licence from the East India Company to trade in these waters. The ship sailed from the Thames in August 1786... arriving at Nootka in June 1787....[see Walbran for extensive additional descriptions] Barkley sound was for many years erroneously spelt in the chart "Barclay" but the correct spelling was restored by the Geographic Board of Canada. The sound is shown on Eliza's chart of 1791 under the name "Archiepelago de Nitinat o Carrasco"."

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)

"In 1786, when only 26 years of age, [Captain Charles William Barkley] left the service of the East India Company to take command of the Loudon, alias the Imperial Eagle, which was being outfitted in the Thames River for a trading voyage to the Pacific Northwest coast. While in Ostend, Barkley met and married Frances Hornby Trevor, the 17 year old daughter of the Protestant minister. The marriage took place 27 October 1786. When the Imperial Eagle sailed four weeks later, Mrs. Barkley courageously accompanied her husband on the voyage, and thus was the first white woman to see the Northwest coast of America. Her unpublished reminiscences, written in the latter days of her life, and now in the Provincial Archives in Victoria, are the main source of information about this and later voyages.... In her reminiscences Mrs Barkley wrote, ' this part of the coast proved a rich harvest of furs. Likewise another very large sound to which Captain Barkley gave his own name, calling it Barkley's Sound. Also several coves, bays and islands in the sound we named. There was Frances Island, named after myself; Hornby Peak, also after myself; Cape Beale, after our purser; Williams Point and a variety of other names'...."

Source: Barkley Sound; a history of the Pacific Rim National Park area, by R.Bruce Scott, Fleming Printing, Victoria, 1972, pp17-23.