Harvey John Moberly

John Moberly (Royal Navy)

Captain John Moberly was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, of English parentage, in 1789. He entered the navy in 1801 when he was only 12 and by 1815 had become a post Captain, serving on a number of ships.

In 1834, Capt. John Moberly, was appointed to the rank of Admiral, in control of all operations appertaining to the navy, at the Naval and Military Establishment, at Penetanguishene, Ontario. Although the naval section of the post was closed in that year, in 1835 Penetanguishene had 40 rank and file known as a batteaux establishment for the conveyance of provisions, military stores, etc. and this in view of the facts that a general sale of craft and naval and marine appliances was ordered in 1832 and continued for some time.

Family life and heritage

In 1825 Captain Moberly married Miss Mary Fock, daughter of General Fock of the Russian Imperial Service. She was born in Sebastopol, Crimea, where her father was then stationed. General Fock, who was a member of a Polish family of distinction, had command of the Russian Imperial Artillery at the famous Battle of Borodino in Russia which preceded Napoleon's entrance to Moscow in 1812. Of this union were born nine children, six sons and three daughters.


Mary born at Sowerby, Yorkshire, 1829; married in 1850 Sir Harford Jones-Brydges, Radnorshire, Wales.

George Moberly, who was also born at Sowerby, Yorkshire in 1830, later became a barrister in Collingwood, Ontario and married Fanny Maria, third daughter of the late Col. E. G. O'Brien, Shanty Bay, Ontario.

Walter Moberly was born at Steeple Ashton, Oxfordshire in 1832 and went on to become a civil engineer.

Harvey John Moberly was born at Penetanguishene, Ontario 1835. He entered the Hudson's Bay Company's service in 1854.

Clarence Wishaw Moberly was born at Penetanguishene in 1838. Also known as William, Clarence became a civil engineer and was for many years Chief Engineer of the Northern Railway of Canada, from Toronto to Collingwood. He resigned from this position in 1875, to become the contractor of the Northern Extensions Railway to Gravenhurst. Following its completion later that year, he became Chief Engineer of the Ontario & Pacific Junction Railway, which proposed to build a connection from there to the proposed CPR. The O & P J was never built. Clarence W. Moberly died in Collingwood in 1902.

Arthur Moberly, who was born at Penetanguishene in 1840, became a doctor and married Caroline Jean, daughter of J.O.Bouchier of Sutton, Ontario, and died in 1879.

Sophia, born at Penetanguishene in 1843, died in infancy.

Frank Moberly, born at Barrie in 1845, Civil Engineer. In 1871 he took charge of the government survey from Winnipeg to the Kootenay Plains, at the headwaters of the Athabaska in the Rocky Mountains and engaged in a number of transcontinental railway and exploration surveys both in Canada and the United States, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and in the States to California.

Emma, born at Barrie in 1847, remained unmarried and lived with her sister Lady Brydges, Radnorshire, Wales.

Life after the Navy

In 1837, Capt. Moberly was offered a commission as Colonel in a regiment at Barrie, Ontario; but as he was a sailor and not a soldier he relegated the honour to one of his sons. Capt. Moberly was appointed License Inspector for Simcoe County in 1843 and on moving to Barrie in 1844 was appointed Agent for the Bank of Upper Canada, opening the first bank branch in the County of Simcoe. He died in 1848 at Barrie at the comparatively young age of 59. Mrs. Capt. Moberly died in 1879.

External links

Simcoe County pioneer papers, by Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society Barrie, Ontario, 1908.

  • http://www.ourroots.ca/f/page.aspx?id=587397 See chapter: “Commanders of the Fleet” from page 106.
  • http://www.ourroots.ca/f/page.aspx?id=587700

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