Gilbert Spence HACKLAND (1828-1901)

Captain Gilbert Spence Hackland was born at the Orkney Islands on 31 January 1828. He was the son of William Hackland and Catharine Firth.

On 20 September 1856 at St Anne, Limehouse, England, he married Ann Sharp (1836-1902) and they had nine children: Margaret Jane (1858-1922, wife of Angus Sutherland), Pauline Mary Helen (1860-1927, wife of JA Morrison), Annie Maria (1862-1941, wife of Angus Pritchard), James Gilbert (1864-1915), Hector Dalrymple (1867-1870), Winnifred (1870-1905, wife of WL Hardisty), Alfred Ernest (1872-?) Beatrice Ann Hamilton (1875-?, wife of GA Simington) and Maxwell Ross (1878-1884).

 Mariner, Pioneer

From early life Captain Hackland engaged in sea-faring pursuits and frequently visited all parts of the ‘civilized and heathen’ worlds. He once received a commendation for breaking a speed record ‘by sailing his schooner from Jamaica to Liverpool and back in a day less than a year’. During the first Chinese war he was in command of a transport and was the first to break the boom and enter the river to the relief of Tien-Tsin for which he received honorable mention from the war office.

In 1862, Gilbert entered the service of the Hudson’s Bay Co. and came to Canada where he was stationed at York Factory. In 1872, he was moved to Fort Garry and put in charge of the company’s goods distributing department. He settled on a lot at North Kildonan. In 1876, Gilbert was given command of the company’s steamer, the Colville, which was built according to his specification and under his supervision at the Lower Fort Garry dock. He held this position until his retirement. He was a well-known ex-factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Upon retirement in 1890, he purchased the former Hudson’s Bay Co. post at Oak Point on the shores of Lake Manitoba where he farmed. About 1889, Gilbert started a Cheese Factory, using the old Hudson Bay trading post for the factory. This factory operated for three or four years and did quite well. He was the postmaster at Oak Point from 1896-1901.

Gilbert died at 411 Graham Avenue, the home of his daughter, on 27 April 1901 with his family at his bedside. He was buried in the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery.


  • Birth, Marriage and Death Registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • Obituary, The Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 29 April 1901, page 4.
  • “GS Hackland, Pioneer Dead”, The Morning Telegram, 29 April 1901, page 5.
  • “Capt. Hackland Dead”, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 1901, page 6.
  • Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Ancestry.
  • London, England Church of England Marriages & Banns, 175401938, Ancestry.
  • Lundar & District Historical Society. Wagons to Wheels: History of Lundar & Districts 1872-1980.
  • Laurent & District History Book Committee. The Land Between the Lakes: History of RM of St. Laurent & District 1882-2007 (2010).
  • 1901, Canada Census
  • Obituary [Mrs Pauline Morrison], The Province, Vancouver British Columbia, 14 Mar 1927, page 22.
  • Obituary [Alfred Hackland], Winnipeg Free Press, 06 October 1955, page 5.


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