Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Gilbert Spence Hackland (1828-1901)

Ship captain.

Born in Scotland on 29 February 1828, he entered the employment of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1852, working as a seaman aboard the company’s vessels Vancouver and Recovery. Two years later, he was discharged along with other members of the Recovery crew who had refused to sail without a pay raise. In 1858 he was working on an HBC ship in southeast Africa. He came to Manitoba in 1873 to work for the company at St. Andrews, working in various clerical capacities until 1876 when he was appointed Master of the HBC steamship Colvile. Over the next six years he transported cargo between communities around Lake Winnipeg. He completed his service to the company as a clerk at the Red River Settlement, from 1882 to 1890. He retired to a farm at Oak Point on Lake Manitoba.

He and wife Annie Hackland (1836-1902) had eight children: Margaret J. Hackland (1858-1922, wife of Angus Sutherland), Mary Helen Hackland (1861-?, wife of John A. Morrison), Annie Marie Hackland (1864-?, wife of Angus Pritchard), James Gilbert Hackland (1865-?), Winnifred Hackland (1870-?, wife of William L. Hardisty), Alfred Ernest Hackland (1872-?), Beatrice Annie Hackland (1874-?, wife of A. Sunington), and Maxwell Hackland (1878-?).

He died at the Winnipeg home of one of his daughters on 27 April 1901 and was buried in the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery.


1881 Canada census, FamilySearch.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Capt. Hackland dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 April 1901, page 6.

Obituary [Annie Hackland], Manitoba Free Press, 29 November 1902, page 13.

HBC Biographical Sheet [Gilbert Spence Hackland], Hudson’s Bay Company Archives.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 November 2020

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