Robert de Vere Weir, affectionately referred to by family and friends as “The Laird,” left his native Scotland to emigrate to Vancouver Island in 1852. He had engaged as a grieve or land steward for a period of five years to Kenneth McKenzie, who was to operate Craigflower Farm for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His two elder sons, William and John, had also signed on for five years as labourers, for which each was to receive 17 pounds per annum, and if the contract was fulfilled were to receive a premium of 25 pounds value in land at the rate of 20 shillings per acre. Robert, a widower, was accompanied by his four minor children, Isabella 15, Hugh James 14, Robina Helen 12 and Adam 11, as well as the two elder sons previously mentioned, when he shipped aboard the steamboat Trident at Granton Pier, Edinburgh, for the voyage to London on August 11, 1852. He left behind an elder daughter Jane (Jennie) who had married Reverend Gavin Jamieson. In London they boarded the Hudson’s Bay Company barque Norman Morison at the East India Docks on August 14th and tugged down the Thames the following day to anchorage at Gravesend, from whence they sailed on August 17th, their pilot leaving them off the Isle of Wight on the 22nd. After five months at sea, anchor was cast in “Royal Bay,” Victoria on Sunday, January 16, 1853. In 1854 he took up land in Metchosin on Pedder Bay including William Head. The Weirs at one time owned Sections 31 to 37 and Section 56 at William Head. Robert along with his sons had a large flock of Southdown sheep as well as some dairy cattle and a beef herd. He built his home ‘Gordon Bush’ at the east end of what is now Swanwick Road. It was destroyed by fire on August 4, 1922. Adam, son of the Laird, built the home ‘Crosby’ on Section 32 in 1882. It is no longer standing.
Source: FootPrints Pioneer Families of the Metchosin District, Marion I. Helgesen editor
and Metchosin Names by Bess Page