1843 Fort Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is established by the Hudson's Bay Company.

1846 The Oregon Treaty, between Great Britain and the United States, is signed. Under the terms of this treaty, Britain relinquishes claims to territory south of the 49th parallel. The Hudson's Bay Company is compelled to move its operations from Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River, to Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island.

A new British colony -- Vancouver Island -- is created on 13 January 1849. The Hudson's Bay Company is authorized to act as the Crown's "sponsoring agent" and is responsible for promoting settlement in the new colony.

A school is opened at Fort Victoria for children of Hudson's Bay Company officers (i.e. senior managers). The school was known as the "Company School," to distinguish it from the "Colonial School" established three years later for children of the servants (i.e. ordinary employees) of the Hudson's Bay Company.

The Reverend Robert Staines, an Anglican clergyman, was in charge of the Company School. He was assisted by his wife, Emma Frances Staines, who served as girls' teacher and school matron.

Also in 1849, a school for Roman Catholic children is established at Fort Victoria by an Oblate missionary, Fr. Honoré Timothy Lempfrit.