Rev. Robert Tomlinson

Robert was born in Ireland in 1842. He was educated as an Anglican minister and later as a doctor—although he never completed his physician’s training. In 1876, Robert left Ireland and embarked on a journey to the northern interior of British Columbia, where he hoped to establish an Anglican mission. During a brief stop in Victoria, Robert met and fell in love with Alice Woods, and when he returned a year later they were married. The couple travelled back north to the settlement of Kincolith, the present day Ging̱ olx, BC, where Tomlinson had founded his mission. Robert established several other missions in northern British Columbia and Alaska. While Tomlinson and his family never lived in Victoria, they frequently visited the city because it acted as a base to replenish supplies to bring north and many members of Alice’s family still lived in the city. It is possible that Robert visited Point Ellice House in his capacity as a reverend, especially since the hand-written note on his calling card reads “if it is necessary for anyone to sit up at night and you keep (sic) assistance I will consider it a privilege to be able to help you.” Robert died in Alaska in 1913.

Click on image to view high resolution image of card
Click on image to view high resolution image of card


List of Calling Cards

The Point Ellice House collection contains hundreds of calling cards left for the O’Reilly family by visitors. This initial research was conducted by Public History students at the University of Victoria, and these biographies constitute only a portion of the individuals represented by the calling cards within the collection.

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