Britannia Beach is a small unincorporated community in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District located 55 kilometers north of Vancouver, British Columbia on the Sea-to-Sky Highway on Howe Sound. It has a population of about 300, it includes the nearby Britannia Creek, a small to mid-sized stream that flows into Howe Sound, one of North America's most polluted waterways. The community first developed between 1900 and 1904 as the residential area for the staff of the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company; the residential areas and the mining operation were physically interrelated, resulting in coincidental mining and community disasters through its history. Today, the town is host to the Britannia Mine Museum known as the British Columbia Museum of Mining, on the grounds of the old Britannia Mines; the mine's old Concentrator facilities, used to separate copper ore from its containing rock, are a National Historic Site of Canada. Britannia Beach took its name from the nearby Britannia Range of mountains, which form the east wall of the mountainous shore of Howe Sound south of Britannia Beach.
About 1859 Royal Navy hydrographer Captain Richards of HMS Plumper named the range of mountains for HMS Britannia, the third of a series of vessels to bear that name. The Britannia was never in these waters. A copper discovery on Britannia Mountain by Dr. A. A. Forbes in 1888 led to the development of the Britannia Mine. In 1899, a mining engineer named George Robinson was able to convince financial backers that the property had great potential. For several years, companies were formed and dissolved in efforts to raise capital; the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company, a branch of the Howe Sound Company commenced mining in the early 1900s, owned the site for the next sixty years. The first ore was shipped to the Crofton Smelter on Vancouver Island in 1904, the mine achieved full production in 1905. A town had grown up around the mine and a Post Office opened on January 1, 1907 where it was named after the nearby mine. In 1912 John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie was authorized to upgrade the operation and increase production from the mine.
Improvements in the mineral separation processes stimulated plans for a new mill, completed in 1916 and was capable of producing 2000 tons of ore per day. The onset of World War I increased the demand for copper and the price rose sharply. On March 21, 1915 an avalanche destroyed the Jane Camp. Sixty men and children were killed and it was a terrible blow to the tiny community. Construction began on a new, safer town at the 2,200-foot level above the Britannia Beach site; this portion of the community became known as the "Town site" or "Mount Sheer". In March 1921 during a brief period when the mine was shut down, mill No. 2 burnt to the ground. On October 28, 1921 after a full day of torrential rain, a massive flood destroyed much of that portion of the community and mine operations that existed on the lower beach area. 50 of 110 homes were destroyed and thirty-seven men and children lost their lives. The flood was caused because the mining company had dammed up a portion of the Creek during the construction of a railway, when this dam gave way the town below was flooded.
Carleton Perkins Browning directed the reconstruction of this portion of the community and the new No. 3 mill, which stands today. Being an isolated, close knit community which could only be accessed by boat, life in both of Britannia's towns was never dull; the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company tried to minimize turnover by providing amenities and implementing family-friendly policies. Facilities included libraries, club rooms, billiard rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts and bowling. A thriving social calendar saw sporting events, theatrical productions, dances and parties held throughout the year; the mine boomed in the late 1920s and early 1930s, becoming the largest producer of copper in the British Commonwealth by 1929, under the management of the mine manager C. P. Browning. In the 1940s there were talks to build an artist village in Britannia's hills, but that plan did not proceed. Miners suffered through their first strike. Low copper prices saw the Britannia Mine Company reduced to seven employees, in 1959 it went into liquidation.
In 1963 the Anaconda Mining Company bought the property and production continued for the next eleven years. 300 employees managed to produce 60,000 tons of concentrate each year. Ferries services stopped around May 1965 after the highway and railway connections had been constructed; the connections made it easier to transport the copper, but high operating costs and taxes forced the mine to close on November 1, 1974. The company did not attempt to clean up the mine and chemical wastes that it produced, since environmental protection laws had not yet been enacted and enforcement of the Fisheries Act was never applied. A newly elected labour government presented higher anticipated union costs and the ore vein had been'highgraded'. With the closure of the mine, the economy of the town diminished and the railway station shut down soon after. Residents responded to the closure of the mine with a museum plan, preserving the copper concentrator and other historic buildings as part of the British Columbia Mining Museum.
Prior to the reclamation work undertaken by the University of British Columbia and the Provincial Government, the clear and transparent water in Britannia Creek suggested a pristine environment, however the clear water was an indication that no living creatures could survive in it. The water could not be consumed by humans either. Although mining at Britannia Creek stopped in 1974, runoff and rainwater that flow through th
BC Rail, known as the British Columbia Railway between 1972 and 1984 and as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway before 1972, was a railway that operated in the Canadian province of British Columbia between 1912 and 2004. It was a class II regional railway and the third-largest in Canada, operating 2,320 km of mainline track, its operations were owned by the public as a crown corporation from 1918 until 2004, when the provincial government leased operations for 999 years to CN. The track and other assets, including a marine division and stevedoring subsidiary as well as large tracts of real estate, remain under public ownership. 40 km of track serving the Roberts Bank Superport that were scheduled to be sold to OmniTRAX remain under BC Rail management due to that sale being cancelled because of the transaction being tainted by an influence-peddling and bribery scandal resulting in convictions in 2010. The provincial government, which promised when elected never to sell the railway, has announced that the crown corporation and its remaining operations and assets would be "wound down" and taken over by various departments of the Ministry of Transportation The details of the sale/lease to CN, which are related to the OmniTRAX affair, have become the subject of protracted public inquiry as part of the proceedings of the trial surrounding a scandal known as the British Columbia Legislature Raids Affair, or "Railgate".
Government leaders and civil servants involved with the arrangements to CN have refused to comment on the deal because the matter "is before the courts". Chartered in 1912, the railway was acquired by the provincial government in 1918 after running into financial difficulties. A railway that ran "from nowhere, to nowhere" for over 30 years, neither passing through any major city nor interchanging with any other railway, its southern terminus was at Squamish and its northern terminus at Quesnel during that period, it expanded between 1949 and 1984. A freight railway, it offered passenger service, as well as some excursion services, most notably the Royal Hudson excursion train; the railway's operations only reached profitability in 1980, due to large capital and operating debts, which were intended as subsidies to develop and sustain mining and timber economies and employment in the regions it accessed, though during the 1980s it posted significant profits, contributing to the public treasury and maintained a lower operating debt than any of the continent's other major railways.
The railway's operations and management, as one of the province's largest crown corporations, have been at the centre of public debate since its takeover. Notably, as example, the Social Credit governments of WAC Bennett and his son Bill Bennett forgave the railways' capital debts in 1954 and 1979 with bookkeeping matters related to that bringing much criticism; the previous provincial government had been accused of fabricating falsehoods about the state of its debts and viability in order to justify the deal with CN, claiming the railway was in disarray. Other participants in the bidding process withdrew their bids, saying that CN had unfair access to confidential information about their own operations, provided by the government, at least one bidder stated in since-released communications that the bid was "rigged". Controversy over CN's management of the line has focused on layoffs, toxic spills and other safety concerns, cuts in service to some regions; the line has generated profits for CN in the range of $25 million per year since its takeover of the railway's operations.
The Pacific Great Eastern Railway was incorporated on February 27, 1912, to build a line from Vancouver north to a connection with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway at Prince George. Although independent from the GTP, the PGE had agreed that the GTP, whose western terminus was at the remote northern port of Prince Rupert, could use their line to gain access to Vancouver; the railway was given its name due to a loose association with England's Great Eastern Railway. Its financial backers were Timothy Foley, Patrick Welch, John Stewart, whose construction firm of Foley and Stewart was among the leading railway contractors in North America. Upon incorporation, the PGE took over the Howe Sound and Northern Railway, which at that point had built nine miles of track north of Squamish; the British Columbia government gave the railway a guarantee of principal and 4% interest on the construction bonds of the railway. By 1915, the line was opened from Squamish 176 miles north to Chasm; the railway was starting to run out of money, however.
In 1915 it failed to make an interest payment on its bonds, obliging the provincial government to make good on its bond guarantee. In the 1916 provincial election campaign, the Liberal Party alleged that some of the money advanced to the railway for bond guarantee payments had instead gone into Conservative Party campaign funds. In the election, the Conservatives, who had won every seat in the legislature in 1912 election, lost to the Liberals; the Liberals took Foley and Stewart to court to recover $5 million of unaccounted funds. In early 1918, the railway's backers agreed to pay the government $1.1 million and turn the railway over to the government. When the government took over the railway, two separate sections of trackage had been completed: A small twenty mile section between North Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay, one between Squamish and Clinton. By 1921, the provincial government had extended the railway to a point 15 miles north of Quesnel, still 80 miles south of a connection to Prince George, but
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is a resort municipality in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada 125 km north of Vancouver and 36 km south of the town of Pemberton. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler, it has a permanent population of 11,854, plus a larger but rotating population of seasonal workers younger people from beyond British Columbia, notably from Australia and Europe. Over two million people visit Whistler annually for alpine skiing and snowboarding and, in summer, mountain biking at Whistler Blackcomb, its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, luge and bobsled events; the Whistler Valley is located around the pass between the headwaters of the Green River and the upper-middle reaches of the Cheakamus. It is flanked by glaciated mountains on both sides.
Although there are a few other routes through the maze of mountains between the basin of the Lillooet River just east, the Cheakamus-Green divide is the lowest and most direct and was the main trading route of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations long before the arrival of Europeans. One Lil ` wat legend of the Great Flood says; the first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s. These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "Whistler" due to the call of the hoary marmot. In the late 19th century, a trail was cut through the valley, linking Lillooet via Pemberton with Burrard Inlet via a pass from Squamish to the Seymour River; the trail was completed in 1877, but because of the difficult and unforgiving terrain, it was only used once for its intended purpose, to drive cattle. The area began to attract trappers and prospectors who established small camps in the area in the early 20th century.
The area began to gain recognition with the arrival of Myrtle and Alex Philip, who in 1914 purchased 10 acres of land on Alta Lake and established the Rainbow Lodge. The Philips had relocated from Maine to Vancouver in 1910, had heard rumours of the natural beauty of the area from Pemberton pioneer John Millar. After an exploratory journey, the couple was convinced. Rainbow Lodge and other railway-dependent tourist resorts were collectively known as Alta Lake. Along with the rest of the valley bridging the Cheakamus and Green River basins, they became part of British Columbia's first Resort Municipality in 1975. Completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1914 reduced the travel time from three days, providing ease of access from Vancouver, the Rainbow Lodge gained a reputation as the most popular vacation destination west of the Rockies; the lodge was a summer destination, with boating and hiking among the most popular activities, soon other lodges began to open not just on Alta Lake, but on other valley lakes as well.
Appreciation of the outdoors was not the only activity in the valley, however. Logging was a boom industry. During the first half of the 20th century, most of the lower slopes of the surrounding mountains were cleared of old growth. At its peak, four mills were in operation, most located around Green Lake. Prospecting and trapping were pursued as well, though no claims of great value were staked. Whistler is well known for its skiing and snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer. There are many other smaller activities such as donating/Tubing; the different run difficulties: Green, Black, Double Black. Locals consider some runs to be considered "Triple Balck" these runs aren't labelled on maps. Throughout the year each run's difficulty stays the same; until the 1960s, this quiet area was without basic infrastructure. There were no sewage facilities, water, or electricity, no road from Squamish or Vancouver. In 1962, four Vancouver businessmen began to explore the area with the intent of building a ski resort and bidding for the 1968 Winter Olympics.
Garibaldi Lift Company was formed, shares were sold, in 1966, Whistler Mountain opened to the public. The town still known as Alta Lake, was offered the 1976 Winter Olympics after the selected host city Denver declined the games due to funding issues. Alta Lake Whistler declined as well, after elections ushered in a local government less enthusiastic about the Olympics; the 1976 Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck, Austria. Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, the first time the IOC has bestowed that designation on a community. Whistler hosted the alpine technical and speed events, the sliding events at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Nordic events in the nearby Callaghan Valley and all the Paralympic events except the opening ceremonies, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling; the Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village housed around 2,400 athletes, coaches and officials. Post-games, the site has been turned into a new residential neighbourhood Cheakamus Crossing.
Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99, al
Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver
Horseshoe Bay is a community of about 1,000 permanent residents, located in West Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Situated on the western tip of West Vancouver at the entrance to Howe Sound, the village marks the western end of Highway 1 on mainland British Columbia, it serves as the southern end of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, with Lions Bay just 15 minutes north. Horseshoe Bay is the location of the third-busiest BC Ferries terminal, the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Horseshoe Bay community website Aerial view of Horseshoe Bay from Randall & Kat's Flying Photos
Downtown Vancouver is the southeastern portion of the peninsula in the north-central part of the City of Vancouver. It is the main city centre and central business district of the city, Metro Vancouver, the Lower Mainland regions; the downtown area is considered to be bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, Stanley Park and the West End to the west, False Creek to the south, the Downtown Eastside to the east. Most sources include the full downtown peninsula as downtown Vancouver, but the City of Vancouver defines them as separate neighbourhoods. Besides the identifiable office towers of the financial and central business districts, Downtown Vancouver includes residential neighbourhoods in the form of high-rise apartment and condominiums, in Yaletown and Coal Harbour. Other downtown neighbourhoods include the Granville Mall and Entertainment District, Downtown's South, Gastown and Chinatown; the downtown area includes most of the remaining historic buildings and many of the larger notable buildings in the region.
There are two major sporting facilities in Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium. The NHL's Vancouver Canucks play at Rogers Arena, while the CFL's BC Lions and the MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps FC use the neighbouring BC Place Stadium. SkyTrain Stadium-Chinatown station provides easy rapid transit access to the district; the presence of water on three sides limits access to downtown Vancouver. There are four major bridges: the Lions Gate Bridge, connecting to the North Shore municipalities and the Trans Canada Highway, the Burrard Street Bridge, Cambie Street Bridge, Granville Street Bridge provides access to the commercial and residential areas south of False Creek; the historic Waterfront station is the principal transit hub for the downtown core. There are six subway stations located in downtown Vancouver running on two SkyTrain lines: the Expo Line and Canada Line; the Expo Line travels from Waterfront station at the foot of the central harbor and through Dunsmuir Tunnel to the east. The Canada Line travels from Waterfront station and tunnels south under Granville Street and Davie Street, linking downtown to central Richmond and Vancouver International Airport.
SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry that connects from Waterfront station to the North Shore in 10–12 minutes. The West Coast Express commuter rail system travels from Waterfront station to the eastern suburbs and exurbs. Terminals are available near Waterfront station for float planes and helicopters. Most north-south Vancouver bus routes serve Downtown Vancouver, in addition to suburban routes from the North Shore and Burnaby; the bus rapid transit line 98 B-Line had eight stops in the downtown core along Seymour Street and Burrard Street. This service was replaced on August 2009 by SkyTrain's Canada Line; the 95 B-Line started service in December 2016 in conjunction with the opening of the Evergreen Extension, connecting downtown to Simon Fraser University along Hastings Street. There are two private passenger water taxi operators, providing service between several downtown neighbourhoods, False Creek, Granville Island; the city is planning to extend the downtown streetcar from its current route of Granville Island to the Main Street SkyTrain station, with future plans extending it to Chinatown and to Stanley Park.
City of Vancouver Community Profiles: Downtown Downtown page, Vancouver Then and Now website, comparisons of old photos with modern locations
Sunshine Coast (British Columbia)
The Sunshine Coast is a region of the southern mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada, on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia, just northwest of Greater Vancouver. The region includes the coastal areas of the regional district of Sunshine Coast, where the name originated, the regional district of Powell River up to and including the village of Lund and into Desolation Sound, much farther up the coast. While populous and visited by tourists, the Sunshine Coast can be reached only by ferry or by float/airplane. Population centres on the Southern Sunshine Coast include Gibsons. On the Sechelt Peninsula are Halfmoon Bay, Secret Cove and Pender Harbour. At the north end of the peninsula, the ferry to Powell River docks north of Egmont at Earl's Cove; these small settlements are near Skookumchuck Narrows, where the skookumchuck or "strong water", the world's biggest tidal marine rapids, channels the tidal flow in and out of the fjord known as Sechelt Inlet. On the Northern Sunshine Coast, a popular boating destination is Desolation Sound, beyond the end of Highway 101 in Lund.
The Sunshine Coast boasts some of the best outdoor recreation. Mountain biking and ocean paddling draw in locals; some of the most popular outdoor recreation activities include: Mountain biking Kayaking/Paddle Board/Canoe Cycling Hiking/Backpacking Snowshoe and skiing Scuba diving Fishing Rock climbing The Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada's longest hut-to-hut hiking trail, at 180km stretching from mountains to shorelines to lakes. It begins at Sarah Point in Desolation Sound, ends at Saltery Bay. Not only is it free, but hikers can access the trail at multiple points along the length if they do not feel like tackling the entire route; the Powell Forest Canoe Route is a 57-km, 8-lake, 5-portage journey that takes 5 days. Portages range from 0.7 km – 2.8 km, paddling stretches from 1 km – 28.5 km. The best time to travel the route is from June – October. Coast Gravity Park - Canada's first low elevation mountain bike park. Located 10km from Sechelt the park has trails for all riding levels, as well as a shuttle system to access the trails crafted by world-renowned builders and riders.
Sprockids Mountain Bike Park - Sprockids Mountain Bike Park is the first recognized mountain bike skills park in North America, is perfect for younger riders. The park is located in Langdale and contains 14km of downhill, ramps and teeter-bars. Powell River Bike and Skate Park - Funded and supported by the Powell River Community Forest Foundation and the City of Powell River, this dynamic park contains a beginner pumptrack, slopestyle dirt jump trails, downhill flow trails, a beginner flow line. Admission is open to the public year round. There are four breweries on the Sunshine Coast, together they make up the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail. Three are located in Gibsons: Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons Tapworks, The 101 Brewhouse + Distillery. One is located in Powell River: Townsite Brewing; the Bricker Cider Company is a recent addition to the Sunshine Coast, serves a variety of drinks on a beautiful 5-acre farm. The four breweries along with Bricker Cider Company, comprise Brewers Coast; the Sunshine Coast is home to more artists per capita than any other Canadian region.
Throughout the year you can follow the Purple Banner Flags - artists hang them outside their studios to signal they are open - from Langdale to Lund and see everything from painting to pottery to glass-blowing. The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl is one of the signature events of the region. Occurring annually in the Fall, visitors flock to the area from all over the world for a three day journey through 100+ galleries and studios; this is Canada´s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, features established literary stars alongside new voices. Powell River Historical Museum and Archives - Telling the rich stories of Sliammon First Nations and the first pulp and paper mill on the west coast of Canada, the museum is open year round. Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives - Located in Gibsons, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives tells the story of the region and its inhabitants Tems Swiya Museum - Located in Sechelt, this museum is home to an extensive and growing collection of artifacts from the shíshálh Nation Texada Island Heritage Society - Texada Island Heritage Society operates two museums that tell the history of the area.
Sunshine Coast Arts Council and Arts Centre - Located in Sechelt, the Sunshine Arts Centre houses a public gallery of local and guest artists, a music studio and a public art studio. The Arts Centre hosts a variety of events such as concerts, literary readings, lectures. Wildlife that can be encountered include cougars, black bears, marbled murrelet, great blue herons, sea lions, bald eagles. There are abundant tide pools where hikers can see a variety of molluscs, sea anemones and fish. Hikers are instructed how to react to possible encounters with dangerous animals at the mandatory orientation session prior to starting the trail. During certain times of the year, there is the possibility of encountering seal pups on the beach, they should not be approached, as the mother may abandon them. All wildlife on the trail sh
Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Admiral of the Fleet Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, was a British naval officer. After serving throughout the War of the Austrian Succession, he gained a reputation for his role in amphibious operations against the French coast as part of Britain's policy of naval descents during the Seven Years' War, he took part, as a naval captain, in the decisive British naval victory at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in November 1759. In North America, Howe is best known for his service during the American Revolutionary War, when he acted as a naval commander and a peace commissioner with the American rebels. Howe commanded the victorious British fleet during the Glorious First of June in June 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. Howe was born in Albemarle Street, the second son of Emanuel Howe, 2nd Viscount Howe, who died as governor of Barbados in March 1735, of Charlotte, a daughter of Baroness von Kielmansegg, afterwards Countess of Darlington, the half-sister of King George I. After education at Eton College, Richard Howe entered the navy in the fourth-rate HMS Pearl in July 1739.
He transferred to the fourth-rate HMS Severn, one of the squadron sent into the south seas with Admiral George Anson in 1740. The Severn sailed to Cape Horn and after encountering storms, returned home in Spring 1742. Howe next served in the West Indies aboard the third-rate HMS Burford and was present when she was damaged in the unsuccessful attack on La Guaira in February 1743 during the War of the Austrian Succession, he transferred to the third-rate HMS Suffolk, flagship of Admiral Sir Charles Knowles, Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies, in March 1743 and to the fifth-rate HMS Eltham in July 1743, before being promoted to midshipman on 8 October 1743 and returning to HMS Suffolk that month. Promoted to lieutenant on 25 May 1744, he joined the bomb vessel HMS Comet and transferred to the first-rate HMS Royal George, flagship of Admiral Edward Vernon, in August 1745. Promoted to commander on 5 November 1745, Howe was commanding officer of the sloop HMS Baltimore in the North Sea during the Jacobite rising of 1745 and was wounded in the head while cooperating with a frigate in an engagement with two French privateers.
Promoted to post-captain on 10 April 1746, he was given command of the sixth-rate HMS Triton and took part in convoy duties off Lisbon. He transferred to the command of the fourth-rate HMS Ripon in Summer 1747 and sailed to the West Indies before becoming Flag Captain to Admiral Sir Charles Knowles, Commander-in-Chief, Jamaica, in the third-rate HMS Cornwall in October 1748, he was given command of the fifth-rate HMS Glory off the coast of West Africa in March 1751 and transferred to the command of the sixth-rate HMS Dolphin in the Mediterranean Fleet in June 1752. In January 1755, Howe was given command of the fourth-rate HMS Dunkirk and was sent to North America as part of a squadron commanded by Admiral Edward Boscawen: his capture of the French Alcide was the first shot fired in the Seven Years' War, he was elected Member of Parliament for Dartmouth in May 1757 and became commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Magnanime in the Channel in July 1757. From until the peace of 1763, he served in the Channel in various more or less futile expeditions against the French coast, gaining a reputation as a firm and skillful officer for his role in the series of naval descents on the French coast including the Raid on Rochefort in September 1757.
Promoted to commodore, with his broad pennant in the third-rate HMS Essex, he took part in the Raid on St Malo in June 1758, the Battle of Saint Cast in September 1758 and the Raid on Cherbourg in August 1758. He was noted for his conduct at Rochefort, where he had taken the Île-d'Aix, was described by George Rodney as performing his duties "with such cool and steady resolution, as has most justly gained him the universal applause of army and navy". After the death of his elder brother, killed near Ticonderoga on 6 July 1758, Howe became Viscount Howe in the Peerage of Ireland. On 20 November 1759, he led Admiral Edward Hawke's fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay where the British won a decisive victory, forestalling a Planned French invasion of Britain, he became Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral the Duke of York in the third-rate HMS Princess Amelia in June 1762. Howe was appointed to the Board of Admiralty led by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich as Senior Naval Lord in April 1763, he became Treasurer of the Navy in 1765 and, having been promoted to rear admiral on 18 October 1770, went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet in November 1770.
Promoted to vice admiral on 5 February 1776, he became Commander-in-Chief, North American Station that month. At the beginning of the American War of Independence, Howe was known to be sympathetic to the colonists, he had known Benjamin Franklin since late 1774 and was joined in a commission with his brother, General Sir William Howe, head of the land forces, to attempt a reconciliation. Howe was ordered to institute a naval blockade of the American coastline, but this proved to be ineffective. Howe claimed to have too few ships to accomplish this as a number had to be detached to support operations by the British Army; as a result, large amounts of covert French supplies and munitions were smuggled to America. It has been suggested that Howe's limited blockade at this point was driven by his sympathy with and desire for conciliation with the Americans. By 1778 the blockade was looking more promising, with many merchant ships being taken. Howe complained to London that while his ships were able to guard the southern colonies, the blockade of the n