Henry Pering Pellew Crease (1823-1905) was born at Ince Castle, near Plymouth, England, educated at Cambridge, and called to the bar in 1849. He traveled to Upper Canada with his family and explored the Great Lakes area for mining potential before returning to England in 1851 or 2. He then worked briefly as a conveyancing barrister before becoming manager of the Great Wheal Vor United Mines in Cornwall. Following business difficulties, he emigrated to British Columbia in 1858, practicing law in Victoria and becoming a member of the Vancouver Island Legislative Assembly in 1860. In 1861 he was appointed Attorney General of the mainland colony and moved to New Westminster; he was appointed Attorney General of the united colonies in 1866 and returned to Victoria in 1868 when it became the capital of the colony of British Columbia. In 1870, he was made a supreme court judge. Crease was knighted in 1896. British Columbia. His family joined Crease in Victoria in 1860 and four more children, one of whom died in infancy, were born in British Columbia. Crease was interested in business and politics as well as the law. Both as a barrister and a supreme court judge he traveled throughout British Columbia on circuit. His wife accompanied him on some of these journeys. The Creases were prominent socially, and their house, Pentrelew, was a centre for Victoria society. Five of the Crease children lived into the 20th century, and three, Lindley (1867-1940), Susan (1855-1947) and Josephine (1864-1947), never married and lived at Pentrelew until their deaths. Susan was involved with the local Council of Women and Josephine with the Island Arts and Crafts Society. Both painted in watercolours, as did their mother. The two Crease sons, Lindley and Arthur, were sent to school in England and then practiced law in Victoria. Arthur served in France in the Canadian Army in the First World War.
The collection includes diaries, 1834-1900, correspondence inward, 1830-1904, and outward, 1830-1903, miscellaneous records and notebooks, including the minute books of the Colonial Securities Co., 1866-1868, of Sir Henry Crease; diaries, 1872-1913, correspondence inward, 1851-1922, and outward, and miscellaneous notebooks and records of Lady Crease; diaries, 1877-1937, correspondence inward, 1877-1940, and outward, 1893, and miscellaneous records of Lindley Crease; diaries, 1890-1960, account books, 1909-1954 and miscellaneous records of Arthur Crease; diaries, 1865-1943, correspondence inward, 1862-1891, 1902, and 1937, and miscellaneous records of Susan Crease; diaries, 1878-1942, correspondence inward, 1883-1890 and miscellaneous records of Josephine Crease; some correspondence inward of the other two Crease daughters, Mary Maberly (Walker) Crease and Barbara Crease; diaries, 1853, 1870, and 1898, and correspondence inward, 1847-1899, of Emily Howard Crease, Sir Henry Crease's sister, who taught school in British Columbia, and correspondence between members of the Crease and Lindley families in England and the Crease family in Victoria.
MS-2879 is an extensive collection of family papers which, in addition to the information it provides on the lives, activities and opinions of individual writers of letters and diaries, is a rich source of information on such topics as family life, childhood and the lives of women, and a major source on the economic, political, legal and social history of post-1858 l9th century British Columbia. The correspondence inward series to Sir Henry Crease includes letters from important figures in colonial and post colonial British Columbia. The collection contains some records relating to Sir Henry Crease's legal and business interests. It includes transcripts of Crease's private letter book, 1870-1873, Sarah Crease's diary of her trip to Cariboo, 1880, and her letters to her husband, 1849-1859. MS-2879 may be used in conjunction with MS-0054, MS-0055, MS-0056, and MS-0573.