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Archer, William (1788–1879)

Again it is our painful duty to record the departure of another old Tasmanian colonist—one of that heroic band who, under many privations, and not without incurring many dangers, contributed by their courage, perseverance, and prudence to make this island the happy home of thousands. Yesterday morning, as the clock struck ten, William Archer, Esq., sen., of Brickendon, Longford, breathed his last, at the ripe old age of 91. The deceased gentleman was born on 17th September, 1788, and arrived in this colony in the ship Aguilar in the year 1821, having, with two or three others, chartered that vessel to bring out merchandise, machinery, etc. The machinery consisted of mill-work which, however, was never erected here, probably because the colony was not sufficiently advanced. But another portion of the cargo played a more important part. Amongst Mr Archer's stock were thirty Merino sheep, and these formed the foundation of his flock which has always occupied a high position amongst the fine-wools of this colony. Soon after his arrival here Mr Archer settled at Brickendon where he ever afterwards resided, enjoying the quiet of domestic life, improving his estates, promoting the happiness of all around him, and pursuing intellectual pleasures of the highest order. In a word he was a true "Old English gentleman, one of the olden time." Though repeatedly pressed to undertake legislative labors he firmly declined, but he never failed in the discharge of duties nearer home. He was one of the oldest magistrates, his name having been added to the Commission of the Peace in September, 1835, and he was unremitting in the performance of his magisterial functions. He always took an active part in all local matters, and his name stands amongst the one-hundred-guinea subscribers to the Anti-Transportation League. Mr Archer had a wonderful memory, and notwithstanding his great age this faculty remained with him till the last, and conciousness was evinced even when the power of utterance had departed. Death was the result of a general break-up of nature, and for the last fortnight his sufferings were severe. The deceased gentleman leaves three sons, of whom the eldest is Mr Robert Archer, of Saundridge, and the next Mr William Henry Davies Archer, who for a considerable time has had the management of Brickendon. There was also a daughter, the late Mrs A. J. Horne, of Palmerston. The funeral will take place on Thursday next, and will be at Longford Church at 10 a.m.

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'Archer, William (1788–1879)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/archer-william-1476/text1477, accessed 14 December 2018.

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