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William Henry Archer (1836–1928)

The death occurred at 42 High Street, Launceston, yesterday, in his 92nd year, of Mr. William Henry Davies Archer, formerly well-known throughout the state as a successful pastoralist and public man, particularly in the Longford district.

The late Mr. Archer was born at "Brickendon," Longford, in November, 1836, and resided there for many years. He was the second surviving son of the late Mr. William Archer, who originally occupied "Brickendon," which is now in the hands of a son (Mr. William Fulbert Archer). He received his education at the Longford Grammar School, Hawkes' School (Franklin Village, near Launceston), and Bonchurch College (Isle of Wight), of which Rev. Joseph Edwards, formerly of King's College, London, was master. In 1856 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated a BA. in 1859, LL.B in 1860, and proceeded to the degree of LL.M. in 1863. In the meantime he had entered at the Middle Temple, London, and had been reading for the English Bar with Mr. James Simson, Lincoln's Inn, and attending law lectures until 1862, when the necessary certificates for being called to the Bar were filed at the Middle Temple, London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1860 and was a member of the New University Club, St. James, London. He was appointed a territorial magistrate for Tasmania in 1869, and coroner in 1883. He was a member of the House of Assembly for Norfolk Plains from May 1882, until May, 1887, during which time, and after the retirement of Dr. Butler, he was invited to be Speaker, and also offered the important posts of Treasurer and Chief Secretary in two Administrations, but declined them. He was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Education, on whose report the system of education was based. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Prison Discipline, and commissioner for Tasmania at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. In 1872 he was elected a councillor of the Longford municipality, and served as such for 22 years. He was elected Warden of Longford in 1881, and was continuously in that position for 17 years, until his retirement from the council in 1898. He was chairman of the Court of General Sessions for many years, treasurer of the Longford municipality, chairman and treasurer of the Longford Road Trust, a committeeman of the Longford Show Society, chairman of the Board of Health, Board of Advice, Fruit Board, and Rabbit Board. As a pastoralist he was renowned as a breeder of high-class Merino sheep. For many years Mr. Archer was a director of the Tasmanian Permanent Executors and Trustees Association, Limited, Launceston.

Possessing a most retentive memory, Mr. Archer could relate many interesting incidents connected with the earlier history of Tasmania, and particularly that of the Longford and Cressy districts. He was a man of wide reading, and up to the time of his recent illness had continued to be keenly interested in everyday affairs. Since his retirement Mr. Archer has resided in Launceston.

Two brothers of the late Mr. Archer—Robert Joseph and Alfred—died before him. A third brother, the Rev. George Archer, is now living in England. Deceased married a daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Clarke, "Mountford." Longford. Mrs. Archer died some years ago. The family surviving are Mr. W. F. Archer, previously referred to, and two daughters, Mrs. (Dr.) A. T. Hoskins, Longford, and Mrs. Norman G. Gatenby, "Cressy House," Longford. The funeral will leave "Brickendon." Longford, tomorrow afternoon for Christ Church, Longford.

Original publication

Citation details

'Archer, William Henry (1836–1928)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

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