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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Colonel William Fraser

Colonel William Fraser, Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives, is well known as a military officer, civil servant and politician. Born in 1827 in Inverness, Scotland, and educated at the Royal Academy in his native town, and at the Edinburgh University, he was articled to a solicitor in Inverness Completing his articles in 1848, he served for two years in the offices of Messrs. Christie and Pagan, of Cupar, Fife, and was admitted as a solicitor in 1851. About this time Colonel Fraser was married to Miss Elizabeth Horsbrough, daughter of the last Hereditary sheriff-clerk
Colonel William Fraser

Photo by Wrigglesworth and Binns.

page 108 of Fifeshire. Soon after this event the subject of this notice, accompanied by his wife, emigrated to Melbourne, Victoria. In the sister colony Colonel Fraser had the usual goldfields experience, visiting the various diggings. In 1863 he crossed over to Auckland with volunteers for the war, and accepted a commission as captain in the first Waikato regiment. The gallant gentleman served right through the Maori War, rising to the rank of Colonel, and was present at a great many battles, notably at Te Rangi, beyond the Gate Pah at Tauranga, Irehunga, Whakamarama, and other minor engagements. In 1865 Colonel Fraser was elected a member of the Auckland Provincial Council for Franklyn, which constituency he represented for five years. He was appointed Resident Magistrate and Warden for the Thames in 1869, and for the ten years which included the exciting times following the celebrated Caledonian gold discoveries, filled these important offices. In 1884 Colonel Fraser was elected to represent the Thames in the House of Representatives; three years later he was re-elected for the same Constituency, and in 1890 was returned for Te Aroha. Colonel Fraser has been prominent likewise in local politics. For five consecutive years he was elected Mayor of the Borough of Thames, and was returned as a member of the Thames County Council. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been initiated in St. Andrew's Lodge under the Scotch Constitution in 1849. Colonel Fraser is now a member of the Corinthian Lodge, E.C., at the Thames, of which he is a “Past Master.”