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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. Williiam Thomas Locke Travers

Mr. Williiam [sic] Thomas Locke Travers, F.L.S., who was for a short time a member of the Executive Council of the Colony during the first parliament, and for some years a member of the House of Representatives, was born on the 9th of January, 1819, at Castle View, near Newcastle, County Limerick, Ireland. Educated in France, at the College of St. Servan, he entered the British Legion of Spain as Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of Lancers, in which he served during the Carlist War, 1835–38. After studying law in England, Mr. Travers was admitted in 1844 in London, and practised at Chipping-Campden, and afterwards at Evesham, Gloucestershire, till emigrating to New Zealand in 1849. Arriving in Nelson per ship “Kelso,” he was at once admitted a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Colony. For some time the subject of this notice was judge of the District Court at Nelson, but resigned the position and resumed the practice of his profession in that city. In 1854 he was returned to the first General Assembly as member for Nelson, which he represented during the two sessions of that year and the sessions of 1855. Mr. Travers was elected a member of the second Parliament in the year 1856 for the Waimea District, and continued a member till 1858, when he resigned, Two years later, Mr. Travers left Nelson for Canterbury, where he lived till 1868, and was for several years a member of the General page 264 Assembly for Christchurch City. While resident in the City of the Plains, he took a prominent part in the local politics, being elected to a seat in the Council, and afterwards becoming one of the executive at the time when Mr. William Bealey was Superintendent of the province. After his removal to Wellington in 1869, Mr. Travers represented that City in the General Assembly, and thus it will be observed he had the honour of representing the three cities in which he lived. Mr. Travers has taken a foremost place in connection with many other colonial institutions and societies. As a member of the Acclimatization Society, he assisted Mr. Ludlam, Sir James Hector, and the Hon. Mr. Mantell in securing the splendid Botanical Gardens as a breathing and health resort for citizens of the Capital. He was one of the founders of the New Zealand Institute, prepared all the statutes connected with it, has been a Governor since its incorporation, and has contributed many papers. On the foundation of the Wellington College, Mr. Travers was elected one of the first Board of Governors—a position from which he retired because he believed that the whole of the endowments were being misapplied. He resigned his seat as a protest, and petitioned Parliament on the subject. The flourishing local Gas Company owes much to Mr. Travers, who was one of the first large shareholders, and acted as solicitor to the Company, He also took a lively interest in volunteering, having formed and commanded companies in Nelson and Christchurch, and has held a commission as captain in the militia for over forty years. Mr. Travers received from the French Government the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Cambodia for services rendered to that Government. For sometime he was Vice-Consul for France. Further particulars of this well-known colonist will be found under the heading “Legal.”