Born in 1821, Sir William was regular army, commanding Woolich, Chatham, and Alderney from 1849 to 1854 and Royal Engineers London Military District in 1855.
Sir William was appointed assistant Inspector-General of Fortifications at the War Office in 1856. He became Secretary of the Royal Commission on Britain's Defences in 1859, making frequent visits to British colonies to inspect defences.
He became Governor of Straits Settlements (1875-77) and South Australia (1877-82) before taking up office in New Zealand. He was instrumental in planning and setting up coastal defences during his term as Governor.
Sir William died in 1897.
Biographical information courtesy of NZ Almanack
Visit the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography for more information