William Thomas Locke TRAVERS 
- Born: Jan 1819, Limerick Ireland
- Marriage (1): Jane OLDHAM  in 1843 in Cork Ireland
- Marriage (2): Theodosia Leslie BARCLAY  on 9 Apr 1881 in St Peters Wellington NZ
- Died: 27 Apr 1903, Hutt Wellington NZ aged 84
William Thomas Locke Travers:
Was born on 19 January 1819 (or 9th) at Castleview, County Limerick, Ireland, he was educated at the College of St. Servan in France. During the Spanish Carlist Wars (1835-38) Travers served with the British Foreign Legion, being a lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of Lancers and, for a short time, A.D.C. to General Espartero, Duke of Vittoria. He returned to England in 1838, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1844. From then until 1849 he practised first at Chipping Campden and, afterwards, at Evesham in Gloucestershire. In the latter year he emigrated to Nelson where he continued his profession. He represented Nelson Town in the first Parliament and was listed as a member of the abortive ministry of T. S. Forsaith. In 1855 he contested the Nelson Superintendency unsuccessfully against Stafford and, shortly afterwards, was appointed Resident Magistrate. He was returned to Parliament for Waimea in 1856, but was obliged to retire three years later following the passing of the Disqualification Act of 1858. During these years Travers explored several possible overland routes between Nelson and Canterbury. In 1860 he moved to Christchurch. He served on Bealey's Executive for a few months in 1864 and campaigned, unsuccessfully, against Moorhouse for the superintendency two years later. Early in 1867 Travers was returned to represent Christchurch City in Parliament and Heathcote in the Provincial Council. He resigned from the latter in December 1867 when he moved to Wellington permanently, but remained in the House until 1870. In 1877 he entered Parliament for a third term, this time as member for Wellington City and, in his year there, collaborated with Sir James Hector and W. B. D Mantell to have Wellington Botanical Gardens transferred to the city council.
Besides his political and legal interests, Travers was a skilled observer in many branches of natural history and always kept himself informed on the latest developments. The geographical distribution of plants interested him particularly, and he made a special study of the flora of Nelson, Marlborough, and Canterbury. Hooker considered the contributions of Travers to the Kew Herbarium especially valuable because he always noted at what elevation the specimens were found. Travers, who was a fellow of the Linnean Society, also spent much time trying to discover an easy way to process Phormium tenax (q.v.). Baron Mueller dedicated his Vegetation of the Chatham Islands to him, while Hooker named a small shrub of the daisy order, Traversia, in his honour. Very interested in ethnology and Maori-European relationships, Travers made a point of trying to understand the Maori attitude. His Stirring Times of Te Rauparaha (1872) seeks to explain the reasons behind the Maori troubles of the 1840s. In 1877 he contributed the letterpress for C. D. Barraud's portfolio of lithographs, New Zealand - Graphic and Descriptive. A founder of the New Zealand Institute (1872), Travers drafted the original rules and was president for a term. He also contributed many papers to the Natural History Review and to the Transactions of the Ethnological Society. In 1888 he published From New Zealand to Lake Michigan, which is an interesting account of a trip he made through the north-western and central United States. For some years he acted as Vice-Consul for France and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Cambodia.
Travers was twice married: first, in 1843, at Cork, Ireland, to Jane Oldham (who died on 2 January 1888); and, secondly, on 9 April 1891, at St. Peter's, Wellington, to Theodosia Leslie, daughter of Captain William Barclay. He had one son and one daughter by his first marriage. In 1893, at the instance of his close friend, John Ballance, Travers tried to re-enter Parliament as a Liberal. He continued to practise law in Wellington until his death on 27 April 1903, following a tram accident.
As Travers was one of the earliest explorers who penetrated the upper Wairau region of Nelson Province, his name has been commemorated on several features about Lake Rotoiti (Nelson). He himself bestowed a number of place names with Crimean War associations in this vicinity. Travers' son, Henry (1844-1928), was also a well-known botanical explorer who made a special study of the Chatham Islands.
Ref TE ARA (This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.)
William Thomas Locke Travers:
Mainly brought up in France where his father retired, William was nearly 17 when he completed his education at St Servan's College, Saint Malo. Travers joined the British Foreign Legion in 1835, serving as a lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of Cavalry of the British Auxiliary Legion of Spain in the Spanish Carlist Wars from 1835 to 1838. For a short time he was aide-de-camp to the leader of his division, General Espartero, Duke of Victoria. He received a decoration for his services.
In 1838 the Spanish revolution ended and Travers chose to study law in London; he was admitted to the Bar about 1844. Over the next five years he practised first at Chipping Camden and later at Evesham. He married Jane Oldham at Cork, Ireland, in 1843; they were to have a son and a daughter. In 1849 William and Jane Travers and their two children embarked on the Kelso bound for Nelson, New Zealand, where they arrived on 4 November 1849.
Travers practised law in Nelson, Christchurch and Wellington; he served as resident magistrate in Nelson. He also pursued a fitful political career. He was a member of the House of Representatives for Nelson (1853--54), Waimea (1854--59), Christchurch City (1867--70), and Wellington City (1877--78). He stood unsuccessfully for the superintendency of Nelson in 1855 and Canterbury in 1866, but was a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council in 1867. During his time in Parliament he was, from 31 August to 2 September 1854, a member without portfolio of T. S. Forsaith's short-lived executive. He is notable for having attempted to make the general government rather than the provinces responsible for education.
It was outside politics, however, that Travers made his mark in New Zealand. He and his son, Henry, explored the Nelson region. He found the source of the Waiau River in the Spenser Mountains, and named the Ada, Henry, Boyle and Anne rivers in the upper Waiau valley. Mt Travers and the Travers Range bear his name in this area. In the headwaters of the Waiau, Travers collected grasses and alpine flowers, carefully noting the altitude. Much of this plant material was forwarded to Joseph Hooker for the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Hooker regarded him as an 'acute collector'. Herbarium specimens collected by Travers are held in the National Museum in Wellington.
Travers's interest in natural history led him to become one of the founders of the New Zealand Institute, drafting the statute under which the institute was established in 1867. He was one of its governors until his death, and from 1888 to 1903 was its treasurer. Travers also drafted the 1869 act establishing the Botanic Garden of Wellington, which was to be managed by the institute. For 22 years he was a member of the botanic garden board. At the time of the Botanic Garden Vesting Act 1891, his arguments ensured that the original 13 acre strip of the garden should be managed as a true botanic garden in perpetuity.
Travers published some 40 articles on botany, ornithology, geology and ethnology in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. He was a skilled amateur photographer, whose work is now sought after by museums and galleries. Travers edited, and wrote the text for, Charles Barraud's album of views, New Zealand: graphic and descriptive (1877), and in 1889 published From New Zealand to Lake Michigan , a book of travel impressions mainly of America.
Travers was a keen military volunteer in both Nelson and Canterbury and was gazetted captain (unattached list) on 31 March 1869. In 1874 he was founding president of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society. In the same year, as a member of the board of governors of Wellington College, he supervised a large planting of trees obtained from the botanic garden, on the slopes of the town belt behind Wellington College.
Travers was one of the first shareholders of the Wellington Gas Company, the Wellington City Steam Tramways Company and the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company. For a time he was city solicitor. He was adviser to both the Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Company and the Wellington Patent Slip Company, and urged attention to harnessing the power of the Hutt River. For a time Travers was vice consul for France and received from that government the Grand Cross of Cambodia.
Jane Travers died in 1888, and on 9 April 1891 Travers married Theodosia Leslie Barclay at St Peter's Church, Wellington. John Ballance, the premier, was principal witness. Travers died as the result of an accident at Hutt railway station on 27 April 1903, and was accorded eulogies by members of the Bar of the Supreme Court at Wellington and Dunedin.
ref: Shepherd, R. Winsome. 'Travers, William Thomas Locke 1819 - 1903'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007 URL: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/
The original version of this biography was published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume One (1769-1869), 1990
Ref: Abridged from http://family.kiwicelts.com/16_Steward/FT_Travers.php
Places named by Travers in New Zealand:
Mount Travers and the Travers Range (most likely named by him to commemorate the family rather than himself)
Faerie Queene (after Spenser's book, "The Faerie Queene" which was probably 'compulsory' reading in the Travers family)
Boyle River (the Boyles were another well known Irish family and Elizabeth, his 7x GGM, was a cousin of Robert
Boyle the scientist and Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork.)
Henry River (probably after his son who accompanied him on his explorations)
Ada River (possibly after Ada Travers of Hettyfield who may have been a cousin)
Anne River (probably his daughter but possibly his sister)
Alfred River (unknown)
Duessa Peak (after Duessa in Spenser's Faerie Queene, the daughter of Deceit and Shame)
Gloriana Peak ("Greatest Gloriana" was Queen Elizabeth in The Faerie Queene)
Other places possibly named by him:
Caroline Flat (possibly after his mother Caroline Brockman)
Mt Robert and Robert Stream (possibly after the very common family name)
Hope River (another Faerie Queene theme)
Hopeless Peak (ditto)
Ida (probably after his son Henry's wife)
Julius Peak (probably after Julius von Haast but possibly after WLTs younger brother Julius??)
Ref: Kiwi Celts.com Also: http://friendswbg.org.nz/travers.html
Image courtesy Wikimedia
William married Jane OLDHAM  [MRIN: 4217] in 1843 in Cork Ireland. (Jane OLDHAM  died on 2 Jan 1888.)
William next married Theodosia Leslie BARCLAY  [MRIN: 4126] on 9 Apr 1881 in St Peters Wellington NZ.