Rawson W. Rawson

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Rawson William Rawson KCMG CB (8 Sept. 1812 – 20 Nov. 1899) was a government official and statistician.[1]

He was educated at Eton and entered the Board of Trade at the age of seventeen. He served as private secretary to three successive Vice-Presidents of the Board, Charles Poulett Thompson, Alexander Baring and William Ewart Gladstone. In 1842, having served Gladstone for one year he was appointed Civil Secretary to the Governor-General of Canada. Two years later he was appointed Treasurer to Mauritius. In 1854 he became colonial secretary in the Cape of Good Hope[2] and while in this post he was awarded a C.B. His next post was the governorship of the Bahamas in 1864,[3] and he was subsequently promoted to the governorship of the Windward Islands and received a K.C.M.G. He retired from public office in 1875.

He was president of the Statistical Society (now called the Royal Statistical Society) (1884–1886), an organisation of which he was a staunch supporter. He joined the Society in March 1835, and held the post of editor of the Society's Journal from 1837 to 1842. On his retirement from public office he was re-elected to the Society's Council in 1876 and remained in post till his death. It was largely due to the efforts of Rawson that the society received its Charter of Incorporation in 1887. He was also the founding President of the International Statistical Institute.


  1. ^ ‘RAWSON, Sir Rawson William’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 23 July 2013
  2. ^ The London Gazette. Issue 21530 (1854) pp. 785
  3. ^ The London Gazette. Issue 22912 (1864), pp. 5371
  4. ^ "Author Query for 'Rawson'". International Plant Names Index. 
  • Obituary in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, LXII (1899), 677-679.