William Archer (architect)
Archer was born in Launceston, Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) into the influential local Archer family, owners of the Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, a closely knit and pious Anglican family to Thomas (1780–1850), a banker and landholder, and Susannah (née Hortle) Archer. He was married (7 April 1846) to Anne Hortle, his niece, with whom he had thirteen children, one of whom died before him. Archer died in Cressy, on 15 October 1874 following a prolonged period of financial hardship.
Archer studied architecture and surveying in London from 1836 to 1840, after which he worked for two years at Newcastle upon Tyne. He was the appointed architect to the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania, and designed The Hutchins School located in Hobart (1848–49) and the estate "Mona Vale" (1865–68) in Ross, among other works. Archer did some of his architectural work free of charge.
Following a long and difficult period managing his ancestral land holdings in Tasmania, Archer studied botany in England between the years 1856 and 1858 and was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He was secretary of the Royal Society of Tasmania from 1860 to 1861. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker wrote a dedication to him (and jointly to Ronald Campbell Gunn) in his Flora Tasmaniae (1859). Archer composed illustrations of orchids (also acknowledged by Hooker as 'beautiful' in the preface to Flora Tasmaniae), collected and sent numerous Tasmanian plant specimens to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.
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