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Captain William Cornwallis Symonds (1810–23 November 1841) was a British Army officer who was prominent in the early colonisation of New Zealand. He was the eldest son of William Symonds, Surveyor of the Navy.

Symonds was commissioned into the 38th Foot. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1832, transferred to the 74th Foot in 1835, and was promoted Captain in 1838.

He came to New Zealand in the early 1830s as an agent of the Waitemata and Manukau Land Company and was instrumental in the founding of Auckland and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. He was one of Governor William Hobson's closest and most effective officials and was one of the first six Police Magistrates in New Zealand. He was Chief Magistrate of Auckland and in 1841 was appointed Deputy Surveyor-General of New Zealand.

During 1841, Symonds accompanied the naturalist Dieffenbach [1] in his survey of the North Island. Symonds died in a boating accident.

References (Accessed Jan 18, 2005)

  • Symonds and Hobson: Michael King (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. Auckland: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301867-1.  


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