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Captain William Hobson, RN

Term (in Years): 
1840 to 1842

Lieutenant-Governor (1840 - 1841)

(under Lt.-Col. Sir George Gipps, RE, Governor of New South Wales 1837 - 1846, and Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand 1839 - 1841)

Governor (1841 - 1842)

William Hobson was born in Ireland in 1793 and went to sea at the age of nine. In 1836, he commanded the frigate 'Rattlesnake' in Port Phillip (Melbourne). He surveyed the harbour and was then sent to the Bay of Islands to report on New Zealand.

He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand in 1839, arriving in late January 1840. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February that year, he proclaimed British Sovereignty on May 21.

He read the charter proclaiming New Zealand a separate Crown Colony on May 3, 1841, and took the Oath as Governor the same day.

Hobson moved the capital from the Bay of Islands to Auckland in January of 1841. He died in Auckland in September, 1842.

For more information, read Governor Hobson's biography in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

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