Torrens, R. W.
b. 1813(?)
d. 1884-09-02(?)
R.W. Torrens was a Clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island. Prior to Torrens career in the colony of British Columbia, he was a former Captain of Her Majesty’s 55th Regiment.1 Due to this, when Torrens did eventually land in the colony in 1859, he organized and commanded a prospecting expedition from Victoria to the Queen Charlotte Islands.2 His work on the expedition was well-received by Governor Douglas and sent to the Geographical Society of London soon thereafter.3
After four years on V.I., Douglas appointed Torrens as Clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island in December 1863.4 Torrens was tasked to sign off on various enclosures and resolutions, as well as to advise on procedural matters -- in one instance this would be the union of the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.5 Unfortunately, Torrens was in the Public Service for only three years when he lost his position due to the union of the two colonies -- he was subsequently given free passage back to England in 1867. 6
In England, Torrens struggled to gain any sort of employment with the Colonial Office; instead he took an election as Chief Constable for the Borough of Salford in Manchester in May of 1869.7 He remained in this position until he was dismissed in January 1880 on suspicion of taking bribes.8 Torrens stayed in Manchester for the remainder of his life, until his death on 2 September 1884.
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Douglas, James

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British Columbia



Vancouver Island


The Colonial Despatches Team. Torrens, R. W.. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)