Biography of William Reynolds

William Reynolds, on the west coast of Ireland, on the 9th of February, 1831. At the early age of eight, shortly after the death of his father, he was sent to London, England, to be educated under the eye of his uncle, Rev. Henry Reynolds, rector of Henley-on-Thames. It being determined that he should enter the royal navy, and having passed a satisfactory examination, he received a cadetship in the year 1845. After cruising a short time in the Channel, he was ordered to India. The inactive life at that time on board a war vessel, did not suit his adventurous spirit, so he gave up his commission, with a determination to see as much of the world as possible. During the years 1846, 1847, and 1848, he visited Calcutta, Bombay, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, St. Helena, Ascension, the Sandwich and Society Islands, and Mexico, and in 1849, California, where he remained until 1852. During that period he served as a volunteer in the Oregon war, in which he received several, but no severe, wounds.

In the year just mentioned, Mr. Reynolds sailed for England, but, as we once heard him remark, the old sod had in a great measure lost its charms for him; so he again set sail for California, and on his way called on an uncle and a brother, living in the county of Wellington, Ontario.

Having received a severe wound in the ankle in California, in 1854, Mr. Reynolds retraced his steps to Canada, and the next year entered the office of Col. James Webster, of Guelph, who, in 1858, was appointed registrar of the county. At the same time Mr. Reynolds was appointed deputy registrar, and held that office until 1868, when he was elected county treasurer, an office which he still holds. Having seen much of the world, and the ups and downs of life, he quietly attends to the duties of his office; and while an ardent admirer of the Conservative party, he seldom takes an active part in the turmoils of elections.

The subject of this notice is a member of the Church of England; was warden for a number of years, and during his term of office took an active part in the construction of St. George’s church, which, for architectural beauty, has few equals in the Dominion of Canada.
Mr. Reynolds married Catharine, third daughter of John Patterson, Puslinch, county of Wellington, on the 1st of October, 1863, and has six daughters and one son.

The father of Mr. Reynolds was Francis Reynolds, captain in the royal navy, and, when midshipman, was at the capture of Washington, D. C., during the war of 1812-14. Captain Reynolds was born in Wales. His father, Owen Reynolds, was rector near Bangor, Wales, and married one of the Playfords, of Northumberland. Captain Reynolds, while stationed in Ireland as chief officer of the coast guards, married Margaret, daughter of Cior, a descendant of Cior O’Doherty, who will be remembered by every student of Irish history.
Mr. Reynolds has sailed through many latitudes and longitudes, and visited many countries and numerous islands, and he prefers the climate of Ontario to any place he has ever seen, except, perhaps, one or two of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. He always traveled with both eyes open, has a good memory, and is a rich entertainer when he narrates the fruits of his observation and experience, and especially his perils by sea and by land.

MLA Source Citation:

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, Ontario, Volume 1. Toronto: Toronto American Biographical Pub. Co. 1880. Web. 22 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 6th, 2012


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