Sir Robert Richard Torrens - Encyclopedia




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SIR ROBERT RICHARD TORRENS (1814-1884), British colonial statesman, was born at Cork, Ireland, in 1814, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He went to South Australia in 1840, and was appointed collector of customs. He was an official member of the first legislative council and in 1852 was treasurer and registrar-general. When responsible government was established he was elected as a representative for Adelaide and became a member of the first ministry. In 1857 he introduced his famous Real Property Act, the principle of which consists of conveyance by registration and certificate instead of deeds. The system was rapidly adopted in the other colonies and elsewhere, and was expounded by the author during a visit to the United Kingdom in 1862-1864. After leaving South Australia, Sir R. R. Torrens represented Cambridge in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1874; in 1872 he was knighted. He was the author of works on the effect of the gold discoveries on the currency, and other subjects. He died on the 31st of August 1884.

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