The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Cairns, Sir William Wellington
Cairns, Sir William Wellington, K.C.M.G., son of William Cairns, of Cultra, co. Down, by his second wife, Matilda, daughter of Francis Beggs, of The Grange, Malahide, and half-brother of Lord Chancellor Cairns, was born in 1828. From 1852 to 1862 he filled various positions in the Ceylon Civil Service, and was appointed Postmaster-General there in 1864. In 1866 he returned to England, and in 1867 was appointed Lieut.-Governor of Malacca, of St. Kitts in 1868, and of Honduras in 1870. He was appointed Governor of Trinidad in 1874, but in a few weeks was compelled to resign on account of ill-health. From Jan. 1875 to March 1877 he was Governor of Queensland, when he was transferred to South Australia, where he only remained from March to May, then finally retiring from the Colonial Service on the ground of ill-health. Sir William, who was created C.M.G.in 1874 and K.C.M.G. in 1887, died unmarried on July 7th, 1888.