William Moir was born about 1805. In 1836 he married Helen Kingshorne (d.1858) at Sydney and had at least five daughters and one son. He died on 30 January 1850, aged 45, and, after a service at St Andrews Scots Church, was buried at the Sandhills Cemetery.
Occupation & interests
William Moir’s birthplace and date of arrival have not been determined, although it is likely that he was Scottish-born.
He was apprenticed to Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis, appointed 1835, and became his second officer responsible for supervising, measuring and preparing tender documents for the major projects. A watercolour elevation of an unnamed cottage, possibly Wyoming at Gosford, signed by W Moir architect, undated may be the only extant example of Alderman William Moir’s architectural work.
On 13 July 1843, James Aird was dismissed for intoxication and William Moir was selected from six candidates to replace him as City Surveyor for the newly incorporated City of Sydney on an annual salary of ₤350. On 17 September 1849, he applied for the position of Colonial Architect, vacated by Lewis, but Edmund Thomas Blacket was appointed in his stead.
In 1842, Moir sold his house with garden and coach-house in Goulburn Street and moved to Darlinghurst.
William Moir delivered lectures on mechanics at the Sydney School of Arts.
Local government service
William Moir was Councillor for Cook Ward, 2 November 1846 to 23 January 1850.
City of Sydney Archives: Aldermen’s Files
Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: Gother Kerr Mann: 20 architectural drawings, 1841-1883 PXD 784/1, No 9
State Records of NSW: Col Sec and convict indexes