Major General Sir William Reid Obelisk
N 32° 17.582 W 064° 46.870
An obelisk in memory of Major General William Reid is located on the east grounds of the Cabinet Building in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Major General Sir William Reid was a British officer who served as an engineer, governor, and scientist who made significant contributions to the study of tropical storms in the North Atlantic.
William Reid was born in Kinglassie, Fife, Scotland in 1791. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich and recieved a commissioned as a Lieutenant of Engineers in 1809. He served with Wellington's army in Lisbon and participated in Sir Edward Pakenham's unsuccessful attack on New Orleans in 1815, at the close of the War of 1812.
In 1831 he was sent to the Leeward Islands to oversee reconstruction after the Great Barbados hurricane. During his stay of 2.5 years he began his study of topical storms and, during his life, published two studies on the subject. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1839.
In 1835 he served in the British Legion raised by the Queen Regent of Spain. He was then appointed by Queen Victoria to be the Governor of Bermuda, a position he held from 1839 to 1846. He was knighted in 1851 and promoted to Major General in 1856. He died in London in 1858 at age 67.
In 1861, a 25' high obelisk made of granite blocks was erected on the grounds of the Cabinet Building in his memory. The obelisk is surrounded by four steps and contains a bronze medallion with the left profile of Major General Sir William Reid on the front face. Below in very faint and weathered incised gold letters is the inscription:
BY AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATURE
IN GRATEFUL REMEMBERANCE OF THE
PUBLIC SERVICES AND PRIVATE WORTH OF
MAJOR GEN SIR WILLIAM REID KCB
GOVERNOR OF BERMUDA FROM 1839 TO 1846
OBIIT 31 OCT. 1858 AE 67