William Watchorn Perkins, born on 23 May 1843, was one of 10 children born to John and Emmely Perkins (nee Watchorn). John was a draper and importer and began the emporium, Perkins and Watchorn, in Liverpool Street, Hobart. William Watchorn Perkins became a solicitor and was articled to Samuel Westbrook. William was admitted to the bar in 1866 and soon after left for New Zealand. There he practiced as a solicitor and married Jane Eliza Winter in 1870. William and Jane had 8 children born in New Zealand. The family returned to Tasmania in 1884 and Williams established the firm Perkins and Dear. A further 5 children were born between 1885 and 1893. William purchased approximately 16 acres of land in Lower Sandy Bay from Sarah and Theresa Hogan on 22 May 1884. That year he also commissioned architect Henry Hunter to build a house, which he named 'Mawhera'. William served in many organisations - the Central Board of Health, Queenborough Board of Health and as one of the Commissioners of Fisheries. He became a Member of the Legislative Council in 1899, a position he held until his death in Melbourne on 19 January 1903.