Born in Nelson, New Zealand, in 1845, and died on 30 June 1936, probably in Auckland.
Educated in Nelson and at Canterbury College, he had some experience in farming, gold mining and school teaching before being accepted in 1869 as a Minister of the Wesleyan Methodist church. With the exception of Fiji (1871-73), he was on New Zealand circuits until 1894. In 1895 he was elected president of the Methodist Conference in New Zealand and from 1896 to 1923 was Principal of Wesley Training College (at first at Three Kings but later at Papakura). He was governor of Trinity Methodist Theological College (1896-1911) and was a member of the Auckland University College Council. He took an active interest in trees and forestry and was author of some outstanding books, notably Trees from Other Lands in New Zealand — Eucalypts (1927). In pursuit of his interest in eucalypts he corresponded with J. H. Maiden, and studied and collected material in the field, notably in Tasmania. Even after his retirement from positions in 1923, when he was 78, he continued to take an active interest in the genus and helped students at the Forestry School when it was established at the Auckland University College in 1926.
He is hounoured in the name Eucalyptus simmondsii Maiden (1922), and was collector of the type.Source: Extracted from: Hall, N. (1978) Botanists of the eucalypts. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne