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Shelley, Rowland Mansfield (Rowley) (1847–1932)

On Dec. 31, 1932, there passed to his rest Roland Mansfield Shelley, at the age of 86 years. He was the youngest son of the late George Shelley, of Tumut Plains and was born at the Old Cottage on the Goobragandra River in 1846. His earliest days were passed at The Plains Homestead (now called 'Camelot'). He was educated at Mr. Wooll's school at Parramatta and under Mr. McArthur at Macquarie Fields, and entered the service of the A.J.S. Bank, under Mr. Cottee, at Wagga Wagga. Later on he managed the Tumut Plains Station for his mother, until the run was purchased by the late E. G. Brown and H. L. Harris, and became known as 'Wermatong.' The original grant, however, still remained in the hands of Mrs George Shelley, and her son (the subject of this memoir) continued as her manager until her death, when he came into a part of the grant, the remaining portion being added to 'Wermntong.' Mr. R. M. Shelley married Miss Jane Brady, and four sons and one daughter were the issue of the marriage. He and his family lived on at The Plains House until about 1906, when, most of his children having launched out for themselves, he and his wife and daughter went, to Sydney. Shortly afterwards he sold his home in Tumut to Mr. A. N. Stacy.  

The late Mr. Shelley was keenly interested in the development of the land, and experimented in many ways, improving his pastures and developing a milking herd. In 1880 he commenced a dairy with Short horn cattle, and Mr. Owen Dowling, now of 'Westwood,' became his sharefarmer and converted the milk into cheese.

Mr. Shelley was among the pioneers of the A. and P. Association, which was founded in 1876. There is no record of the committee and office-bearers of the first year, but the second catalogue includes his name as a member of the committee.

Mr. Shelley was present as an alderman at the first Tumut Municipal Council meeting, held in 1877, and he was elected Mayor in 1894-95.

As a churchman, he was keen and active, having for 22 years been chosen as Clergyman's Warden of All Saints, Tumut. He was also a layreader, and treasurer.

He was thorough and punctilious in everything he undertook to do, and his life was marked by many acts of kindness. His last years were clouded by sickness, and death came to him as a release from suffering. On Christmas Eve, the Rector of Hornsby ministered to him and he received the Blessed Sacrament, and soon after sank, passing away within a week, in his sleep. His niece, Mrs. Wilson, nee Nurse Elizabeth, Shelley, attended him to the last.

He leaves a widow and the following children to mourn his loss:— Roland George, Hector, Walter, Edgar (all of Sydney), Mrs. Noel Harris ("Oxley," Gilmore); also one sister, who was much attached to him, namely Mrs. H. L. Harris, who is now the remaining member of the old generation. Mr. Shelley also left 14 grandchildren. The body was cremated, the Rev. L. Sutton officiating.

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Citation details

'Shelley, Rowland Mansfield (Rowley) (1847–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/shelley-rowland-mansfield-rowley-23913/text32755, accessed 24 November 2017.

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