William Roby Fletcher
William Roby Fletcher was the third son of Rev. Richard Fletcher of Grosvenor Street Chapel, Manchester, England. He was educated at the school in Silcoates, Yorkshire, Lancashire Independent College and the University of London (B.A., 1853; M.A., 1856), winning the University gold medal. He had become a member of the Congregational Church in 1847 and in 1856 sailed to join his father in Melbourne. After pastorates in Victoria at Bendigo in 1858-66 and Richmond in 1866-76 he was called to Stow Congregational Church, Adelaide.
Fletcher was a member of the University of Adelaide Council in 1878-87 and vice-chancellor from July 1883 to December 1887. His B.A. degree had been taken in mathematics, classics, and moral and natural philosophy, and his M.A. in philosophy and political economy, but when Professor John Davidson was ill in 1879 Fletcher served for a term as acting professor of English language and literature and mental and moral philosophy, and again from August 1881 to July 1883 after Davidson died.
He retired from Stow Church in 1890 and went to Egypt and the United Kingdom to collect archaeological antiquities and acquaint himself with the latest developments in theological education. He returned to Adelaide to serve as the principal of the Congregational Training College. In 1892 he was elected chairman of the Australasian Congregational Union then meeting at Wellington, New Zealand.
He died aged 61 at Adelaide on 5 June 1894, survived by his wife Eliza, née Duncan, two sons and a daughter.
He was a member of the Australasian Society for the Advancement of Science, president of the Adelaide University Shakespeare Society and of the Young Men's Christian Association. He had a great influence on the intellectual culture of Adelaide and his death was deeply mourned by many outside his own denomination. A public subscription in 1895 raised £160 to found a university scholarship in his memory.Biographical SourceTaken from Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972
Reverend William Roby Fletcher - Kent Town - Forwarding Copy of Union College Calendar Containing Introductory Sketch of the Origin of the University
Reverend William Roby Fletcher - Calcutta - To James Bath Secretary Minister of Education - Acknowledging Receipt of Commission
Reverend William Roby Fletcher - Adelaide - Admission of a Non Graduating Student to the Dissecting Room
Reverend Hartley Williams - Mount Gambier - Letter to Reverend W R Fletcher - Local Junior Examinations
Mrs William Roby Fletcher - Wavertree - Thanks Council for expression of sympathy regarding the death of the Reverend William Roby Fletcher
Reverend William Roby Fletcher - The University - Regarding Acting as Professor Boulger's Locum Tenens