Sir Francis Ronalds and his Family

Maria Barbara Shanklin née Ronalds

Maria Shanklin

Alfred Ronalds' eldest child Maria (1832-1884) was perhaps the most like her father in interests, abilities, and personal characteristics. Following in his footsteps, she established a business designing, making and selling artificial flies for fly fishing. It was the first such enterprise in Australia and offered imitations of many local insects. Her display of 108 artificial flies at the International Exhibition in Melbourne in 1880-81 was awarded a medal. Maria also set up a nursery and seed depot for agricultural and domestic markets in Sale where she lived, and ran a farm north of the town.

Her husband Robert Shanklin was a pharmacist. He had various mining interests and was successful in finding gold in Victoria and New South Wales.

Both Maria and Robert were artistic and most of their eight children were similarly creative in art and music. Several of their daughters, including Henrietta Gulliver, were painters and also designed and made floral decorations in their Uncle Nathaniel's florist business.

Further Information

Alfred Ronalds: Angler, Artisan and Australian Pioneer (2022)
- published by Medlar Press

Maria Ronalds Shanklin: Pioneer Fly Tier in Australia (2021)
- published in American Fly Fisher, Vol. 47, No. 1

Newspaper article on fishing with Maria's flies (1876)