George Allen Mansfield was born on 15 June 1834 at Sydney, son of Ralph Mansfield and Lucy nee Shelley. On 31 July 1856 he married Mary Emma Lucy Allen who died on 9 May 1861, aged 29 years. There were three children of the marriage. He then married Mary Anne Lorne McDougall at All Saints Church Singleton on 6 March 1863. There were seven children from the marriage. He died at Darling Point on 20 January 1908, aged 73 years. Mary Mansfield died on 15 May 1930, aged 94 years.
Occupation & interests
Educated at W T Cape’s school, Mansfield was articled to J F Hilly in 1850, and then formed architectural firm of Mansfield Brothers. He was the first president of the NSW Institute of Architects, 1871-76, and was appointed architect for the Council of Education, and among his big commisions were the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Hotel Australia. He was the founder of Mercantile Mutual Insurance Co, and its chairman in 1886.
At the formative meeting of the Glebe Volunteers in 1860, Mansfield said the government found the clothing and arms for volunteers. There was no expense on the volunteers, and the necessity of the movement was beyond doubt. He was a prominent early member of Toxteth Cricket Club and a lieutenant in Glebe Volunteer Rifles for five years. Mansfield gave evidence to the Sydney Sewage and Health Board in 1875 in which he told the Board cesspits were in general use in Glebe but he had one of the few earth closets. His servants emptied its contents into his garden. Mansfield lived at Oakwood, Bridge Road Glebe, 1864 to 1869, and Lynedoch, Glebe Road from 1870 to 1879.
Local government service
The building industry was hierarchical in structure, with the architect at the apex. ‘Architects were Lords absolute’ recalled builder Geoge Parker Jones, and ‘George Mansfield’, he wrote, ‘was the mightiest autocrat I ever met’. Mansfield moved that a sub-committee be appointed on Council in 1870 to inquire into, and to report upon the expediency of introducing the system of dry earth closets into the borough of Glebe. The committee consisted of Mansfield, Thornley and Michael Chapman.
Cyclopedia of NSW 1907, McCarron Stewart & Co, Sydney, p. 428
Jones, George Parker & Building Ltd 1915, The road I came, Building Limited, Sydney, NSW, p. 53
NSW Legislative Assembly V & P 1873-74, 6 p164 1880-81,1, p. 35 1875, 4 p. 394; 1901, 3, p. 1365
Sydney Morning Herald 1 September 1860 p. 5
Sydney Morning Herald 24 February 1866 p. 5
Sydney Morning Herald 9 January 1870 p. 2; 13 February 1875 p. 9
Sydney Morning Herald 21 January 1908 p. 6
Sydney Mail 29 January 1908