Students at the University of Sydney

Early students

Rees Rutland Jones

Rees Rutland Jones went to the University of Sydney in 1855 and graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1858 and Master of Arts in 1862.


His early years

Rees Rutland Jones was born on 12 February 1840 in Sydney, son of Rees Jones, then a grocer and subsequently a grazier and mayor of Yass, and his wife Ann. The merchant David Jones was his uncle.

Rees received his primary education at Yass. In 1852 he attended Dr John Dunmore Lang's Australian College, Sydney, moved to St James Grammar School in 1853 and in 1854 was tutored by William Timothy for the matriculation examination which he passed when not yet 15.

His student days at the University of Sydney

Jones went to the University of Sydney in 1855 on a general proficiency scholarship, won the Barker scholarship for mathematics in 1857 and graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1858 and Master of Arts in 1862.

His career

Jones was employed by the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney until 1861 when he was articled to James Norton. Admitted as a solicitor in NSW on 4 June 1864 and in Queensland on 3 September, he arrived at Rockhampton, Queensland, on 10 September and spent the rest of his life there.

On 12 December 1865 he married Matilda Jane, daughter of W. J. Brown; they had thirteen children.

An alderman in 1870, he was a town solicitor in 1871-96, an original trustee of the Rockhampton Grammar School and chairman in 1885-98, and president of the Rockhampton Club for thirty years. Jones established a legal business in Rockhampton in partnership with his brother-in-law William John Brown. When Brown died in 1889 he was replaced by Charles Sydney Jones (no relation). More than ninety years later the firm was still entitled Rees R. & Sydney Jones. In his criminal practice he defended the murderer T J A Griffin and appeared for the prisoner Palmer in the Halligan murder case of 1869.

After failure in Clermont and Rockhampton in 1883 Jones won the North Rockhampton seat in the Legislative Assembly in 1888, resigning just before the 1893 general election.

His chief interests were mathematics and Australian history, and the (Royal) Queensland Historical Society conferred life membership upon him. Before it could be granted, he contracted cancer, went to Sydney for an operation and died there on 30 December 1916. He was buried in Waverley cemetery.