Eleanor Shelley-Rolls

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Eleanor Shelley-Rolls
Eleanor Shelley-Rolls.png
Born9 October 1872
Mayfair, London
Died15 September 1961
Westminster. London
OrganizationWomen's Engineering Society

Eleanor Georgiana Shelley-Rolls (9 October 1872 – 15 September 1961) was one of the original signatories of the Women's Engineering Society founding documents. She was a keen hot air[citation needed] balloonist.

Early life[edit]

Rolls was born in Mayfair, London in 1872.[citation needed] She was the daughter of John Allan Rolls, 1st Baron Llangattock and Georgiana Marcia Maclean. Her three brothers, Charles Rolls[1] John Maclean Rolls and Henry Allan Rolls all predeceased her, dying without issue, so she inherited the family estate The Hendre, near Monmouth.


Rolls married John Courtown Edward Shelley in 1898, they both changed their surname legally to Shelley-Rolls in 1917 when she inherited the family estate at The Hendre on the death of her brother John, 2nd Baron Llangattock in 1916.[2] Before World War One, she and her husband flew in hot air[citation needed] balloons, often sharing a flight with May Assheton Harbord, the first woman to hold an Aeronaut's Certificate in UK.[3] The couple in one of the earliest Zeppelins, and in an early type of aeroplane in the pre war years.[4]

On 23 June 1919, she became one of the seven co-signatures of the Memorandum of Association for the formation of the Women's Engineering Society alongside Rachel Parsons; Lady Katharine Parsons; Janetta Mary Ornsby; Margaret Rowbotham; Margaret, Lady Moir and Laura Annie Willson.[5] With Margaret Partridge, Shelley-Rolls canvassed support for electrification of Britain.[6] She attended the first statutory meeting of the Women's Engineering Society in 1920.[7] She remained on the Women's Engineering Society Advisory Council, was part of the Women's Engineering Society's 1925 Conference of Women. She acted as the Women's Engineering Society's representative on the Electrical Association for Women board.[8] She was a member of the Council Industrial Co-partnership, a member of the Air League and the Executive League of Empire.[9] She was also President of the Women's Pioneer Housing, and a school manager.[9]

She studied and wrote about the history of motoring[7] and in later life took up breeding of Welsh Black Cattle.[10]

In 1920, she founded Atlanta Co Ltd, Loughborough, with Katharine Parsons.[11][9] Atlanta Co Ltd only employed women, including Annette Ashberry.[12] She was the main beneficiary of Baron Llangattock's £1.1 million estate.[13][14][15] She died on 15 September 1961.[16]


  1. ^ "Where are the Wikipedia women? | Unbound". Unbound. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  2. ^ "John Allan ROLLS, 1st. Baron Llangattock b. 19 Feb 1837 "Hendre House", Llangatwg Feibion Afel, Monmouthshire, Wales d. 24 Sep 1912 "Hendre House", Llangatwg Feibion Afel, Monmouthshire, Wales: Some Silk Weavers and Stay Makers". wyndhammarsh.co.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. ^ Heald, Henrietta (2019). Magnificent women and their revolutionary machines. London. ISBN 978-1-78352-660-4. OCLC 1080083743.
  4. ^ "Western Mail". www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. 28 January 1937. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Feminist campaigns and networks", Women and community action, second edition, Policy Press, 2006, pp. 101–134, doi:10.2307/j.ctt1t895mf.10, ISBN 9781447342441
  6. ^ Locker, Anne (2018). "Partridge, Margaret Mary (1891–1967), electrical engineer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.110230. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8.
  7. ^ a b "The Woman Engineer Vol 1". www.theiet.org. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  8. ^ "The Woman Engineer Vol 2". www.theiet.org. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Law, Cheryl (2000). Women, A Modern Political Dictionary. I B Tauris & Co. Ltd. pp. 129–130.
  10. ^ "Western Mail". www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. 24 July 1958. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  11. ^ "The Electrical Association for Women | European Feminist Research Conference, Graz University of Technology, Austria | Arts and culture". arts.brighton.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Loughborough History and Heritage Network | The life of Annette Ashberry – a pioneering Woman engineer". www.lboro-history-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Major Lord John Maclean Rolls 2nd Baron Llangattock | Christ Church, Oxford University". www.chch.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Rolls family (Barons Llangattock), of The Hendre, documents [c. 1617]-1952GB0218.D361". www.gwentarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  15. ^ Clarke, Tom. "Holst in an unusual circle" (PDF). Holst Museum. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  16. ^ Find a will