George Quinlan Roberts

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George Quinlan Roberts CBE (23 February 1860 – 6 September 1943) was a Tasmanian-born rower who won events at Henley Royal Regatta in the 1880s. He later served as chief secretary of St Thomas' Hospital in London from 1903 to 1928.[1]

Early life and rowing[edit]

Roberts was born in Tasmania,[2] the eldest son of George Valentine Roberts of Hobart and his wife Elizabeth Benn Quinlan. His father was a member of the Board of Education.[3] Roberts went to England where he entered Hertford College, Oxford in 1879 at the age of 19.[4] At Oxford, he rowed for his college and was a member of the coxless four which won the Stewards' Challenge Cup at Henley in 1881 and 1882.[5] He was a member of the winning Oxford crew in the 1883 Boat Race. With several of his Hertford friends, Roberts then rowed for Twickenham Rowing Club. In 1883 for Twickenham he partnered D E Brown to win the Silver Goblets at Henley beating James Hastie and H B Tween in the final.[6]

Hospital administration[edit]

Facade of The Royal London Hospital

After Oxford, Roberts went into hospital administration. In 1892 he was appointed house-governor of London Hospital[7] and over the years trained the rowing crews of the London Hospital.[8] By 1903, he was secretary at St Thomas' Hospital. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1919 New Year Honours for his efforts during the First World War.[9]

In 1920, he published a brief history of St Thomas' Hospital.[10] Roberts belonged to the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers and was appointed master in 1926.[11]

Family and later life[edit]

Roberts married Mary Waters at Kingston upon Thames in 1891. They had two sons, one of whom was killed in the First World War.[1]

He retired in 1928. He was widowed in 1935 and died in Oxford in 1943.[1]

See also[edit]