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    ELECTED IN 1888

    Originally from Stalybridge in Greater Manchester Ousley spent his final years in Conwy. He died on February 4, 1889, aged just 37.

    Ousley was beginning to make a name for himself when his career was cut short, and, as Samuel Hill wrote in 1907 in Bygone Stalybridge, “It became apparent that a fatal disease existed in his frame”.

    The Weekly News recalled Buckley, who left a wife and six children (the eldest being 13): “Mr Ousey’s case is a peculiarly pathetic one. He was left an orphan at the age of two years and his life has been a constant struggle, but he had a large and kind heart, his spirit never failed, he always had a cheerful word or a merry joke for everyone with whom he came into contact and regardless of his own requirements was ready to give a helping hand when called upon.

    “His enthusiasm for his art urged him onward and just as he set his foot upon the ladder of fame, death came gliding by and stayed his hand forever.

    “As the hour of death approached, how earnestly he begged for only two more years will never be erased from the memory of those who were with him during the closing hours of his life.

    “Mr Ousey had over £1,000 worth of commissions in hand which he could have completed in 12 months had the hand of death been stayed.”

    After his burial at Conwy cemetery, members of the Royal Cambrian Academy met at Plas Mawr to discuss a lasting memorial. They wrote to the mayor of Stalybridge to set up an art union, with artists from the Vale of Conwy submitting pictures. Also during the meeting, Mr Claxton of Llandudno offered to hold a “monster concert” in aid of the fund. The proceeds went to Ousley's widow and orphans.

    Chwilio Safle