Reverend George Sharley, of the Episcopalean (Anglican) Church, resided in Pretoria during the eighteen-seventies. In October 1873 Bishop Webb of Bloemfontein requested the authorities of the Transvaal to permit Sharley to conduct marriages. In January 1874 Sharley participated in the formation of the Transvaal Literary and Scientific Society, known in Dutch as the Transvaal Letterkundig en Wetenschappelijk Genootschap. This society was founded on the initiative of President T.F. Burgers. Sharley was elected joint secretary and was re-elected to this position a year later. During 1874 he delivered three of the ten or so lectures arranged by the society. The first was on coal and coal mining and was delivered at a poorly attended meeting in February. The second, in June, dealt with "The soil we cultivate". In the third, delivered in November, he discussed the coming transit of Venus in December 1874. He pointed out the importance of the event for determining the relative distances of the planets and explained the measurements that would be made. However, many listeners found the lecture too technical. The society faded away during its second year.
Sharley was active also in another initiative by President Burgers, namely the Pretoria Botanic Garden. As secretary of its management committee he wrote to the acting State Secretary in June 1875 complaining about the shortage of labour for the Botanic Garden and about the use of convicts in private gardens.