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Article

H. M. Stephens

revised by James Falkner

Baker, Sir William Erskine (1808–1881), army officer and engineer, was the fourth son of Captain Joseph Baker RN, and was born on 29 November 1808 at Leith. He was educated at Ludlow and at Addiscombe College (1825–6), and after attending an extended engineering course while a cadet he went out to ...

Article

Brown, Sir Samuel (1776–1852), civil engineer and naval officer, was born in London, the eldest son of William Brown of Borland, Galloway, and his wife, a daughter of the Revd Robert Hogg, of Roxburgh. Brown entered the navy as an able seaman in June 1795, serving with distinction during the Napoleonic wars from that year. He was commissioned in 1800 and, as lieutenant on the ...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by Christopher F. Lindsey

Brunton, William (1777–1851), engineer, was the eldest of three sons of Robert Brunton, a watch- and clockmaker at Dalkeith, Edinburghshire, Scotland, where he was born on 26 May 1777. He studied mechanics in his father's shop and engineering under his grandfather, who was a local colliery viewer. In 1790 he commenced work in the fitting shops of the ...

Article

Castle, Richard (d. 1751), architect and engineer, may have adopted his surname, which also appears as Castles, Cassel, and Cassels, to indicate a connection with Kassel in Germany. According to the biography in Anthologia Hibernica for October 1793, which is the principal source of information about him, he was born in ...

Article

Caus, Salomon de (c. 1576–1626), engineer and architect, was born in the pays de Caux (whence derived the family name) in Normandy, probably in Dieppe. He was a relative (possibly an uncle) of Isaac de Caus (1589/90–1648). In all probability Salomon's parents were Huguenots who took refuge in ...

Article

Garnett, Arthur William (1829–1861), army officer and engineer, was born on 1 June 1829, the younger son of William Garnett (1793–1873) and his first wife, Ellen (d. 1829), daughter of Solomon Treasure. He was educated at Addiscombe College from 1844 to 1846, was commissioned second-lieutenant on 12 June 1846, and went to ...

Article

Handyside, William (1793–1850), engineer, was born on 25 July 1793, in Edinburgh, the eldest child of Hugh Handyside, ironmonger, and Margaret Baird. At the age of fifteen he became a pupil of a Mr White, a local architect, but did not complete his training. In 1810 his uncle, ...

Article

Labelye, Charles (bap. 1705, d. 1762), engineer and mathematician, was born in Vevey, Switzerland, and baptized on 12 August 1705, the son of François Dangeau La Bélye and his wife, Elisabeth, née Grammont. The baptismal entry of a subsequent child in 1709 described the father as '...

Article

Lovell, Thomas (d. in or after 1615), engineer and soldier, was probably from a family that farmed lands in Huntingdonshire and Norfolk (though he should not be confused with the prominent Norfolk gentleman Sir Thomas Lovell). In 1596 he recalled that he had served for thirty years in the wars of foreign countries, so he may have first fought for the Huguenots in the French wars of religion. In 1572 the ...

Article

Low, William (1814–1886), civil engineer, was born on 11 December 1814 at Rothesay, Bute, Scotland, the eldest son of John Low, a leather currier, and Mary McKinzie, a labourer's daughter. In 1815 the family moved to Glasgow where William was raised. He was apprenticed to ...

Article

Mallet, Robert (1810–1881), civil engineer and scientist, was born at Ryder's Row in Dublin on 3 June 1810, the son of John and Thomasina Mallet. His father came from Devon in 1780 to join his uncle's brass and copper founding business. Mallet received his early education at ...

Article

McAdam, John Loudon (1756–1836), builder and administrator of roads, was born in the west-coast town of Ayr, at 22 Sandgate, on 21 September 1756, the youngest child and second son of James McAdam of Waterhead (c.1718–1770), and his wife, Susannah Cochrane (...

Image

Maker: unknown artist

John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836) by unknown artist, c. 1830 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

McIntosh, Hugh (1768–1840), civil engineering contractor, was born on 4 December 1768 at Milntown of Kildrummie, Nairn, the second son of David McIntosh (c.1730–1790) and Margaret Tolmie. The family had an agricultural background. After a brief education at Inverness he went south in search of work with the canal contractor ...

Article

Menelaus, William (1818–1882), engineer and iron and steel manufacturer, was born in East Lothian on 10 March 1818. Little is known about his family background except that his father was a writer to the signet at Edinburgh, and his mother's maiden name was ...

Article

Owen, Samuel (1774–1854), engineer, was born on 12 May 1774 at Norton in Hales, Shropshire, the son of George Owen, a farmer, and Catherine Madeley. From the age of ten, having had barely nine months' schooling and scarcely able to read, Owen had to make his own living. He was variously a farmhand, boathand, and carpenter before being taken on in 1796 as a journeyman to help build ...

Article

Perry, John (1850–1920), electrical engineer and mathematician, was born on 14 February 1850 at Garvagh, co. Londonderry, the second son of Samuel Perry and his Scottish-born wife. His early education was inauspicious. At the model school in Belfast (1860–64) his persistent failure at first to do any homework led to his being '...

Article

Ronald M. Birse

revised by Mike Chrimes

Robertson, Henry (1816–1888), civil engineer, was born in Banff on 11 January 1816, the youngest of the twelve children of Duncan Robertson, Inland Revenue official, and his wife, Christian Anderson. With the aid of a scholarship he studied at the University of Aberdeen...

Article

Robinson, Sir William (c. 1643–1712), engineer and architect, was descended from an 'ancient' (his word) but unidentified family in Yorkshire. Nothing is known about his youth and training. Without prior military rank he became engineer and surveyor-general of all fortifications and building in ...

Article

R. H. Vetch

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Vetch, James (1789–1869), engineer, third son of Robert Vetch of Caponflat, Haddington, East Lothian, and his wife, Agnes Sharp, was born at Haddington on 13 May 1789. Educated at Haddington and Edinburgh, he entered the military college at Great Marlow, from where in 1805 he was transferred to the ...