Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,152 pages of information and 245,599 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alexander Meadows Rendel

From Graces Guide
1874. Victoria Swing Bridge, Leith, designed in conjunction with George Robertson.
1874. Victoria Swing Bridge, Leith
Victoria Swing Bridge in 2016

Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel (1829–1918), civil engineer, of Sir Alexander M. Rendel and Son and Rendel and Robertson

1829 April 3rd. Born at Plymouth, the eldest son of James Meadows Rendel and his wife Catherine Jane Harris.

Educated at Cambridge

1851 Living at 8 Great George Street, Westminster: Jas. M. Rendel (age 50 born David's Staunton, Devon), Civil Engineer. With his wife Cathe J Rendel (age 47 born David's Staunton, Devon) and their children; Alex M. Rendel (age 21 born Plymouth), B. A.; Lewis Rendel (age 20 born Plymouth), Civil Engineer; Fanny Rendel (age 15 born Plymouth); Edith Rendel (age 12 born Plymouth); Emily Rendel (age 11 born Plymouth); and Hamel C. Rendel (age 7 born London, Mddx). One visitor, a governess and seven servants.[1]

1851 Joined his father's firm, based in London.

Undertook major works at Leith Docks and the Portland harbour of refuge

1853 Married Eliza Hobson (1835–1915), and they had nine children.

1857 After intervention by his father's friends, William Armstrong and Robert Stephenson, Alexander was appointed to succeed his father as consulting engineer to the East Indian Railway.

For the next twenty years he was responsible for construction of thousands of miles of railway and for many bridges.

1861 Visiting his brother George Rendel 28, mechanical engineer in the ordnance works at Elswick, who lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, with his wife Harriet Rendel 25[2]

1861 Eliza Rendel 31, civil engineer's wife, was living in Streatham with James M Rendel 7, William S Rendel 5, Catherine J Rendel 3, Edith M Rendel 1, Arthur B Rendel 2 months[3]

1871 Alexander M Rendel 41, M.A. Civil Engineer, lived in Paddington with Eliza Rendel 41, Catherine I Rendel 13, Edith M Rendel 11, Arthur B Rendel 8, Constance Rendel 7, Herbert Rendel 5, Clement H Rendel 4[4]

1887 Knighted.

Also consulted for the Uganda Railway, the Egyptian Light Delta Railway and the Mexican Railway, as well as docks at Kirkcaldy, Llanelli, Milford, and Workington.

1891 Sir Alexander M Rendel 62, civil engineer, lived in Horley with James M Rendel 37, barrister at law, secretary of a public company, Elinor Rendel 31, his daughter in law and grandchildren: Elizabeth Rendel 7, Francis E Rendel 6, Richard M Rendel 4, Andrew J Rendel 2, and his son Herbert Rendel 25, living on own means[5]

1894 Rendel's second son, William, became a partner, but he died in 1898. He was succeeded by his youngest brother.

1898 The name of the firm was changed to Sir Alexander M. Rendel and Son.

1901 Sir Alexander M Rendel 71, civil engineer, lived in Paddington with Eliza Lady Rendel 71, Edith M Rendel 41, Herbert Rendel 35, secretary to public company[6]

1911 Living at 23 Russell Square, London W.C: Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel (age 81 born Plymouth), Civil Engineer and head of a business at 12 Dartmouth street). With his wife Eliza Rendel (age 81 born Plymouth) and their daughter Edith Mary Rendel (age 50 born Paddington). Also their grand-daughter Leila Margaret Rendel (age 28 born Kensington). Six servants. They have been married for 58 years and had nine children of whom six are still living.[7]

1912 On the death of his partner, Frederick Ewart Robertson, Sir Alexander Rendel took as partner Seymour R. Tritton, K.B.E., a mechanical engineer who had been a key figure in the firm for many years. However, doubts existed in Alexander Rendel's mind as to whether a mechanical engineer would be acceptable to the East Indian Railway as his successor.

So in 1913 Frederick Palmer (1862–1934), C.I.E., chief engineer to the Port of London Authority, joined the partnership. The name of the firm was changed to Rendel, Palmer, and Tritton[8]

1918 January 23rd. Died in London

1915 Indian Biographical Dictionary

Rendall, Sir Alexander Meadows, M.A., K.C.I.E. (1887), Consulting Engineer, India Office. London; s. of J. M. Rendall; F.R.S. b. 1829; educ: King’s School, Canterbury, and Trinity College, Cambridge; passed B.A., 1850; M.A., 1854; Scholar and Wrangler; studied as Civil Engineer; joined service as Engineer, London Dock Company, 1856; Engineer to the Leith Harbour, and other Companies; built the shed well of the new basin, the Royal Albert Dock, the Albert and Edinburgh Docks at Leith, the Workington Dock and harbour, etc.; visited India, 1857-58; Member of the Commission to determine the narrow gauge for Indian Railways, 1870; designed the Sukkur bridge over the Indus; is now Consulting Engineer to the Secretary of State for India, and to various Indian Railway Companies; is a Member, Board of Visitors of R.I.E. College. Address: 23, Russel Square W.C.

1921 Obituary [9]

ALEXANDER MEADOWS RENDEL K.C.I.E., was born on the 3rd April, 1829, and died in London on the 23rd January, 1918.

Having been educated at King’s College, Canterbury, and Trinity College, Cambridge, he began his engineering career under his father, the late James Meadows Rendel, Past-President Inst. C.E., and on the death of the latter, in 1856, succeeded him in the business.

In the same year he was appointed engineer to the London Dock Co, and among the works carried out in the Port of London for which he was responsible were the Hermitage Wharf, the Shadwell Basin, and the extension of the Victoria Dock, now the Royal Albert Dock.

He was responsible also for the Edinburgh and Albert Docks at Leith, and was for many years consulting engineer to the Leith Harbour and Dock Commissioners. Other docks designed by him were built at Workington, Llanelly and Kirkaldy, and he also completed docks at Milford. His principal work, however, lay in India.

In 1857, he was appointed consulting engineer to the East Indian Railway, and, in 1872, became consulting engineer to the Secretary of State for India. From that time onward he was responsible for the building up of the great State railway system, for the construction of many thousands of miles of railways, and for the bridging of most of the great rivers in that country, notably the Upper Sone Bridge on the East Indian Railway, the Alexandra Bridge over the Chenab, the Lansdowne Bridge over the Indus at Sukkar, the Hardinge Bridge over the Ganges, and the Empress Bridge over the Sutlej.

In other railway work of somewhat less importance, Sir Alexander Rendel was consulting engineer for the Uganda Railway, for the Egyptian Light Delta Railways, and for the Mexican Railway Company.

In 1912, on the death of his partner, F. E. Robertson, Sir Alexander Rendel took as partners Frederick Palmer, C.I.E., and Mr. (now Sir) Seymour R. Tritton, K.B.E., the latter of whom had been associated with him in business for many years

Sir Alexander Rendel was elected a Member of The Institution of Civil Engineers in 1862, and served as a Member of the Council from 1880 to 1883.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1861 census
  3. 1861 census
  4. 1871 census
  5. 1891 census
  6. 1901 census
  7. 1911 Census
  8. Biography of Alexander Meadows Rendel, ODNB
  9. 1921 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  • Biography of Alexander Meadows Rendel, ODNB [1]