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Arrott Browning

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Arrott Browning (1838-1877)

1867 Birth of son [George Elliot Browning]]


1878 Obituary [1]

MR. ARROTT BROWNING, second son of the Rev. David Cunningham Browning, M.A., chaplain to the gaol Newcastle-on-Tyne, was born on the 5th of July, 1838, at Newcastle, and was educated there at Percy Street Academy, then conducted by the Rev. John Collingwood Bruce, LL.D.

In 1854 Mr. Arrott Browning was under the Marquis of Bute’s mining and surveying Engineer at Cardiff, where he had the opportunity of studying the construction of the Cardiff docks and also the mines in that neighbourhcod. But he may be said to have commenced his professional career in 1855, as a pupil of Mr. John Plews, M. Inst. C.E., then engaged on the construction of the Northumberland Dock on the Tyne.

On the expiry of his articles in 1857, he studied for one year in the Applied Sciences Department of King’s College, London, where he was chief prizeman of the year.

Early in 1859 he became an assistant to Mr. J. F. Tone, M. Inst. C.E., by whom he was employed successively in superintending the works of the Blyth and Tyne railway, on the preliminary studies for the Border Union, the Border Counties, the Wansbeck railways, the Consett waterworks, and on the Cambo and Rothbury railway.

In January 1862 he was appointed as District Engineer on the Contractor’s staff for the Mauritius railways. On the completion of the railway, four years after, he returned to England, and again assisted Mr. Tone in parliamentary work; and subsequently he spent some time in Spain surveying mineral railways and other works in connection with the mining industry of the northern provinces.

In February 1867, Mr. Browning entered the service of the Madras Irrigation and Canal Company as an Assistant Executive Engineer. In a few months he was made an Executive Engineer, and was placed in charge of the Hindry Division, which included the construction of retaining walls, the Soonkesala Anicut, and the Hindry Aqueduct.

On the completion of this portion of the canal he was transferred to the Khoondair Division, where he had charge of twelve locks, nine bridges, and other works; to this were subsequently added the Nundial division and the Yalloor subdivision, bringing up the length of canal under his superintendence to 52 miles, and comprising the Nundial Aqueduct, the Jutoor Anicut, six locks, and various bridges and culverts.

In 1871 Mr. Browning was made Acting Chief Engineer in India, and in that capacity had entire charge of the Company's operations for more than a year.

In September 1872 he resigned his appointment in India to take up the question of railways in Natal, and proceeded there in Norember for the purpose of making surveys for the proposed railways.

He returned to England in October 1873, having surveyed more than 360 miles of line.

On the 15th of June, 1875, Mr. Browning left England again for Natal, the Government of that colony having entered into a provisional contract with Messrs. Wythes and Jackson for the construction of 104 miles of railway. This contract was based on the surveys made by Mr. Browning, which speaks well of the confidence the contractors had in his work. Mr. Browning now undertook the sole control of carrying out this contract for Messrs. Wythes and Jackson in Natal, and to the organizing and carrying out of the same he devoted the remainder of his life, and left it only when his last illness compelled him to do so.

He left the Cape on the 20th of March for England, and on the 5th of April, 1877, he died at sea. Mr. Browning was elected a Member of the Institution on the 14th of January, 1875. He had the entire confidence of his employers, and gained the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was firm but kind to those who were placed under him, who as well as his employers deeply feel the loss of so experienced and valuable a man at the early age of thirty-eight years.


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