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Frederic Murton

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Frederic Murton (1817-1889)

1889 Obituary [1]

FREDERIC MURTON was born at Chatham, on the 24th of March, 1817 ; his father was Colonel Murton, who for some time was Commandant of the Royal Marines in that garrison. Colonel Murton was enabled from his position to make several friends ; amongst others was Colonel Landmann, of the Royal Engineers, who had recently retired, and was one amongst the engineers then rapidly rising into notice owing to the development of railways.

Mr. Murton was educated first at a private school at Chatham, and afterwards at the grammar school at Rochester. In the year 1834 he was article& to Colonel Landmann, who was then constructing the London and Greenwich Railway, the first railway built wholly upon a viaduct, the Preston and Wyre Railway, and other works.

After being employed in the office for the first three years of his pupilage, where he became a good draughtsman, he was placed by Colonel Landmann on the works of the Preston and Wyre Railway, under the Resident Engineer, the late Mr. Julien. Upon a change being made in the engineers of this railway, by which George Stephenson became Engineer, he was employed by that gentleman for a short time; he occupied a portion of his time in practising surveying and levelling under General Pasley, who became Inspector-General of Railways.

In 1840 Mr. Murton again entered the service of Colonel Landmann, and was employed in preparing the plans for the widening of the London and Greenwich Railway, and in superintending the execution of the, works, under the direction of the late Mr. John Pinhorn, the Resident Engineer, for the accommodation of the traffic of the Brighton line. Upon leaving Colonel Landmann, in the year 1842, Mr. Murton was frequently employed upon the Parliamentary surveys of projected railways. He remained thus occupied until he became engaged by Mr. Joseph Locke, Past-President Inst. C.E., and Mr. Neumann, as Resident Engineer upon the Paris and Rouen, the Rouen and Havre, and the Dieppe Railways, where he made friendships which only terminated with life.

Among these friends, who afterwards became distinguished in their profession, were Mr. Locke, Mr. Meek, Engineer to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and Mr. Buddicom. He was also fortunate enough, whilst engaged on the Rouen Railway, to form a lasting friendship with the late Mr. Brassey, whom he advised upon many of his most important contracts. It was owing in a great measure to Mr. Murton’s advice, that Mr. Brassey with his partners undertook to complete the Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean line, which went only from Paris to Lyons, and from Avignon to Marseilles. Mr. Murton was employed to represent Mr. Brassey on the portion from Lyons to Avignon, and gave such satisfaction that, upon its completion, he was presented by his employers with the sum of 55,000. Upon the completion of this railway he was engaged by Messrs. Peto, Betts and Brassey, as joint manager, with the late Mr. George Giles, upon some large works in connection with the Lyons and Avignon Railway, Mr. Murton representing Mr. Brassey. Upon the completion of these works, Mr. Murton resided for several years in Paris, and was much occupied in examining railway and other projects in the interest of Mr. Brassey. On his return to England, he was engaged by Mr. Brassey to examine a project for a railway in Norway, from a port on the Gulf of Finland to the iron-mines of Gellivara; also in the carrying out of a railway contract from Gladbach to Venlo; upon the completion of this work, Mr. Murton went, for Messrs. Waring Brothers, to Hungary and Portugal, and for other parties to North America, to examine various railway projects, and to conduct negotiations in connection therewith. Mr. Murton, for the last few years of his life, had not been actively engaged, beyond being Chairman, from 1875 to 1887, of the Chemin-de-fer du Vieus Port et de la Banlieu Sud in Marseilles. He died on the 17th of January, 1889, in the seventy-second year of his age, at his residence in the Addison Road, Kensington, and was interred at Brompton Cemetery. Mr. Murton was an engineer of considerable experience and ability ; painstaking in what he undertook, and in every respect reliable; a thoroughly high-principled gentleman, a good son, and kind to his relatives ; he was, moreover, a staunch comrade, devoted to his profession, in which he made many close friends.

Mr. Murton was elected a Member of the Institution on the 1st of March, 1864.

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