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British Industrial History

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George Barnard Townsend

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George Barnard Townsend (1814-1870)

1871 Obituary [1]

MR. GEORGE BARNARD TOWNSEND was the third son of Richard Townsend, formerly of Doctors’ Commons, by his first wife, daughter of Mr. John Garrard, of Olney, Bucks. He was born on the 17th of July, 1814, and was educated at Eton.

Having chosen the profession of the law, he became a member of the firm of Hodding and Co., of Salisbury, and was well known as a solicitor and Parliamentary agent, especially in connection with railways. In conjunction with the late Mr. Joseph Locke, M.P., Past-President Inst.C .E., he took an active part in the struggle for the introduction of the narrow gauge system of railways into the West of England. Among the various lines of railways, both at home and abroad, in the origination and construction of which he was instrumental, are the Sa1isbury and Yeovil, now a part of the London and South Western Company’s undertaking, the Stockport, Disley, and Whalley-bridge, the South Eastern of Portugal, and the Great Southern of India.

He also took much interest in the development of Mr. Fairlie’s patents for improvements in locomotive engines and carriages.

Mr. Townsend was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 1st of May, 1860, and he died on the 2!rth of August, 1870, at his residence, Gundimore, near Christchurch, Hants. Like that of Mr. Locke, his death was sudden, of apoplexy, caused by the breaking of a vessel on the brain.

He was married in 1840 to Georgina, daughter of Mr. Daniel Eyre, of the Close, Salisbury, who died in 1846, and by whom he left one son - now a lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery-and three daughters.

His life was distinguished by constant activity and energy, and by a kindliness of disposition and of manner which was felt by all who were connected with, or approached him.

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