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British Industrial History

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George May

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George May (1805-1867)

1805 Born in Inverness the son of Andrew May

1824 George May, Abingdon Street, Westminster, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1867 August 28th. Died at Clachnaharry, Inverness, age 62.[2]


1868 Obituary [3]

MR. GEORGE MAY was born at Inverness, on the 14th of September, 1805.

He was educated at the Inverness Academy, and afterwards at King’s College, Aberdeen.

In 1823 he was entered as an apprentice with the late Mr. Telford, and remained with him until September, 1827, when he was appointed cashier on the Caledonian Canal at Inverness. He continued to hold this office until the summer of 1829, when he became Engineer and Superintendent of the Caledonian Canal, to which the superintendence of the Crinan Canal was afterwards added.

These appointments he held for the long period of thirty-eight years, faithfully and ably discharging his duties until within a few weeks of his death, which took place at Inverness on the 28th of August, 1867.

Apart from his professional attainments, Mr. May was a man of varied talent and information, of correct taste, and strong, clear understanding, although great diffidence concealed to ordinary observers his higher merits. Kindness and simplicity of character were in him united to a high sense of honour and inflexible integrity.

Early in life, by the death of his father, a numerous family, young and helpless, were thrown upon his care, and the manner in which he fulfilled that sacred trust, the sacrifices he made, and the depth of feeling and attachment he displayed, have never been surpassed.

Mr. May was one of the earlier members of the Institution of Civil Engineers, having joined it as an Associate on the 30th of March, 1821 ; and he was transferred to the class of Members on the 26th December, 1537.



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