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British Industrial History

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George Meredith

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George Meredith (1817-1864)

1866 Obituary [1]

MR. GEORGE MEREDITH was born in Dublin on the 8th of December, 1817; he was the second son of Mr. Benjamin Meredith, Civil Engineer, who successfully executed several important works in Ireland, and was engaged under Mr. George Stephenson in the construction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, his experience in the formation of public highways over marshy land in Ireland having enabled him to afford some useful suggestions in regard to the mode of passing over Chat Moss.

Mr. George Meredith, having received a good education, was for a time under his father’s tuition, learning the theory of the profession, and at the age of sixteen was admitted into the office of the late Mr. J. U. Rastrick (M. Inst. C.E.), where he remained until the commencement of the construction of the London and Brighton Railway Company’s lines in Sussex, when, in 1836, he was appointed Assistant Engineer under the late Mr. Statham (M. Inst. C.E.), and had charge of the construction of that portion of the line between Brighton and Shoreham, and of that from Brighton to Hayward‘s Heath, including the Clayton and the Patcham Tunnels.

Subsequently he was appointed Resident District Engineer on the Brighton, Lewes, and Hastings Railway, on which line he superintended and carried out several large works, including the curved viaduct from the Brighton Station, in the direction of Lewes ; the tunnels at Rose Hill, Falmer, and Lewes, and a draw-bridge for carrying the railway over the River Ouse near Lewes.

He afterwards took charge, for the same company, as Resident Engineer, of the Keymer Branch, from Hayward's Heath to Lewes.

In 1847 he accepted the position of District Engineer, during the construction of the Nottingham and Grantham Railway, where, among other works, he executed the Gonerley Tunnel. He also designed and superintended the execution of the Grantham waterworks, reservoir, &c.

In 1852, Mr. George Meredith went to Holland, as the representative of an English contractor, during the construction of the Antwerp and Rotterdam Railway, and on the completion of those works he was named Engineer to the Ottoman Railway Company, from Smyrna to Aidin.

He next made a survey of a proposed line of railway from Constantinople to Adrianople, and he returned to England with the intention of taking measures to have this line carried out, when he was suddenly seized with an illness which terminated fatally on the 21st of October, 1864, in the forty-seventh year of his age.

Mr. Meredith was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 6th of March, 1849, and was occasionally present at the meetings. He was of an unassuming and retiring disposition - of a frank and genial temperament - was much esteemed by his friends and acquaintance - and gave general satisfaction to all those by whom he was employed.

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