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British Industrial History

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George Robertson

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George Robertson (1830-1896).

1830 Born in Edinburgh

1855 Married Lucy Mary Fraser in London[1]

1861 of Leith Docks

1861 George Robertson 30, civil engineer, lived in Edinburgh with Lucy Mary Robertson 27, Charles Hope Robertson 4, George Scott Robertson 3, Francis James Robertson 2, Alice Mary Robertson 40[2]

1881 George Robertson 50, civil engineer, lived in Edinburgh with Francis J Robertson 22, Apprentice Writer To Signet[3]

1896 Obituary [4]

GEORGE ROBERTSON, born on the 23rd July, 1830, was a son of the late Lord Benholme, and a grandson of the late Lord President Hope, Scotch judges of distinction.

After being educated at Edinburgh Academy and the Civil Engineering College, Putney, he was articled in 1851 to the late George C. Dobson, under whom he served on the Holyhead Harbour of Refuge works.

He then entered the office of the late James Meadows Rendel, and, subsequently, acted under Mr. Rendel on the London Docks extension works. An outcome of this was a Paper entitled 'An Investigation into the Theory and Practice of Hydraulic Mortar, as made on the New Works of the London Dock Company, 1856-7,' which was read and discussed before the Institution in April, 1858, and obtained a Telford medal for its Author.

Mr. Robertson then became associated with Sir A. M. Rendel, as Resident Engineer, in the construction of a large dry dock at Leith, and was subsequently engaged with him in designing and superintending the construction of the Albert and Edinburgh Docks and other works connected therewith at Leith.

The plans for the Albert Dock were prepared in the year 1864; the dock was then immediately commenced, and was opened in July, 1869. Subsequently, also in conjunction with Sir A. N. Rendel, Mr. Robertson designed and superintended the construction of the Edinburgh Dock at Leith.

His connection with Leith Docks was severed in the summer of 1883, when he gave up practice and settled in London. In the library of the Institution may be found two pamphlets he wrote on the works at Leith.

In 1870 Mr. Robertson was sent out by the Secretary of State for India to examine and report on the formation of harbours in that empire. His exhaustive and valuable reports on this subject, as well as a pamphlet descriptive of Narrakal and Allippey as natural harbours of Sefuge on the Nalabar coast, are preserved in the library of the Institution.

Mr. Robertson was in failing health for some years before hia death, which took place at Cambridge Gardens, North Kensington, on the 7th February, 1896. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in 1867-68 was President of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, to which he contributed several Papers.

Mr. Robertson was a familiar figure at the Athenaeum Club, of which he was for many years a member.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 3rd February, 1857, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 17th November, 1863.

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