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Henry Harrison

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Henry Harrison (1822-1883).

1884 Obituary [1]

HENRY HARRISON, the youngest son of Mr. Joseph Harrison, merchant of Liverpool, was born on the 29th of June, 1822.

After being educated at Chester, he was articled to Mr. Bennison, surveyor, of Liverpool.

At the termination of his articles, in 1843, he went to Rouen, and acted as Assistant Engineer on the Rouen and Havre Railway, then being constructed by his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Thomas Brassey, in partnership with Mr. William Mackenzie.

On the completion of these works, he was employed as assistant agent on the Rugby district of the Trent Valley Railway.

He was afterwards agent on the Macclesfield district of the North Staffordshire Railway, where his great perseverance, industry, and success in overcoming the many difficulties met with in the construction of the railway near that town, so much commended him to Mr. Brassey, that, although so young, he gave him entire charge of the Royston and Hitchin Railway contract, which he successfully completed, with the extension to Shepreth, in 1852.

In 1853 he estimated for, and took the entire charge of, the contract for the construction of the Sambre and Meuse Railway in Belgium, which, although a heavy work, with long tunnels, he well carried out, at a very moderate cost.

On his return to England, in 1855, he took, at a very low estimate, the contract for the railway from Woodford to Loughton. On the death of Mr. Samuel Hirn, in November 1856, Mr. Harrison took charge of the finishing of the Leicester and Hitchin Railway.

He afterwards, in 1858, undertook the construction of the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway.

In 1861, in partnership with the late Mr. Thomas Brassey and Mr. Alexander Ogilvie, he took the contract from the Metropolitan Board of Works for the Northern Mid-Level Main Sewer, from Kensal Green to Old Ford. Notwithstanding many difficulties, now well understood, but then novelties, such as passing the sewer, 12 feet by 8 feet 6 inches, close under the Regent’s Canal, and keeping the traffic open during the time, again carrying it in a 7-feet iron tube, more than 100 feet long, over the Metropolitan Railway, also making it in deep cuttings along narrow streets, and in 3 miles of tunnel under Oxford and other streets, diverting and forming connections with existing sewers, without injuring the adjoining property, he, with great care and attention, successfully finished this great work in 1866.

During this time, and with the same partners, he made the Loughton, Epping, and Ongar Railway, and the Bishop Stortford, Dunmow, and Braintree Railway; also the short line from Chertsey to Virginia Water.

From 1866 to 1870 he completed the Waterloo and Westminster end of the present Victoria Thames Embankment.

From 1867 to 1873 he constructed the Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway; and from 1866 to 1869 he superintended the making of the East London Railway for Messrs. Brassey, Wythes, and Lucas Brothers.

In 1870, after the death of Mr. Thomas Brassey, he became the managing partner in England for the construction of the Callao Dock and reclamation works in Peru, which were successfully completed by Mr. James Hodges in 1875.

He died somewhat suddenly, at Southsea, on the 7th of September, 1883.

Mr. Harrison’s connection with the Institution of Civil Engineers dated from the 4th of May, 1858, when he was elected an Associate.

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