Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,169 pages of information and 210,845 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Henry Marc Brunel

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1900. Recording Waste Water Meter.
1900. Recording Waste Water Meter.

Henry Marc Brunel (1842-1903), civil engineer

1842 June 27th. Born the second son of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

1851 Living at 17 and 18 Duke Street, Westminster: Isambard K. Brunel (age 44 born Portsmouth), Civil Engineer. With his wife Mary Elizth Brunel (age 37 born Kensington) and their children; Isambard Brunel (age 13 born Westminster); Henry Mark Brunel (age 8 born Westminster); and Florence Mary Brunel (age 3 born Westminster). Also his mother Lady Sophia Brunel (age 76 born Westminster). Eleven servants.[1]

1859-61 Attended King's College London, and afterward attained experience in civil engineering through serving out various apprenticeships. He developed an interest in acting as a hobby, becoming a member of the Scientific and Amateur Dramatic Societies

He contributed to his brother's biography of their father (The Life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Civil Engineer, 1870).

Brunel is noted for a partnership from 1878 with Sir John Wolfe-Barry, with whom he designed the Blackfriars Railway Bridge over the River Thames in central London. Their other works included the Barry Docks in south Wales and the Creagan Bridge, a railway bridge over the narrows of Loch Creran in Scotland (jointly credited to Wolfe-Barry, Brunel and E. M. Crutwell).

Sir Alexander Gibb was a pupil of Brunel and Wolfe-Barry in 1895.

He also designed the SS Chauncy Maples, which was built in Glasgow in 1899 and transported overland to Lake Nyasa in Africa, where it served for more than one hundred years as a mission and hospital clinic.

Water engineer for Torquay, who improved on the Deacon type meter possibly designed by Henry Deacon of Gaskell, Deacon and Co

1903 December 7th. Died

Brunel is buried with his father, grandfather, and other family members at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

He did not marry.


1903 Obituary [2]

HENRY MARC BRUNEL was born in Westminster on 27th June 1842, being the second son of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the celebrated Engineer of the Great Western Railway and of the steamship "Great Eastern," and consequently grandson of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, the Engineer of the Thames Tunnel.

He was educated at Harrow and at King's College, London.

Although only seventeen years old when his father died, he had taken a personal part in some of his later engineering works, notably in the launch of the "Great Eastern," and his contributions to the life of "I. K. Brunel " (published in 1870) which his brother (the late Dr. Isambard Brunel) and he had been engaged for some years in compiling, are in some measure descriptions at first hand.

He served his time as a premium apprentice at Messrs. Armstrong's Works at Elswick, and subsequently became a pupil and assistant of Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Hawkshaw, with whom he remained until about 1870. During his service with Sir John Hawkshaw he was engaged, amongst other things, in an elaborate series of soundings in the English Channel, which were undertaken for the purpose of selecting the best route for the early scheme of a channel tunnel proposed by Sir John Hawkshaw.

He was subsequently engaged with other members of Sir John's staff in a very elaborate examination into the condition of the Caledonian Railway with the lines affiliated therewith.

He also acted as assistant to the resident engineers in the Construction of Penarth Dock near Cardiff and of the Albert Dock at Hull.

His strictly professional work during the period between 1870 and 1878 included the construction of a large reservoir for the water-supply of Torquay and a careful and complete investigation of methods for the prevention of waste; also a visit to Brazil for the purpose of examining and reporting on an important installation of hydraulic hoists at Bahia, and engagements in connection with a variety of parliamentary proposals.

Apart from these subjects, being a friend and devoted disciple of the late Mr. William Froude, F.R.S., formerly a member of his father's engineering staff, he took a lively interest in the scientific researches bearing on Naval Architecture. In the experiments on ships of H.M. Navy which were made during this period, in connection with these researches of Mr. Froude, he placed his time and talents for several years at Mr. Froude's disposal.

In 1878 be entered into partnership with Mr. (now Sir John) Wolfe Barry, and his subsequent professional career is bound up with that of Sir John and other partners. He was intimately concerned with all that they undertook, but in particular may be mentioned the important Barry Dock in South Wales, the St. Paul's Station and railway bridge over the Thames at Blackfriars, The Tower Bridge, and the bridge recently completed at Connel Ferry, near Oban.

In the autumn of 1901 he had a slight apoplectic stroke, followed a few months later by the bursting of a blood vessel in the brain, from the effect of which he never fully recovered. His death took place in Westminster, where he had resided all his life, on 7th October 1903, at the age of sixty-one.

He because a Member of this Institution in 1873; and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and of the Institution of Naval Architects.


1903 Obituary [3]

"...HENRY MARC BRUNEL, whose death took place on the 7th instant, was the second son of I. K. Brunel, the engineer celebrated especially in connection with the Great Western Railway and the steamship Great Eastern, and with him, since be was unmarried, the illustrious family comes to an end. Although only seventeen when his father died, he had taken a personal part in some of his later engineering works, notably in the launch of the Great Eastern, and his subsequent contributions to the "Life of I. K. Brunel," published in 1870, are therefore in some measure descriptions at first hand.

He was born in 1842, educated at Harrow and at King's College, London, and served a premium apprenticeship at the Armstrong Works at Elswick, whence he went to be a pupil of Mr. afterwards Sir John Hawkshaw. During his service with Sir John Hawkshaw be was engaged, amongst other things, in an elaborate series of soundings in the English Channel, which were undertaken for the purpose of selecting the best route for the early scheme of a Channel tunnel proposed by his master, Sir John Hawkshaw.

He was subsequently engaged, with other members of Sir John's staff, in a very elaborate examination into the condition of the Caledonian Railway with the lines affiliated therewith.

He also acted..."More.


1904 Obituary [4]

HENRY MARC BRUNEL - second son of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and grandson of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel - who died at his residence, 21 Abingdon Street, Westminster, on the 7th October, 1903, in the sixty-second year of his age, was the last male representative of that illustrious family, and with his death ceased also its long connection with this Institution, of which his father was a Vice-President and his grandfather was elected a Member in 1823.

The subject of this notice, although only 17 when his father died in 1859, had taken part in some of the later engineering works with which Isambard Kingdom Brunel was associated, notably in the launch of the well-known steamship Great Eastern; and the details he subsequently contributed to the 'Life of I. K. Brunel,' published in 1870, in the compilation of which he was engaged for some years in conjunction with his elder brother, the late Dr. Isambard Brunel, Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely, were furnished in some measure from personal experience and recollection.

Born in 1842, Henry Brunel, after being educated at Harrow and at King’s College, London, was apprenticed in 1861 for three years to the firm of Sir William Armstrong and Company at Elswick. He subsequently served a pupilage to Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Hawkshaw, Past-President, with whom he remained as an Assistant until 1870.

During the period of his connection with Sir John Hawkshaw he was engaged on the construction of Penarth Dock, near Cardiff, and of the Albert Dock at Hull, and also in an elaborate examination into the condition of the Caledonian Railway system, and in an important series of soundings in the English Channel, undertaken with a view to the selection of the best route for the Channel tunnel proposed by Sir John Hawkshaw.

Between 1870 and 1878 the subject of this notice was closely associated with the late William Froude, F.R.S., formerly a member of his father’s engineering staff, and well known in connection with scientific researches bearing on naval architecture.

In these researches and in the experiments on the resistance of ships, and on the cognate subject of their propulsion, carried out by Mr. Froude for the Government in the Admiralty establishment at Torquay, Henry Brunel took keen interest, placing his services unreservedly at the disposal of Mr. Froude.

During that period he was also engaged on the construction of a large reservoir for the water-supply of Torquay and on a comprehensive investigation of methods for the prevention of waste.

In 1874 he visited Brazil in order to examine and report on the large public hydraulic hoists for passengers between the lower and upper towns at Bahia, and was also occupied in connection with a variety of parliamentary proposals.

In 1878 Henry Brunel entered into partnership with Mr. (now Sir John) Wolfe Barry, Past-President, to whom he was united to the day of his death by the closest and most intimate ties of friendship, and his subsequent professional career was bound up with that of Sir John.

Among the various works with which he was thus intimately connected may be mentioned the important Barry Dock in South Wales, Blackfriars railway bridge over the Thames and St. Paul’s Station, the Tower Bridge and the bridge recently erected at Connel Ferry, near Oban, for the extension to Ballachulish of the Callander and Oban Railway.

Bearing in mind the substitution of machinery for manual labour in the making of ships’ blocks, introduced by his grandfather in 1806, the construction of the Thames Tunnel carried out by his grandfather and father in the face of difficulties of the most serious nature, and Hungerford Suspension Bridge, now spanning the Avon at Clifton, the Great Western Railway, and the steamships Great Western, Great Britain and Great Eastern, designed by his father, it may well be said that the name of Brunel will ever remain peculiarly associated with the progress of engineering during the nineteenth century.

Henry Brunel’s personal character endeared him deeply to all his friends. His keen and singularly whimsical humour, which, with some reserve of manner with strangers, at first sight perhaps seemed his chief characteristic, was thrown into the shade for his intimates by his rigid principle, high purpose, sympathy and warmth of heart.

In the autumn of 1901 he had a slight apoplectic stroke, resulting from the bursting of a blood-vessel in the brain, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. He was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Institution of Naval Architects.

He was elected a Member of this Institution on the 6th March, 1877, and was for many years a frequent attendant at its meetings.


1903 Obituary [5]



See Also

Loading...

Sources of Information