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Rhys William Jones

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Rhys William Jones (1804-1864)

1835 R. W. Jones of Loughor near Swansea, an engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1869 Obituary [2]

MR. RHYS WILLIAM JONES, the eldest son of the late Mr. Rees Jones, of Penybaily House, Loughor, Glamorganshire, was born in Swansea in the gear 1804.

After receiving a liberal education, he became actively engaged under his father, who was a Mineral Engineer well known in South Wales, and likewise served a pupilage under the late Mr. Rennie.

At an early period of his career he was employed under Mr. H. B. Palmer, then acting for Mr. Telford on the survey for the improvement of the turnpike roads through Wales.

Subsequently, when he had acquired a practical knowledge of the profession, he removed to London, and was occupied for some years, under the Messrs. Rennie, in connection with the Plymouth Breakwater, the New London Bridge, and other works then in progress.

While the Sea Sluice and Embankment were in course of construction on the estates, near Lynn, in Norfolk, of the late Lord William Bentinck, he made the acquaintance of that nobleman, and was on the point of accompanying Lord William to India, where large engineering works were then projected, when the sudden illness of his father, Mr. Rees Jones, in 1830, who had been attacked with paralysis, and was unable to attend to active duties, recalled him to Wales.

When a railway between Liverpool and Manchester was first brought forward, he was engaged with Mr. Vignoles (V.P. Inst. C.E.) on the survey of the line projected by the Messrs. Rennie, and from that time railway communication occupied much of his attention.

Shortly after Mr. Jones' return to South Wales, he constructed the harbour of Saundersfoot, in Carmarthen Bay, and acted as Mineral Engineer to the Pembrokeshire estates of the late Lord Milford. He was also engaged in the construction of the harbour of New Quay, in Cardigan Hay ; but from the difficulty of raising the necessary funds the works mere not completed at that time.

In 1846, when it was proposed to continue the Great Western system through South Wales to Milford, he took a great interest in the undertaking, and assisted the late Mr. I. K. Brunel in getting up the survey for part of the line through Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire.

The branch line to the town of Swansea was afterwards projected at his suggestion.

The Vale of Neath railway was laid out by him, and was constructed under his direction, Mr. Brunel being the Engineer-in-chief.

He was the Engineer to the Swansea Vale railway from its commencement, and also acted as Engineer to the Llanelly Harbour Commissioners, most of the improvements of that harbour having been carried out under him.

He was also largely engaged in valuations of land for railways, and on arbitration cases, as well as on tithe commutation surveys in Wales.

Mr. R. W. Jones died on the 13th of April, 1864, at his residence, Pentwyn, Loughor, in his sixty-first year. His health had been failing for some time, but his death occurred rather suddenly, from an attack of paralysis. He was amiable and unassuming; was possessed of sound common sense, great integrity, and singleness of mind, and fulfilled the various duties of life in a manner to secure the esteem of all who knew him.

He had been associated with The Institution of Civil Engineers for a long period, having been elected a Member in 1835, and when in town frequently attended the meetings.

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