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Richard Hall (1806-1878)

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Richard Hall (1806-1878)

1878 Obituary [1]

MR. RICHARD HALL was born in 1806 at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, and succeeded his father and grandfather in the practice of a land agent and surveyor at the early age of twenty-one.

He was soon largely engaged in surveys and valuations in connection with the Tithe Commutation and Inclosure Acts, and the Poor and County Rate. During the growth, and on the establishment, of the railway system he was much concerned, principally on behalf of the companies, but frequently also on that of owners, in the settlement of land purchases and sales, and in this way became associated with the late Mr. I. K. Brunel, Vice-President Inst. C.E., who continued a warm friend through life. Owing to this connection he was employed in the purchase of a large portion of the land required for the present Great Western railway. Among the labours of his earlier life he rendered much assistance in establishing the Agricultural College at Cirencester.

About the year 1850 he removed to London, where his general practice, particularly in parliamentary work and in the capacity of arbitrator or umpire, rapidly increased; and there are few to whom it has more frequently fallen to have the settlement of matters on both sides left entirely in their hands. He was on the list of arbitrators to the Board of Trade, and was consulted by the Government with reference to the management of portions of the Royal Forests, and with respect to the rating of the Government property in those parishes where it occupied a large area, but contributed nothing in aid of the poor rate; and on his advice the basis was settled for arriving at a rateable value in all the important establishments, including those of Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Woolwich.

Mr. Hall had, for some years before his death, retired from the more arduous duties of his profession; but he took great interest in the Institution of Surveyors, established through the exertions of Mr. John Clutton, Assoc. Inst. C.E., and succeeded that gentleman as President, holding the office for two years, during which his inaugural addresses related to the Irish Land Act and the operation of the Inclosure Acts. He was the principal adviser of several noblemen and large landowners, and held at the time of his death, which occurred on the 22nd of February, 1878, many prominent public offices. He was also a deputy lieutenant for the County of Brecknock, and a magistrate for Glamorganshire.

Mr. Hall was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 5th of January, 1861.

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