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British Industrial History

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Robert Chapman

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Robert Chapman (1821-1906)

1907 Obituary [1]

ROBERT CHAPMAN, second son of the Reverend S. T. Chapman, was born at Kingston-on-Thames on the 16th January, 1821, and received a private education.

In 1840 he was placed under the late Sir John Coode, Past-President, with whom he served on the Great Western Railway at Paddington, Swindon, Bristol and other places for a period of 3 years.

He was next employed on the construction of the Bristol and Exeter Railway, and subsequently he succeeded Sir John (then Mr.) Coode on the South Devon Railway at Plymouth. Whilst there he superintended the erection of five large viaducts in the neighbourhood of Ivybridge, and built also a floating pier for the Great Western Dock Company.

In 1853 he was appointed by the late Mr. Brunel assistant engineer at Paddington, where at that time extensive works were in progress, amongst which the removal of some heavy brick bridges over the main line came under Mr. Chapman’s supervision.

In the following year he was selected for the appointment of Resident Engineer at Leamington, where he remained for 13 years.

In 1867, at the desire of the late Sir Daniel Gooch, then Chairman of the company, Mr. Chapman took charge as Resident Engineer of the Shrewsbury and Chester district of the Great Western system, including branch lines in North Wales and work at Liverpool and Birkenhead, and this appointment he held until his retirement, from the company’s service in 1896, a period of 28 years.

He died at Bournemouth on the 17th October, 1906, in his eighty-sixth year.

Mr. Chapman was elected a Member of The Institution on the 12th January, 1864.

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