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Samuel Tate Freeman

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Samuel Tate Freeman (1827-1871)

Eldest Son Martin Lindsay Freeman

Died in 1871


1872 Obituary [1]

MR. SAMUEL TATE FREEMAN, the fifth son of Mr. William Freeman, of Millbank Street, Westminster, was born in London on the 7th of August, 1827.

He was articled in June, 1845, to Messrs John and Alexander Gibb, at that time the Engineers of the Aberdeen railway. Under them he had charge of a portion of the line from Aberdeen to Stonehaven.

When Messrs. Gibb resigned that appointment Mr. Freeman’s indentures, with their consent, were transferred to Messrs. Locke and Errington, under whom he continued to superintend the works of the Aberdeen railway till the completion of the line.

In November, 1851, he commenced to practice on his own account in London, and surveyed several lines of railway for Messrs. Locke and Errington.

In 1854 he entered into partnership with Messrs. Henry Lee and Son, contractors, in a contract for making the Birkenhead Graving Docks.

On the completion of these works, in 1856, he again entered into partnership with the Messrs. Lee, for the construction of a portion of the Dumfries and Castle Douglas Branch of the Glasgow and South Western railway, from Dumfries to near Dalbeattie.

In 1861, with the same firm, he undertook the Lanark branch contract to Douglas, including a large bridge over the Clyde; and in 1863 a branch line of the Caledonian railway from Glasgow to Rutherglen, the Perth Viaduct, and the Leith Branches railway.

On the completion of these works he went to Holland, and there engaged, jointly with the Messrs. Lee, in carrying out the new Amsterdam Canal, Messrs. Hawkshaw, Waldorp, and Dirks being the Engineers. The portions of the work which he undertook were the excavations, the formation of the banks in the lakes, dredging, the construction of the large sea locks at the North Sea entrance, and the reclamation of land. To expedite the dredging operations, Mr. Freeman, assisted by Mr. Burt, introduced a system by which the dredged material was disposed of by being pumped through floating pipes. This plan proved such a success that Sir Charles Hartley, M. Inst. C.E., Engineer to the European Commission of the Danube, adopted it in dredging the Sulina mouth of that river, and with the most satisfactory results.

Mr. Freeman married, on the 30th of December, 1851, Mary, third daughter of Colonel Martin Lindsay, C.B., late of the 78th Highlanders, by whom he had eleven children, and of these six sons and two daughters survived him.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 6th of February, 1866, and died at the age of forty-four, on the 8th of November, 1871, at his residence “Meer en Bosch,” Heemstede, near Haarlem, Holland, suddenly of heart disease, which he had contracted when on the Aberdeen railway from a blow by a piece of granite.

He was a devoted father, a kind friend, and a generous master, and was universally loved and respected, by all who had the privilege of knowing him, for his just, amiable, and sincere Christian qualities.


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