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Arthur James Hamilton Smythe

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Arthur James Hamilton Smythe (1846-1906)

1907 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR JAMES HAMILTON-SMYTHE, eldest son of the late Mr. Hamilton Smythe, Q.C., of Dollanstown, CO. Meath, was born in Dublin on the 12th February, 1846, and studied for the engineering profession at Trinity College, where he graduated in Arts in 1869.

He received his practical training under the late Mr. James Price, then Chief Engineer of the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland.

Between 1870 and 1873 he was employed first by Messrs. Waring Brothers on surveys in Transylvania and the construction of a section of the Eastern Hungarian Railway, and subsequently by Messrs. Sharp Brothers on railway surveys and construction work in Upper Austria.

In December, 1876, after fulfilling several short engagements, he entered the service of the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland as District Engineer in charge of the Sligo division, and afterwards of the Western district.

After 14 years' service as District Engineer he was appointed in August, 1890, Engineer-in-Chief of the railway and canal systems, a position which he held until September, 1894, when he retired from the service of the company. During this period, he built and placed in operation 75 miles of new line and carried out many other works.

Mr. Hamilton-Smythe was next employed under the Irish Board of Works in holding public inquiries and reporting on railway and tramway projects, and was also engaged in private arbitrations.

Early in 1896 he was appointed Engineering Inspector to the General Prisons Board, but was obliged to relinquish the post in November of the same year on account of illness.

In 1898 he was sent out to West Africa by the Colonial Office to select sites for reservoirs, and make investigations for a water supply scheme, since carried out, for the city of Freetown and the naval station, Sierra Leone.

In 1899 and 1900 he engaged in private practice at Hong Kong, and during the three following years he acted as Consulting Engineer and Agent at Shanghai to the London and China Syndicate, Limited.

Returning to England in 1904, he was in the following year appointed by the Hertfordshire County Council chief of the County Surveyor’s staff, under Mr. Urban A. Smith, County Surveyor, a position which he retained until his death, which took place suddenly in London, from heart failure, on the 15th May, 1906.

Mr. Hamilton-Smythe was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 16th January, 1877, was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 14th December, 1880.

In 1885 he presented a Paper entitled "A Comparison of British and Metric Measures for Engineering Purposes."

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