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Charles Edward Cawley

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Charles Edward Cawley (1812-1877)

1877 Obituary [1]

MR. CHARLES EDWARD CAWLEY, son of the late Mr. Samuel Cawley, of Gooden House, Middleton, near Manchester, was born on the 7th of February, 1812.

He received his education at the Middleton Grammar School, and displayed whilst there a marked talent for mathematical and mechanical pursuits. Upon leaving school he assisted his father, who was agent for the Hopwood Estates, thereby gaining considerable experience in colliery working, and acquiring the necessary training for following the profession of a civil engineer, for which he was naturally well fitted.

About the year 1835 the Manchester and Leeds railway was in course of construction through the Hopwood Estates, and Mr. Cawley was appointed by the late Mr. Robert Stephenson, M. Inst. C.E., and Mr. T. L. Gooch, M. Inst. C.E., to superintend the execution of a length of several miles at the Manchester end.

On the completion of this work Mr. Cawley took an office in Manchester, but was soon afterwards appointed Engineer to the Manchester, Bury, and Rossendale railway, afterwards amalgamated with the East Lancashire, and now forming part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire system. Mr. Cawley subsequently extended the line to Accrington, and thence to Blackburn, westward, and to Burnley and Colne in a northerly direction, where it joined the Midland system. In the construction of these works Mr. Cawley introduced some novelties then considered of doubtful utility, but which time has since fully justified.

Mr. Cawley afterwards recommenced private practice, and was extensively engaged in railway, water, and sanitary works in various places.

About the year 1855 he opened an office in Westminster, where, and at Carlton Buildings, Manchester, he subsequently carried on his profession in conjunction with his partners, Mr. John Newton, M. Inst. C.E., and Mr. John M. Smith.

In 1868 he was appointed an arbitrator to the Board of Trade, and during the last few years his practice lay chiefly in the direction of arbitrator or umpire in disputed cases. His appearances before Parliamentary Committees on private Bills were frequent, his acuteness and logical mind rendering him a valuable witness.

In Salford Mr. Cawley was long and favourably known as an active member of its Municipal Council. He. was for many years Chairman of the Gas Committee, and in 1868 the Civic Chair was offered to him, but in view of his candidature for the Parliamentary representation he declined the honour. In the same year he entered Parliament as senior member for Salford, having 6,314 votes recorded in his favour, and at the next general election he again headed the poll.

In religious matters Mr. Cawley always willingly assumed the duties and responsibilities which devolve upon an influential layman. He was for some years a churchwarden of the Manchester Cathedral, and, subsequently, churchwarden of St. Ann’s in Manchester and of St. Paul’s at Kersal. For many years also he was superintendent of the Sunday schools connected with St. Ann’s. The high opinion which was entertained of Mr. Cawley in Salford is expressed by a resolution of the Town Council passed on the 11th of April last, two days after his death, wherein "they desire to place on record their deep sense of the valuable services faithfully rendered by him to this Corporation, and the zeal with which he devoted himself to the welfare of the borough for fifteen years as a member of the council and for the past nine years as its senior representative in Parliament."

Mr. Cawley was elected a Member of the Institution on the 30th of June, 1846, frequently attended the meetings, and took part in the discussions, especially on questions relating to municipal engineering.

1877 Obituary [2]

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