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Edward Gershom Davenport

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Edward Gershom Davenport (1838-1874)

1875 Obituary [1]

MR. EDWARD GERSHOM DAVENPORT, son of the late Mr. George Davenport, of Stoke Newington, in the county of Middlesex, was born in March 1838.

His education was begun at University College School, and continued at King’s College, which he left in 1856 for Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in mathematical honours in 1860, and on leaving the university was articled for three years to Mr. R. P. Brereton, M. Inst. C.E. Part of his pupilage was passed on the works of the Cornwall railway, under Mr. Blatchley, M. Inst. C.E., the Resident Engineer.

On the expiration of his articles he was for five years chief assistant to Mr. Brereton. In this capacity Mr. Davenport had the general charge of the designs and specifications, as well as the subsequent execution, of various important works, including the harbours of Dartmouth, Porthcawl, and Neath, the drainage of Paignton, the Dartmouth and Torbay, Llynvi and Ogmore, and St. Ives and West Cornwall railways, as well as of numerous smaller undertakings.

But at the death of his father in 1869, on succeeding to considerable property, he relinquished the active pursuit of the profession. In his new sphere of action he took especial interest in parish affairs, chiefly with respect to local taxation. While living in London Mr. Davenport was an energetic and much respected member of the Paddington Vestry and of the Board of Guardians of that parish. He was also on the committee of the Paddington Branch of the Charity Organisation Society, and took an active part in the election for the London School Board. Although in all these matters he held and expressed strong opinions, he was able, from the kindness of his disposition, to keep on good terms with those from whom he most differed.

The prominent part he played in promoting the welfare of St. Ives, Cornwall, in the neighbourhood of which he had assumed the position of a country gentleman, and his conscientious discharge of the duties devolving upon him as such, naturally pointed to him as a fitting representative in Parliament.

Accordingly, at the General Election of February 1874 he became a candidate in the Conservative interest for St. Ives, and obtained the seat by a considerable majority. Mr. Davenport. was no mere 'aspirant for parliamentary honours,' but one entertaining strong convictions, the result of much thought and study.

Unfortunately a parliamentary career that opened well was destined to last but for a few months, Mr. Davenport dying on the 4th of December, 1874.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 4th of May, 1869.

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