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Henry Johnston Wylie

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Henry Johnston Wylie (1822-1871), of Wylie and Peddie

1873 Obituary [1]

MR. HENRY JOHNSTON WYLIE was born in Edinburgh on the 5th of July, 1822.

His earlier education was obtained at the Academy of his native city, and his studies were completed at the Glasgow University.

The manifestation, at an early age, of a taste for mechanical and scientific pursuits, led to his being apprenticed to Mr. George Marten, of Glasgow; and he subsequently became attached to the staff of the late Mr. Gunn, M. Inst. C.E. During this engagement Mr. Wylie formed a friendship with his fellow-assistant, Mr. James Peddie, and the result was a partnership between them, and the joint execution of a number of important public works.

Amongst these were the Selkirk and Galashiels railway, opened early in 1866, the Bridport railway, completed in 1857, the Kirkcudbright railway, opened in 1864, and, in connection with Mr. Jopp, M. Inst. C.E., the Berwickshire railway, opened in 1863.

Mr. Wylie also contributed materially in obtaining the Act for the Galashiels and Peebles railway, in the session 1859-60, and he had a considerable practice in the resolution of questions under reference from the Judges of the Court of Session.

In 1867, in conjunction with his partner, he commenced the Kirkcudbright swing-bridge, an important work over the navigable portion of the River Dee ; and this was completed in the following year.

At the close of 1868, Mr. Wylie, having been selected for an appointment in connection with the Home Department of the Indian State railways, left his native city and took up his residence in London; but a controversy arising as to the preferable gauge to be adopted, which prevented active operations, he accepted an appointment to visit and report upon the Tasmanian railway, of which he was also the Consulting Engineer.

The labour and exertion experienced in this expedition, aggravating a deep-seated pulmonary complaint, overtaxed his strength ; and his death took place at his sister’s house at Melbourne, Australia, on the 3rd of November, 1871, in the 50th year of his age.

By sterling integrity and honourable conduct as an Engineer, by a genial and kindly disposition in private life, and by an unvarying consideration for all who came in contact with him, Mr. Wylie secured and retained the good opinion of an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances, both for his professional abilities as well as for his worth as a friend.

Mr. Wylie was elected a Member of the Institution on the 2nd of February, 1869.

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