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Lindley William Paynter

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Lindley William Paynter (1840-1899)

1899 Obituary [1]

LINDLEY WILLIAM PAYNTER was born in Merthyr Tydfil on the 28th April, 1840, of a family originally Cornish, part of which migrated to South Wales. His father was Secretary to the Rhymney Iron Co, and there the subject of this notice received his first technical instruction. Subsequently he served a pupilage to Mr. F. Creswick, Engineer to the Plymouth Iron Co at Merthyr.

Early in 1859, Mr. Paynter determined to become a candidate for an appointment on the Engineer Establishment of the Government of India Public Works Department, and passed first in trigonometry and hydraulics in the examination of the Military College, Addiscombe, on the 12th May of that year.

Mr. Paynter went out as one of the Stanley Engineers; he sailed from the East India Docks, London, on the 1st July, 1859, in the 'Sir Robert Sale,' reaching Madras on the 12th October, after being one hundred and five days at sea without touching land.

After waiting a short time in Madras, he was sent to the Nellore District as a Probationer to work under Captain Mullins, the District Engineer. It was a journey of 111 miles from Madras, which he had to take in the rainy season, with a pony, and bullock carts for the luggage. He had to cross four rapid rivers, three on rafts, and one fordable.

Mr. Paynter remained in the Nellore District until February, 1862, when he was posted to the Kurnool District, under Captain Beatty, and placed in charge of the Third Range, 2,000 square miles, with head-quarters at Nundial, 45 miles from Kurnool. He had to be almost always travelling in his Range, not being allowed to spend more than ten days in a month at Nundial. He was engaged chiefly on road and bridge work, the most noted being a fine bridge over the Koondar, with seventeen elliptical stone arches. This bridge was completed while he was in that district, and greatly facilitated the traffic, which had been obstructed frequently for several days during the monsoon.

In November, 1864, Mr. Paynter was moved to Oossoor, in the Salem District, where he remained, working on bridges, public buildings, tanks, &c., until April, 1873. During this part of his career he was promoted to First Grade Assistant Engineer, in October, 1867; Fourth Grade Executive Engineer, in April, 1870; and Third Grade Executive Engineer, in September, 1871.

In 1873 Mr. Paynter came home on two years' furlough.

On returning, in May, 1875, he was appointed to the Madura District, under Colonel Fischer, R.E. This was a large Range, extending to the sea at Ramnad. Madura, a large native city, contained an old palace built by Tirumalai Naik, used for Durbars and other ceremonies, which was repaired under his charge.

In December, 1875, in conjunction with the Chief of Police, he superintended the arrangements for the reception at Madura of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.

In April, 1877, Mr. Paynter was placed in charge of the Dindegul Range. At that time the famine was beginning to be felt very severely in that district and in all parts of Madras, owing to the failure of crops from want of irrigation works. Immense relief camps were opened everywhere, and a great number of road works, &C., were started to give employment to the natives, who came in from the country in hundreds, many of them dying by the way. Mr. Paynter was closely engaged on the construction of relief works, and indeed all the Government officials were tried to the uttermost.

He came home in January, 1879, after some severe attacks of fever, on sick leave ; and about six months later retired from the service of the Public Works Department on a pension.

Mr. Paynter died at Worthing on the 21st May, 1899.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 2nd February, 1875.

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