Edward William Young was a civil engineer active in the second half of the 19th century. He specialised in railway infrastructure throughout the British Empire. He was very much a product of and a creator of his times and thus interesting
from a family history point of view..
He was the second son of Henry Young and Rosina Frances nee Martin and the grandson of Admiral James Young 1764-1833.
He was born in 1835 and married Geraldine
Lloyd 1833-1901 in 1860. He died in June 1916, They had no children.
The 1851 census states that he was born in Cork, Ireland and at that time he was unmarried and a student at Kings College London.
(Institution of Civil Engineers) records show he was living and working:
1872 Canada Nova Scotia
1876 Cape Town South Africa
1886 England - 3 Chepstow Place London then Sydney New South
1896 Australia - St George Terrace Perth
1906 South Africa Rouwkoop Rondeboshe Cape Colony
1916 England 11 Porchester Terrace London
his application for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers we have some references to what projects he was involved in in England, Canada, South Africa and Australia. However most of his career is a blank. These references are amplified in Appendix
In New South Wales, he was probably employed by a contracting company rather than a railway company and the former did not keep good records.
He did write an article for the Institution of Civil
Engineers Journal on the construction of the e graving dock on Cockatoo Island Sydney. The NSW Government took the decision to construct a first-class graving dock in 1880. Work began on the new dock in October 1882, with completion expected in December 1884,
augmented by a second contract begun in March 1883. By 1889, the NSW Government had procured a graving dock ‘second to none in point of size and completeness. Its designers, engineers and builders had created one of the most advanced docking facilities
in the southern hemisphere, large enough to command respect even in the Royal Navy. Reading the article and Enquiries made of the Cockatoo Island Foundation do not suggest that he was actually involved in the project.
As to his
time in Western Australia the only other only reference is in the 1897 Post Office Directory, as ‘Edward W. Young M.I.C.E., consulting engineer, 254-6 St. George’s Terrace, Perth’. He is not mentioned in any other copies of this
directory, prior or after. At that time there were large railway construction projects underway in Western Australia, due to the gold rush and the extension of the Eastern Railway to the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie goldfields. All of the design work was undertaken
by the Public Works Dept. who had their own salaried staff of engineers, surveyors and draftsmen. The construction work was awarded to private contractors by tender and they in turn employed their own engineers. Unfortunately the people employed in this work
is not recorded and it is not known if Edward did any consulting work for these projects, though it seems likely..
The 1911 census when he was aged 76 shows that he was a boarder at a boarding house in Kensington.
He is described as a widower and a self employed aeronautics engineer working from home. He does not appear in any earlier census entries, other than 1851 presumably because he was out of the country.
RESUME OF CAREER AS RECORDED
IN 1872 WHEN HE SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED TO BE ENROLLED AS A MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS.
"After passing through the three year course in the applied sciences Department Kings College London, because of which he
is an Associate and obtaining numerous prizes and certificates of honour in 1853 he was articled for four years to Sir C , he was next for two and a half years from Nov 1859 to May 1861 engaged on the Cape Town to Wellington Railway as sub assistant engineer
and had charge of a length of four miles. From June 1861 to the spring of 1863 he was employed in various engineering capacities and then for the next six and a half years he was manage of the office of C Fox and sons with duties fully equivalent to those
of a resident engineer and in that position he was associated with Mr R M Ordish in the design of the widening of the Victoria Bridge over the Thames and was solely responsible to his employers for the design of the important works of the LC&D Rly [London
Chatham and Dover Railway Company] the LB&SC Rly [London Brighton and South Coast Railway] and the West London Extension Rly known as the Battersea improvement - and for the bridge for the Queensland Rly. After various other engagements he
in March 1871 [a family deed of 1872 shows him as the vendor of land in Bedford in which he is described as of Sydney Cape Breton] appointed resident engineer under Mr Samuel of the Glasgow and Cape Breton Rly, a line 21 miles long and terminating in a pier
600 feet long - which position he still holds."
A lot of his career seems to have been with the Fox company in its various guises.
In 1856 the firm of Fox Henderson went into liquidation after
sustaining losses building railways in Denmark Charles Fox in 1857 established a new civil and consulting engineering practice with two of his sons, Douglasand Francis, and in 1860 formed a
partnership with his two sons, the firm being known as Sir Charles Fox and Sons (later Freeman Fox & Partners.
eir engineering work included the Medwaybridge at Rochester,
three bridges over the Thames, a swing bridge across the River Shannonin Ireland, a bridge over the Saon at Lyonand many bridges on the Great Western
Railway. Railways upon which Fox worked included the Cork and Bandon,Thames
and Medway, Portadown and Dungannon, East Kent, Lyonn and Geneva, Macon
and Geneva, Wiesbadenand the Zealand lines. Fox was also engineer to the Toronto narrow gauge lines, Queensland, Cape Town and Wynberg
Railway. The Company were heavily involved in South Africa and it is likely that Edward remained working for them at least there.
They constructed the first narrow-gauge line in India,
and later constructed narrow-gauge lines in other parts of the world.
Fox and Sons also engineered the complex scheme of bridges and high-level lines at Battereafor the London
Brighton and South Coast Railway,London Chatham and Dover Railwayand the London and Southwestern Railwayand the approach to Victoria Station, London, including widening the bridge over
Projects referred to in the application for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers
Cape Town to Wellington Railway and South Africa:
The Cape Line, 1861 All the way from the Leith works in Scotland, a small steam engine built by Hawthorne and Co. arrived in Cape Town harbour
in September of 1859. It had been imported by Edward Pickering, the British contractor commissioned to build a railway from Cape Town to Wellington, a distance over mountainous terrain of just over 70 kilometres. A mistake. His incompetence is blamed for the
fact that it took the rail builders almost two years to lay the first three kilometres. Understandably, the Cape Town Railway and Dock Company, who owned the line, lost patience with the procrastinating Pickering and resolved to dismiss give him and his men.
This led to a riot and widespread vandalism of the works that had been carried out. The upheaval led to a Supreme Court action and, eventually, the railway company completed the work itself, under the leadership of William Brounger, the company‟s resident
engineer. Unlike Pickering, Brounger‟s work was exemplary; setting construction standards that were not to be bettered for many years. By February 1862 the line had progressed to Eerste River, reaching Stellenbosch soon after and Wellington in 1863.
The Fox Company and Edward were both heavily involved in South Africa though the Cape Town to Wellington Railway is the only one we actually know that Edward was involved in.
The real catalyst for the
country’s railway and harbour expansion, can be attributed to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberly in 1867.
South Africa’s state railway system began when the two pioneer railway systems situated in
the Cape and Natal became government property in 1872 and 1877 respectively, thus completing the relatively primitive harbours in Durban and Cape Town. Scarcely nine years after the founding of the government railways, both which were rapidly pushed to Kimberly,
rumours of massive gold deposits in the Transvaal Republic were confirmed.
By the closing years of the 19th century South Africa had seen thirty years of unexampled growth. The discovery and exploitation of gold and diamonds
had led to a surge of development not just in those sectors but in the entire area. . Three thousand miles of railway were built to connect the mines with the five major ports. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Kimberly were all interconnected.
To achieve this between 1883 and 1894 investment in the Cape Railways from £10 million to £20 million.
By 1903 British engineers had laid over 10,00 miles of track in Africa which was more that half of the
total was in South Africa. In 1910 Union was achieved, with the country’s leaders adamant that the railways and harbours should be used to unify and develop South Africa’s economy. The British South Africa Company and the Netherland South
Africa Railway Company were major players as were the mining comSouth African colonial government through the Railway Commission played a major role also and government initiative undoubtedly was instrumental in a more rapid construction than would otherwise
have been the case. To begin with many lines did not connect with other systems and few lines were profitable.
Victoria Bridge Widening
Grosvenor (Victoria) Bridge was
the first railway bridge over the Thames in Central London, but the bulk of the existing structure is relatively new. The first bridge was built for the Victoria Station & Pimlico Railway. The design, by John Fowler, was considerably constrained by the
need to avoid obstructing shipping. There had to be 22 feet clearance over high water at the centre of each span, resulting in steep gradients up to the bridge on both sides of the river. There had to be four 175 feet spans over the river, so that two of the
piers could be in line with the towers of Chelsea Bridge, with the third in the centre of the river. In addition to the main arches, there were smaller iron plate spans over land at both ends. Each river span comprised six parallel wrought-iron arched girders,
on concrete, brick and masonry piers. The bridge had a timber deck and carried a mixed-gauge double track railway. It was 930 feet long and 30 feet 9 inches wide.
The new station a Victoria opened on 1st October
1860 and was initially used only by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. London, Chatham & Dover trains started running over Grosvenor Bridge in 1862, being joined by Great Western ones in 1863. The double-track bridge and steeply-graded approach
via Stewarts Lane were clearly inadequate. Work on a second bridge, immediately downstream of the original one, began in 1865 and it opened for traffic on 20th December 1866. It was designed by Sir Charles Fox to be similar to the original one, but substantially
wider. Using wrought iron, the decks of the two bridges were linked. With the broad gauge rails removed, the original bridge could carry three tracks, for use by London Brighton & South Coast Railway trains. The new bridge had two tracks for the London
Chatham & Dover Railway and two mixed gauge tracks for the Great Western Railway. The high level approaches to the south side of the bridge, from Wandsworth Road and from Pouparts Junction, opened in 1867, reduced gradients from 1 in 50 to 1 in 120. However,
nothing could be done to ease the climb out of Victoria. The cost was £245.000
The bridge has subsequently been widened twice and the current bridge although keeping the same profile as the original is largely new.
For the widening in the 1960's the successor firm to Sir Charles Fox was used.
West London Extension Railway
An Act of 1845 authorised the GWR and the L&BR (which became
part of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR] in 1846) to take a joint lease of the West London Railway The line was used only to carry coal.
n Act in 1859 granted those two companies, with the London Brighton
and South Coast Railway(LB&SCR) and the (L&SWR), powers to construct the West London Extension Joint Railway on the filled-in canal south from the Kensington Basin to the bridge under the Kings Road,
to bridge the Thames(New Batteresea or Cremorne Bridge) and to connect near Clapham Junction to railways south of the river.The existing line was doubled, and the flat crossing of the GWR main line, where a number of collisions had occurred, was replaced by
a flyover. The new line opened on 2 March 1863 with a passenger station at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)) slightly north of the original Kensington station, and was then well
used by various inner London services for the remainder of the nineteenth century.
The Cremorne Bridge was opened in 1863 as part of the West London Extension Railway and is designated at Grade II* for the following
" It is extremely significant as a bridge with arches constructed largely of wrought iron. * Its completeness is of particular note which, together with its visually attractive design, makes the bridge
of more than special architectural interest. * It is also of more than special historic interest as one of the earliest Thames rail crossings and the most complete of the six new rail bridges which were constructed in the 1860s. * Built to link four well-established
routes and the first north-south railway line in London, it is a structure which epitomises this important phase of railway history. * It also has group value with the Battersea Bridge of 1890 downstream (Grade II) and the Wandsworth Bridge of 1940 upstream
(recommended Grade II)."
Queensland's First Railway Bridge
Queensland's colonial government fostered the development of railways as a means of developing Queensland and providing
social benefits. It was argued that rail would reduce freight costs and save travel time for passengers. An added incentive for rail development in Queensland was the very poor state of the roads. In wet weather especially, this hampered the transport of freight.
Priority was initially given to providing a railway link to coastal ports for the well-established and influential pastoralists of the Darling Downs.
Sir Charles Fox and Son, were appointed as consulting engineers.
Peto, Brassey and Betts, contractors with worldwide railway construction experience, were engaged to construct the line, including the Bremer River Bridge. Several months prior to the completion of the line, operating staff also began to be recruited .
The first Bremer River bridge was designed by Sir Charles Fox and Son and pre-fabricated in Britain. This may explain the pin-jointed members, as these would have simplified the task of assembly in an economy with little
skilled labour and unsophisticated manufacturing technology.
It was a deck-type iron bridge with pin-jointed lattice girders on cast-iron cylinder piers. It had substantial abutments (extant) made from sandstone. Comprising
three spans of 150ft (45.7m), it was 67ft (20.4m) above the high tide level. 12ft (3.7m) of the width of the bridge was reserved for rail and 23ft (7m) for general traffic. It was an uncommon example of a road-rail bridge and this explains its wide abutments
The Bremer River Rail Bridge was the first iron bridge to be completed on the line. It was was completed in April 1865 and crossed Wide Gully.It was described in the Brisbane Courier (1 August 1865) as "the most important
structure on the first section of the line". By Saturday, 29 July 1865, the bridge was sufficiently complete to allow a locomotive to cross safely carrying Arthur Macalister (the Lands and Works Minister) and Abram Fitzgibon. On 31 July, Governor George Bowen
officially opened the railway at Bigge's Camp (now Grandchester), the western terminus of the line. Abram Fitzgibbon, Albert John Hockings (the Mayor of Brisbane) and Robert Herbert (the Colonial Secretary), also participated in the ceremony attended by a
large contingent of pastoralists.
By 1866, it became evident that the northern abutment of the bridge was inadequately designed - almost certainly nothing to do with William. A report in March 1867 cited inadequate foundations,
poor quality masonry and lack of drainage as the cause of the problems. It had to be rebuilt following a flood in May 1867, when cracks appeared under each girder and nearly every stone in the face showed signs of fracture or damage. In 1875, with the opening
of the Ipswich Deviation, the main western line bypassed the Bremer Bridge. Nevertheless, the bridge continued to carry increasingly heavy loads. This is because it provided access to local coal mines and, more significantly, the North Ipswich Railway Workshops,
Queensland's largest facility for manufacturing and maintaining steam locomotives and rolling stock. Expansion of the site took place in 1877 and in 1884 construction of new and larger workshops commenced at an adjacent site.
1893, it was found that the cross girders of the old bridge were overstrained and in many cases showed fracture of the material. A March 1894 memo to the Chief Engineer's Office stated that the bridge was no longer strong enough to carry the current traffic.
Instead of recommending the bridge be reinforced, it proposed that a new bridge should be built. This was partly prompted by on-going problems that had been experienced with the Ipswich Town Council over maintenance of the shared bridge. It was decided to
transfer the old bridge to council ownership for the exclusive use of road traffic. The contract for the new bridge was let in January 1896.
Cape Bretton Railway
This section is an extract of and adapted from "Mining Railways and their Locomotives in 19th Century Cape Breton byHerb MacDonald.
"For more than 150 years, the mines producing bituminous coal dominated the
economies of northern Nova Scotia and parts of Cape Breton Island. Many of the earliest railways in the province were established by mining companies to move coal from pits to shipping wharves where the black gold would be loaded onto vessels bound for markets
outside Nova Scotia.
In 1868, a group of British investors obtained mining rights to part of the area that had been held "in reserve" by the provincial
government and opened the Reserve Colliery plus several smaller mines in the area. They built the Glasgow and Cape Breton Railway, opened from Reserve to Sydney in 1871 and soon extended eastward to Schooner Pond, modern-day Donkin.
11 January 1871: Under an agreement executed January 11, 1871, the charter rights of the Glasgow and Cape Breton were transferred to the Glasgow and Cape Breton (Nova Scotia) Coal and Railway Company, Limited.
May 1871:Narrow gauge line (36")
10 miles in length completed from Reserve Mine to Old Sydney Pier.
In 1872 a branch 9 miles in length, built from Reserve (Lorway) Junction to
Acadia Mine at Schooner Pond, operated by the Schooner Pond Mining Company was opened. This mine had closed several years before because of poor shipping facilities. This branch was abandoned
after a year or two.
The original plan of the G&CB, shown in the 1868 prospectus, was to build a standard gauge railway to serve the new mines. The line was actually built as 36 in. gauge, one of the very few
examples of this track width in Nova Scotia. Company restructuring s and changes of name were the order of the day with this venture.
The G&CB was reorganised and became the Cape Breton Company Railway in 1873.
The construction of a branch to Louisburg was started in 1874 and probably completed the next year. The objective was to be able to ship coal through the normally ice-free harbour at Louisburg when Sydney harbour was closed by iceOne of the most interesting
features of the narrow gauge railway was its set of three very unusual locomotives acquired in 1872 to support a single 0-4-0T that had arrived the previous year from Fox, Walker of Bristol. Built by the Avonside Company, also of Bristol, the three new engines
were known, after their designer, Robert Fairlie, as Fairlie Patents. They were mechanical versions of the "push-me-pull-you," the two-headed llama of the Dr. Dolittle stories. Also known as "double-enders," the basic Fairlie Patent design
included a central cab with separate boilers linked to separate sets of driving wheels and smokestacks at each end regardless of the wheel configuration or gauge of the engine. Most Patents, however, were narrow gauge. The profile diagram of the G&CB
Fairlies, one in a set of 18 drawings of different models of Patents built by 1874, indicates clearly how this strange-looking engine design appeared to have two front ends.
The Patents apparently
performed very well. Donald Binns' book, Fairlie Articulated Locomotives on the American Continent, (Trackside, Skipton, Yorks, 2001: 51) quotes an 1872 letter from the G&CB resident engineer, E.W.Young, that indicated
a high level of satisfaction with the locomotives. "The engines ride easily on the rails," wrote Young, "and are comfortable and conveniently arranged for the driver and the stoker. So far as our present experience goes, the engines are a great success. A
train of 40 loaded cars can be brought in from the Reserve by one engine." The 200 original G&CB cars were reported in the Nova Scotia Department of Mines Report for 1872 as having four tons capacity so the train weight would have approached 200 tons.Appendix
19th Century Railways and Empire
The nineteenth century saw many technological changes, but none of them were to have as wide repercussions as the invention
of the train. The power of steam had been known for some time but applying this power to moving heavy goods and people over long distances was an application that would have profound consequences in Britain and its Empire.
advantages of the railways were apparent to virtually everyone. These were the days when progress was seen as a universal good and the railways were a prime example of this beneficent progress.
The development of
new countries and territories demanded a heavy expenditure railways, mines, irrigation, drainage and general construction work. Railways were deemed to be by far the most attractive investment as it was railways that opened up new lands to development.
In some cases the railways were built by the Government in other cases to private enterprise. It is estimated that in the 19th century in public issues alone that £2700 million of British capital went overseas.
Of course, the expansion of the railways didn't just rest on the invention of the steam train. Iron was needed for the rails and iron girders and glass were used to construct magnificent looking railway stations. Even
older industries, like stone masonry were given a new lease of life as vast quantities of stone and rock were needed for sleepers, bridges and stations. The railway age was an enormous boost to the economy of Britain, and would provide the country with one
of the most efficient infrastructures in the World in the 19th century.
It wouldn't take colonial administrators long to see the benefits that such an infrastructure could bring to the colonies they were in charge
of. Particularly, as some of these colonies could be immense in size and with little existing infrastructure. Horses and ships had provided the most efficient means of transport to date, but ships obviously couldn't reach the interior and horses could not
match the speed and power of this latest invention.
The old established colonies like India, leapt at the railway opportunities and built a railway structure that would even rival the mother country's in scope and
scale. They were often financed by British industrialists keen to move the primary products of India to the ports ready to be exported to Britain and her factories. Cotton, spices and teas would all provide the economic model for railway building that would
later be copied in other colonies by other crops and industries; rubber in Malaysia, coffee in South America, grains in Canada and livestock in Australia and New Zealand.
In some colonies, railways were used more
as the initial spur to encourage colonisation of an area. In Africa, railways were built to provide an infrastructure that would lure white colonists into an area in order to farm it and turn it into a profitable colony. South Africa, Rhodesia and Kenya all
wanted to increase their white population and increase the economic activity of their lands and all spent copious amounts of money and effort into building railways in what were very often inhospitable areas to European settlers. They had varying degrees of
Another spur to the railway building in the nineteenth century was the British army. Railways allowed troops to be dispatched over great distances in short periods of time, indeed this speed of response
removed much of the burden of having to station so many troops in a colony in the first place. The army would often try to influence local colonial administrators and get them to build railway lines to places which had little business or economic rationale.
Alternatively, the army would build its own railway lines in areas they felt were necessary. In the Boer war, the British army came to depend on the strategic advantages of the railway network.
the Empire in many ways, it increased business activity and allowed businesses to flourish in areas that previously would have been impossible to make a living in. It allowed officials to move rapidly over the areas that they governed. Populations could benefit
from access to cheaper goods as the factories of Europe could unleash their products to the far flung corners of the empire: tinned goods, newspapers, boot polish and toys could all be moved at a fraction of the cost from previous days. The people themselves
could move around the empire whether for business or for pleasure; families could be reunited more regularly, farmers could travel longer distances to get their products to market, businessmen could entertain clients from further afield.
Engineers and the Empire
It is not hard to imagine that any Edwardian engineer would imagine that these were glorious times for British
engineers. A significant basis for this feeling as the view that the future of engineering and the growing number of professionally trained engineers, lay in the Empire.There were three views of what the Empire mean. Thee was the empire of profit - the entrepreneur,
the empire of privileged - as espoused by the aristocracy and the patriot or jingoist, , an empire of means and advancement and it is most likely that the majority of engineers were in the last camp. The empire of merit mean that a skilled engineer had the
chance to shine and advance in his profession in a way that was not possible in the largely developed Britain.
Further the growth in the influence of the Institution of Civil engineers with its influence in Westminster
(London was an imperial engineering hub to which engineers returned before going off on their next imperial non-alignment and nearby where many lived and where many firms had their offices) that the status and reputation of civil engineers became in the late
Victorian period far greater than in the earlier part of the century.
Of course they were also part of being creators of and beneficiaries of the empire of profit. Being generally of the middle classes civil engineers
reflected the middle class view that the civilising empire should be a source of pride in Britain. The professionalism of the career of civil engineers with consequent rise in social position and the esteem of society however was at odds with with the growing
riches of many Engineers as they became increasingly enmeshed in the empire of profit while at the same time they were not seen by the political and social elites as being fit to run that Empire.
So far as engineers were concerned with Britain playing a central role in the allocation of
contracts and with ICE so enmeshed with the political military and industrial complex there was no clear dividing line between Britain and its empire. From 1875 to 1914 the diaspora of engineers thought the empire was such that civil engineering and empire
were inextricably linked and merged There arose in British culture, reinforced if not created by the popular press of the image of the explorer engineer as well as being and explorer but also taking over,especially in Africa.
As well as the Empire being affected by British engineers the Empire also affected British engineers The diaspora of British engineers profoundly affected
the profession and its place in British society and culture. Engineers were just one of the many groups, traders settlers solders sailors explorers merchants were all part of Britain's imperial culture. Especially at the end of the 19th century the British
Empire was all pervasive in public imagination.
British engineers were at work on dams, bridges railways aqueducts,
viaducts harbours first in Europe then North America then Asia and Australia and then Africa and not just with the Empire for they had a a skill which was in short supply
Winston Churchill wrote: Civilisation must be armed with machinery of she is to subdue these wild regions [East
Africa] to her authority. Iron roads, not jogging porters, tireless engines not weary men, cheap owner not cheap labour, steam and skill not sweat and fumbling, there lies the only way to tame the jungle - more jungles than one."
Cecil Rhodes once stated he railways in the colonies
are cheaper and more efficacious than guns and it may be taken as an axiom that railways in most cases are a far better means of settling a country than wars and military enterprises"
Especially for a young unattached man, such as Edward in his early days, the temptations of empire with its new sights and sounds and the scope to shine and have early responsibility must have
been great. The choice was often between working on minor projects in Britain or major ones overseas.
Projects could take
years to complete and once complete many engineers moved on direct to other parts of the empire, some settled in particular colonies and others came back to London before going out again. Imperial careers tended to be self fulfilling for the longer one was
away from Britain the more lacking influence a person was and the less likely that real work could be obtained back in Britain. This seemed to be the case with Edward's career.
Status of Engineers In 1841 Kings College London and other bodies and colleges established courses in engineering. Only about one quarter of engineers in this period went on these academic courses. This is where
Apprenticeships for early engineers normally involved paying a premium of several hundred pounds. Presumably
Edward had to do this.
What was required of an engineers training? Sir John Fowler one of the presidents of ICE
said "a fair knowledge of the most fitting material for any given work, under any given circumstances, , the power of designing any ordinary work with a maximum strength and a minimum of material or labour and a knowledge of the means of ascertaining the cost
price of any ordinary engineering work.
Though progress in formal education was made, by the 1870's there was a growing
belief that the training in Germany and other countries was better.
The great Brunel although adamant that his employers
should be gentlemen and that apprentices should be of gentleman like habits and gentlemanly connections, thought like Stephenson thought that too much gentlemanly polish independence and education might ill suit the servant engineer. Even with a rise in status, engineers however wee also perceived as not quite gentleman because of their involvement with hard physical work.
Nevertheless during the century there was a transition where engineers and others remodelled the motion of an engineer as a manner whose status was achieved by merit be it
proved achievement or education rather than just birth. Instrumental in this was the Institution of Civil engineers
The Institution was founded in 1814 by young engineers who were not senior enough the Smeetonian Society of Civil Engineers desperately seeking status (as they were t do
for the rest of the century soon had one of the old guard Thomas Telford at the helm and a little later he boasted a charter which spoke grandly of harnessing the great forces of nature for the use and convenience of mankind. Although talk of college educated
engineers upset the Institution which insisted that it should be the sole educator the identity of civil engineers remained closely linked to the Institution.
From the start members saw the society as a learned society rather than a social club as the Smeetonian was seen. It
slowly grew in status only admitting as members those it was felt could contribute to the art of engineering. In 1828 it received a Royal Charter. By 1830 there were 150 members. In the 1830's two classes of members existing, full members and graduates who were under training to members of the profession but who were
also expected to contribute to to professional knowledge. Because of the difficulty in meeting the second requirement the graduate membership was replaced by the student membership in 1867.
There was also a category of "Associates" who comprised more than half of the membership. Many associates like Edward had been on University or College courses as well as contractors.
There were 100 members of various kinds in in 1862, 2000 in 1873, and nearly 6000 in 1890. Edward became a member in 1872. It is interesting that Edward did not join the Institute of Mechanical Engineers which had been set up in the 1840's and which catered particularly for railway practitioners. Presumably because he was focused
on infrastructure not engines. With engineering beginning to be widely taught in Colleges and within the profession there was concern in the 1840's that
there would soon be too many engineers. If there was a problem then the solution was at hand. The rapid growth of empire meant there was not only a need to export manufactures but also human specialists.
R I Yonge 2016