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Arthur Wightman

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Arthur Wightman (1808-1864)

1866 Obituary [1]

MR. ARTHUR WIGHTMAN was born at Old Brompton, Middlesex, on the 19th June, 1808, received his education at Tonbridge School, and at the age of seventeen obtained a commission as Ensign in the 49th Foot, and subsequently exchanged to the 21st Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

He left the army about the year 1831, and co-operated with his friend, Mr. Tyerman, of the firm of Hollingsworth, Tyerman, and Co., solicitors, in obtaining the sanction of Parliament for a railway between London and the East India Docks, at Blackwall.

On the completion of the line, which was then called the Blackwall Railway, he was appointed Manager in 1840, and he devoted great care and attention to working the line, upon which the carriages were drawn by ropes, set in motion by stationary engines at both extremities, until the year 1849, when, feeling the inconvenience of the system, he was instrumental in changing it from rope-traction to locomotives, despite considerable opposition.

In the year 1851 he assisted the London and North Western Railway to obtain their goods depot at Haydon Square, in the Minories.

In the year 1854 he was appointed Manager of the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway, under Messrs. Peto, Betts, and Brassey, the lessees, which position he held conjointly with the post of General Manager of the Blackwall Railway.

In each Parliamentary Session up to 1860, he was engaged in assisting the Great, Northern Railway to establish a depot in the City, and also in aiding to obtain branch lines for the Midland, the Great Eastern, and the London Docks, as well as in giving evidence of importance for other railway companies.

In the year 1863 he had a serious illness, from which he never recovered, and on the 8th of August, 1864, he died, sincerely regretted by all who knew him.

He joined the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Associate on the 1st March, 1853, and frequently attended the meetings when railway questions were under discussion.

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