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Augustus Hamilton Bampton

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Augustus Hamilton Bampton (1823-1857)


1858 Obituary [1]

MR. AUGUSTUS HAMILTON BAMPTON was of Irish extraction: he was born on the 13th March, in the year 1823, and when he was very young, his mother, being then a widow, came to reside in Plymouth, where he received a liberal education, which well fitted him for his future career.

In the year 1838-9, he was articled to the late Mr. J. M. Rendel, who then practised in Plymouth.

In the year 1844, Mr. Bampton commenced practice on his own account in that town, Mr. Rendel having some time previously removed to London. He was shortly afterwards appointed Engineer to the Devonport Waterworks Company, which situation he held until his death. During the time he had charge of these works, he proposed and carried out many improvements in the water-supply, and was held in much esteem by the Directors.

In 1845 and 1846, he projected several railway schemes in Devon and Cornwall, and was engaged in various matters before Parliament. In these and subsequent years he was employed in carrying out improvements for the Tavistock Turnpike Trust; and also by the proprietors of the Dartmoor Railway on matters connected with that undertaking.

In 1847 and 1848, he reported on the River Wey Navigation and the Falmouth Waterworks, and assisted Mr. Rendel in the preparation of designs for the proposed works at the Devonport Dockyard.

In 1849, he was appointed Chief Surveyor to the corporation of the borough of Plymouth, which post he held until the year 1854, when, on the application of the Health of Towns Act, being required to devote his whole time to the duties of the office, or to give up the appointment, he resolved upon the latter course.

For the loss of this appointment, and in consideration of his former services, he received, by an award from the Lords of the Treasury, annual compensation from the corporation. During the time he was surveyor, he proposed several efficient and extensive plans for improving the water-supply and the sewerage, and, indeed, the town generally; but in consequence of a difference of opinion in the corporation, they were not executed.

In 1850, he was employed by the Earl of Morley, in reclaiming land from the tidal embouchure of the river Plym; and also on a proposed railway between Rock and Delabole, in Cornwall.

In 1852, he was appointed Engineer to the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, and, after much opposition, succeeded in carrying the Bill through Parliament in 1854. Up to the time of his death, he was engaged superintending the execution of the works on this line.

In 1853, he was employed by Lord Vivian in reporting on works connected with the Cornwall Railway ; and in the same year he reported on the River Fowey Navigation, as well as on proposed docks at Ilfracombe. In the following year he reported on the Torquay Waterworks.

In 1856, he was employed in making out the details connected with Mr. Gotto's plan for the drainage of Rio de Janeiro, to enable Mr. Rendel to report on the subject to the Brazilian Government; and in the same year, he was also engaged by Mr. Rendel, in obtaining statistics and other information, and in making out estimates, to assist him in reporting to the Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings, on Westminster Bridge. During the whole of his professional career, he was often employed by Mr. Rendel, by whom he was regarded as an Engineer of much ability.

Mr. Bampton expired, after a short but severe illness, on the 4th March, 1857, thus barely completing his thirty-fourth year.

Possessing a sound judgment, persevering and business habits, and an attachment to his calling, amounting to enthusiasm, he was much esteemed by those professional brethren, to whom he was known, as well as by his fellow-townsmen, and by those for whom he executed works. He was urbane in his manners, profusely generous in disposition, and was greatly beloved, not only by his private friends, but by all those who had the pleasure of working under him. The same amiability which was displayed in public life, was even more apparent in a private sphere. He was possessed of great integrity and singleness of mind, and there was an earnestness of purpose in all that he did, which was exemplified by the manner in which he fulfilled the various duties of life. There is but little doubt, that his well-cultivated mind, great perseverance, and the exactness with which he performed all his professional duties, would have secured to him an eminent position, in a profession in which he was regarded by those who knew him as a rising member. He married early in life, and has left a widow and eight young children, the last born shortly after his death.

Mr. Bampton joined the Institution, as a Member, in the year 1849 ; but his continued residence in the country did not admit of his frequently attending the meetings. He has been repeatedly heard to express regret, that his provincial position prevented that social and intimate intercourse with the members of the profession, which his ardent love for, and devotion in the pursuit of, led him to desire.


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