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Charles Arthur Rowlandson

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Charles Arthur Rowlandson (1846-1932) of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway and the Great Central Railway

1846 Born in Madras, India, the son of John Rowlandson (1811-1856), Clergyman, and his wife Jane Letitia Hazell (1818-1900)

1876 August 8th. Married Emma Caroline Thompson (1856–1919)

1911 Living at 16 North Gate, Regents Park, Marylebone, London: Charles Arthur Rowlandson (age 65 born Quinton, India), Engineer-in-Chief, Great central Railway. With his wife Emma Caroline Rowlandson (age 54 born Ripon) and their son John Rowlandson (age 33 born Loftus, Yks.), District Engineer, Great Central Railway. Married 34 years with two children. Two servants.[1]

1932 Obituary [2]

Mr. C. A. ROWLANDSON, whose death occurred on January 2nd, had a varied experience up to the time - in 1896 - when he succeeded Mr. Alexander Ross as chief engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway - later the Great Central - from which position he retired, on reaching the age limit, at the end of 1911.

The first five years of his business career were spent on general engineering in India, and then, in 1882, he began his connection with Sir Douglas Fox, for whom he acted on the construction and equipment of the Mersey Railway and, some years later, as resident engineer for the London end of the Great Central extension to London.

1932 Obituary[3]


The news of thé death of Mr. Charles Arthur Rowlandson at his home in Durham Terrace, Bayswater, on January 2 last, will be received with regret by a wide circle in the profession. Mr. Rowlandson who retired on December 31, 1911, from the position of Engineer-in-Chief of the Great Central Railway, after having held that appointment for fifteen years, was the eldest son of the late Rev. John Rowlandson, Vicar of Kirby Moorside, Yorkshire, and was born on January 24, 1846. He was educated at Tonbridge school and became an articled pupil of Messrs. Humphreys and Tennant, marine engineers, Deptford, London, in 1862, and was made leading draughtsman in 1867. In the following year he secured an appointment in the uncovenanted Indian Civil Service as Engineer of the Inland Revenue (Stamp) Department, Bombay, and took out, erected and set to work steam plant and printing machinery. Owing to ill-health, however, he was compelled to resign his appointment at the end of 1871, and returned to this country. In 1872, Mr. Rowlandson was appointed engineer of large ironstone mines at Liverton, Yorkshire, by Messrs. Sir Charles Fox and Sons, subsequently, Messrs. Sir Douglas and Francis Fox. He remained in this position until 1882, part of the time being spent in inspecting engines, bridgework, railway plant, &c., in the North of England. From 1882 to 1885 he was resident engineer, representing Messrs. Fox, on the construction of the Scarborough and Whitby Railway, involving the building of an important viaduct over the river Esk. In 1885 he was appointed resident engineer and locomotive superintendent of the Mersey Railway and was in full charge of the equipment and, later, of the operation of the line. During his tenure of office, he carried out for Messrs. Fox the construction of the low-level station, under the Central Station, Liverpool. Mr. Rowlandson also acted as resident engineer for Messrs. Thomas Parker and Co, Wolverhampton, electrical contractors, during the construction and first working of the Liverpool Overhead Railway. Subsequently, he was resident engineer under Messrs. Sir Douglas and Francis Fox on the construction of the London end and the terminus, at Marylebone, of the Great Central Railway Company’s extension to London.

Mr. Rowlandson was appointed Engineer-in-Chief of the Great Central Railway in 1896, and during the years which followed many important works were carried out under his supervision and control. Among these may be sited, the new railways from Neasden to Northolt, and, in conjunction with the Great Western Railway, from Princes Rishorough to Ashendon Junction, also extensive widening» at Manchester and Sheffield, a new avoiding line at Doncaster, new railways in South Yorkshire, and the equipment of the new Immingham Dock. As previously stated, Mr. Rowlandson retired under the age limit on December 31, 1911. For some years afterwards, however, he acted as consulting engineer to the Company. Mr. Rowlandson was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on December 1, 1888, and was a past president of the Manchester Association of students of the Institution. In 1895, he contributed to the Proceedings of the Institution a paper entitled “The Bold Street Extension Tunnel and Central Low-Level Station of the Mersey Railway.”

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