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Edward Magdelen Joseph Delaney

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Edward Magdelen Joseph Delaney (1836-1866)


1868 Obituary [1]

MR. EDWARD MAGDELEN JOSEPH DELANEY was born in Newfoundland on the 21st of July, 1836. His father held a seat in the Legislative Assembly, and filled the office of Postmaster- General for several years.

At an early age he showed a taste for the study of surveying and engineering ; and after having acquired a sound knowledge of mathematics and surveying, was admitted a pupil in the Surveyor- General’s office, under the Honourable Joseph Noad.

After passing some time there, devoted to his favourite pursuits, he came to England and entered as a student in the Department of the Applied Sciences at King’s College, London, where he remained during the years 1857 and 1858, and distinguished himself very creditably, receiving high testimonials of his proficiency from the several Professors.

On his return to his native place, he was immediately appointed principal Surveyor and Engineer in the office of the Surveyor- General, where his bland and obliging disposition won the esteem and confidence, as well of the public generally as of the Government under whom he served.

In the month of August, 1866, he was sent into the interior of the country, for the purpose of laying out agricultural settlements, where, from the fatigue and exposure attendant upon such operations in an uninhabited region, his health was undermined, and shortly after he contracted a cold, from the effects of which he never recovered.

Mr. Delaney was Meteorological Observer in Newfoundland, for the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, for several years.

During his brief career, the only engineering opportunity that offered, arose from the long-felt necessity of removing a serious obstruction that rendered the little but useful harbour of Quidi Vidre almost useless. This impediment consisted of several large rocks, rising near the surface. Mr. Delaney directed their removal ; a d this work was accomplished, without a single accident, in two years.

Mr. Delaney joined the Volunteer force immediately on its enrollment, and was shortly after Gazetted Ensign and Lieutenant: he was greatly esteemed by his corps, and the whole Volunteer force followed his remains to the grave, and gave him military honours at his last resting-place. He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 5th of March, 1861 ; and died at St. John’s, Newfoundland, on the 11th of December, 1866.


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