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George Gardner Donaldson

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George Gardner Donaldson (1801-1859)

1860 Obituary [1]

MR. GEORGE GARDNER DONALDSON was born on the 22nd of May, 1801, at Nemphlar, near Lanark, where he received a sound English and mathematical education.

In early life he devoted himself, for some years, with great success to the cultivation of his Father's farm, an occupation very suitable to his taste and talents.

He left Scotland in 1835, for Dartmouth, Devon, where he had been appointed land steward to Colonel Seale. He was, however, disappointed in his expectations, and removed, after a short time, to Lancaster, to take charge of some large estates at Wyersdale, belonging to Mr. Garnett, M.P. Whilst there, he published a pamphlet on land drainage, which had a large circulation in the neighbourhood.

He afterwards came to London, and was intrusted by the London and North Western Railway Company, with the charge of their landed property between London and Birmingham.

He was next employed, during several years, in assisting the late Mr. James Smith, of Deanston, in valuations and land drainage, and in other matters connected with practical engineering. So high an opinion did Mr. Smith entertain of his skill, that he intrusted him with the entire management of the drainage of Sir Robert Peel's estates at Tamworth, and also of those at Castle Ashby, the seat of the Marquis of Northampton.

He afterwards became one of the Surveyors under the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers, in which capacity the execution of important and difficult works devolved upon him.

At the expiration of the Commission, he became Surveyor to the British Land Company, in whose service he died of diphtheria, on the 20th of November, 1859, at the age of fifty-eight years, within a week after his return from surveying an estate in a marsh near the Forest of Dean. His remains were deposited in the cemetery at Norwood, and although they were followed to the grave by few, they were sincere mourners. He has left a widow, by whom his loss is bitterly deplored.

Mr. Donaldson was a man of strict integrity and prompt judgment; and his urbanity and courtesy of manner caused him to be loved by his private friends, and respected by all those with whom he was associated in public life. Many of those who worked with him in a subordinate position, testify to his great kindness of heart, to his conscientiousness in upholding them from injustice, and to his taking every opportunity of promoting the interests of the deserving.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution, in 1856, and was a frequent attendant at the Meetings, occasionally offering remarks when the subject of the discussions in any way related to agriculture, or drainage. He also presented, in 1851, au interesting Paper, descriptive of works at Richmond, designed by him, and of which he superintended the execution.

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