Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,095 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

George Mackay Miller

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

George Mackay Miller (1813-1864)

1844 Joined the Inst of Civil Engineers as Member

1857 of Inchison road, Kilmainham Road, Dublin; of Great Southern and Western Railway, Dublin[1]

1864 of Great Southern and Western Railway, Dublin

1865 Obituary [2]

George Mackay Miller was born in London on 7th December 1818, and in 1829 was apprenticed to Messrs. Lloyd, millwrights and engineers. Southwark.

In 1835 he was engaged in the office of Mr. John Dixon, then resident engineer under Mr. George Stephenson on the Manchester end of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; and in 1837 was transferred to Mr. Robert Stephenson's office in London, upon the London and Birmingham Railway.

In 1838 he was appointed resident engineer and manager of the London and Greenwich Railway, which he worked for six years.

In 1844 he was sent out by Mr. Locke to Jamaica, for the purpose of making and organising the short line of railway from Kingston; and in 1847, when the line was finished, he returned to England.

In the same year he was appointed resident engineer and locomotive superintendent of the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, of which 56 miles length was then opened for traffic.

In 1849, when the line was opened to Cork, he took the whole charge of the line and works, and became the chief engineer for all departments of the railway; and had ultimately the entire control of nearly 400 miles of railway, including the works and rolling stock.

This position he held for nearly seventeen years till the time of his death, which occurred after a short illness on 4th January 1864, at the age of fifty.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1853.

1865 Obituary [3]

MR. GEORGE MACKAY MILLER was born at Pentonville, on the 7th of December, 1813.

After the usual course of school education, followed by attendance far a short time in the mathematical classes at University College, London, he was apprenticed to Messrs. Lloyd, of Southwark, Mechanical Engineers and Millwrights, then in extensive employment. By assiduously working at the bench during the same hours as the men, and subsequently being for a time in the drawing ffice, he became a sound mechanic.

On the death of the acting partner in Messrs. Lloyd’s firm, the business was brought to a close, and Mr. Miller, only a few months before the expiration of his apprenticeship, was engaged by Mr. Dixon, then Resident Engineer of the Manchester end of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, as assistant in his drawing office.

Shortly afterwards, he was appointed by the late Mr. Robert Stephenson (Past-President, Inst. C.E.) to perform similar duties in the office at St. John’s Wood, where he was employed in making working drawings for the completion of the (then) London and Birmingham Railway.

On one occasion, having to go to Birmingham, he left London on an engine which was despatched to test the then recently laid road to a point about midway on the line. Arrived there he, to his great satisfaction, found that another engine had been sent from the other end for the same purpose ; and Mr. Miller, alone, exchanged from one engine to the other, so that he always believed himself to have been the first person who ever went direct from London to the Midland Metropolis by steam.

Subsequently he became the Resident and Locomotive Engineer of the London and Greenwich Railway, and for some years had charge of that short line, and he there displayed great skill in developing the traffic under circumstances of considerable difficulty.

That appointment he resigned, on being selected by the late Mr. Locke, M.P. (Past-President, Inst. C.E.) for the post of Engineer to the Jamaica Railway ; a work of much difficulty, both on account of the inaptness of native labour, and the remoteness of requisite material. Mr. Locke was the Consulting Engineer to the Company ; but he had such confidence in Mr. Miller, that the latter was intrusted with the preparation of all the drawings, as well as the execution of the work.

On his return from Jamaica, after completing the line, he found his health somewhat impaired; but he nevertheless accepted an engagement on the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, as Resident Engineer, combined with the duties of Locomotive Engineer and Superintendent of Rolling Stock of the line. In this situation he remained until his death, and for seventeen years discharged its arduous duties with equal ability and diligence. Mr. Miller caught cold whilst riding on an inclement day in the fulfilment of duty, on an engine, and after a very short illness he died on the 4th of January, 1864, at the age of fifty, in the full vigour of life and usefulness, and to the deep regret of all who knew him

See Also


Sources of Information