Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Drury Harness

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Sir Henry Drury Harness (1804-1883)


1883 Obituary [1]

GENERAL SIR HENRY DRURY HARNESS, R.E., K.C.B., was a son of the late Dr. John Harness, Commissioner of the Transport Board, and was born in the year 1804. He entered the army as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on the 24th of May, 1827 ; his first corps service was at Bermuda, where he remained until 1834. In that year he was appointed an Instructor in Fortification at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Here he laid the foundation of those Papers which have since been expanded into the Text-book of Fortification of that school.

In 1840 he went to the School of Military Engineering, Chatham, as Instructor in Surveying, and for a short time in 1844 acted as Professor of Fortification at Woolwich. Harness was very successful as a teacher, creating a great impression by the earnestness and clearness of his style.

In 1845 he became Inspector of Welsh Roads, to assist and in some measure to control the county authorities in the rearrangement of the public highways in Wales, rendered necessary by the change in the system of maintenance from turnpike trusts to the charge of the county rates. By this time the mode of dealing with the new railway system was beginning to cause anxiety to the Board of Trade, and they turned to the Royal Engineers as the best source from which to obtain professional men capable of advising them in the matter. After some experience with a separate Commission, the official supervision of railways reverted to the Board of Trade, and Captain Harness was appointed Secretary of a . . . [more]



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