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Henry James Castle (1809-1891)

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Henry James Castle (1809-1891)


1892 Obituary [1]

HENRY JAMES CASTLE was born on the 28th of August 1809, and was educated at Dr. Firminger’s school at Edmonton, and at St. Mary’s Hall, Oxford.

He was first employed in Canada, in the Government Surveyor’s Department, under the late Colonel Sir Richard Bonnycastle, R.E., and was subsequently appointed Surveyor to the city of Toronto. He accepted a commission in the Dominion Militia at the time of the rebellion of 1835.

As the climate did not agree with his wife, Mr. Castle returned to England, and was employed as Resident Engineer on the Tamworth section of what is now the London and North Western Railway.

In 1841, however, railway construction had come to a comparative standstill; when, therefore, Mr. Castle was offered the first Professorship of Surveying at King’s College he did not hesitate to accept it. This appointment he retained until 1880, a period of forty years. In addition to his duties at King’s College, Mr. Castle turned his attention to the rating of public bodies, and particularly of Railway Companies, and soon became known as one of the leading authorities on the subject. He was the author of several text-books, including a small one on the principles of the rating of railways, and his works on Surveying. and Levelling are still well known. Most of these may be found in the library of the Institution. His knowledge of the classics and of mathematics was more than ordinary, and he was well acquainted with several modern languages. He was elected a Fellow of the Surveyors’ Institution in 1874.

Two or three years before his death, Mr. Castle’s failing health had obliged him to practically retire from business. He died at Brighton, on the 27th of November, 1891, leaving a widow and seven children, of whom two are Associates of the Institution. Mr. Castle was elected into that class on the 4th of May, 1847.


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