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British Industrial History

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John Charters Spence

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John Charters Spence (1868-1898)


1898 Obituary [1]

JOHN CHARTERS SPENCE was born in Belfast on 28th July 1868, being the eldest son of Rev. John Spence, D.D.

After receiving his education 1878-84 at St. John's College, Leatherhead, and King Alfred's School, Wantage, he served his apprenticeship 1884-9 with Messrs. D. and W. Grant, York Street Foundry, Belfast.

For about two years 1889-91 he acted as assistant to Mr. A. Basil Wilson, Holy wood, during which time he made two voyages to sea as engineer.

For nearly two years 1891-3 he was draughtsman with Messrs. Workman, Clark and Co., Belfast; and then about six months with Messrs. Victor Coates and Co., Belfast, as draughtsman in special charge of erecting two sets of large mill engines.

In 1893 he became assistant manager in the engineering works of Messrs. Thomas Begbie and Co., Johannesburg, employing about 300 work people; and ill 1896 he was appointed to full charge of the works.

His death took place on 27th March 1898 at the age of twenty-nine, after a long illness from a chest affection.

He became an Associate Member of this Institution in 1897.


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