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British Industrial History

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John William Blackburne

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John William Blackburne (1839-1874)

1875 Obituary [1]

MR. JOHN WILLIAM BLACKBURNE, eldest son of the late Mr. John George Blackburne, M. Inst. C.E., was born in Oldham on the 3rd of July, 1839, and was educated at Furness.

When fifteen years of age, he entered the office of his father, and on the completion of his articles he had acquired considerable experience on the various railways, waterworks, and collieries then under his father’s superintendence.

At the beginning of the year 1862, Mr. J. W. Blackburne was made a partner, and took an active share in the business; the principal works on which he was engaged being the railways between Hyde and Hayfield, Stockport and Wordley, and Oldham and Guide Bridge, together with the waterworks at Glossop, Ashton,; and Staleybridge, &c.

In the spring of 1865, after an attack of smallpox, haemorrhage of the lungs ensued. Having rallied somewhat, his medical advisers proposed a voyage to Australia.

Shortly after his return a recurrence of the symptoms took place, and it was not till 1868 that he was able to resume any duties, and then all active work was forbidden. He continued, however, to superintend the office department, and compiled a set of hydraulic and other tables, published in 1870.

On the death of his father, in 1871, the principal charge of the practice devolved upon him, but the attacks of haemorrhage becoming more frequent, and in the hopes that a total cessation from business might afford relief, he retired to Burleydam near Combermere Abbey, Cheshire.

Little or no benefit accrued from the change, and early in August 1874, he sustained an attack of more than ordinary severity, and died on the 17th of that month.

Mr. John William Blackburne was a most zealous supporter of the Volunteer movement, and joined the Oldham corps on its formation in December 1859. Having passed through the various grades, he eventually became captain in the regiment of which his father was 1ieut.-colonel.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of December, 1869.

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