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Joseph Woolley

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Joseph Woolley L.L.D., (1817–1889), naval architect

1817 born at Petersfield, Hampshire, on 27 June, son of George Woolley, surgeon, and his wife, Charlotte (nee Gell).

Educated at Brompton grammar school

1835 Matriculated at John's College, Cambridge

1840 Graduated BA as third wrangler

1840 he was elected a fellow and tutor of St John's College.

1841 Ordained as a priest.

1846 Woolley married Ann, daughter of Robert Hicks of Freshwater, Isle of Wight

Moved to Norfolk as a curate

1848 he was appointed principal of the Central School of Mathematics and Naval Construction, newly founded by the Admiralty at Portsmouth Dockyard as the second school of Naval Architecture in Britain.

Woolley's mathematical abilities and the interest which he took in applying his scientific knowledge to the solution of problems connected with ship design and construction enabled him to render valuable services to the science of naval architecture.

1853 He retained his post until the closure of the school in 1853.

1853 On leaving his post at Portsmouth, Woolley was appointed Admiralty inspector of schools

1854 of H.M. Dockyard, Portsmouth

1858 he was nominated one of HM inspectors of schools.

1860 Woolley played a large part in the foundation of the Institution of Naval Architects, and he later assisted with it, and published papers in its Transactions.

One of the earliest efforts of the institution was to press government to re-establish an advanced School of Naval Construction.

1864 the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering was founded, and Woolley was appointed inspector-general and director of studies. He held this post until the school was merged into the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1873.

1870 Woolley was asked by the Admiralty for his views on William Froude's proposals for model testing. He had been a doubter but was now convinced and strongly supported Froude.

Shortly after the loss of the HMS Captain in 1870 he was nominated a member of Lord Dufferin's committee which was appointed to consider many contentious points concerning the design of warships.

1873 relinquished his orders as clergyman

1874/5 he was associated with E. J. Reed as editor of Naval Science, a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting improvements in naval architecture and steam navigation.

Vice president of the Institute of Naval Architects. [1]

1879 Joint mayor of Kingston upon Thames

1889 died on 24 March at Sevenoaks, Kent.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1875/11/05
  • Biography, ODNB