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Otway Edward Woodhouse

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Otway Edward Woodhouse (1855-1885)


1888 Obituary [1]

OTWAY EDWARD WOODHOUSE was born in London, on the 21st of October, 1855.

He was educated at Marlborough College from 1867 to 1872, and afterwards at King’s College, London.

He then passed three years as a pupil with Messrs. Hunter and English, engineers, of Bow, during which time he chiefly applied himself to the practical part of engineering in their fitting shop.

In August, 1877, he entered the service of the Great Eastern Railway Company under Mr. W. Adams, M.Inst.C.E., the locomotive superintendent, and on that gentleman changing to the London and South Western Company, Mr. Woodhouse went with him, and continued in the service of that Company until the beginning of 1881.

In July, 1880, Mr. Woodhouse, in company with Mr. J. C. Peache, of the London and North Western Railway Company’s locomotive department at Crewe, went to America and spent six months making a tour of inspection of the engineering and general scientific works of the United States and Canada, returning to England at Christmas, 1880.

In 1881 Mr. Woodhouse entered into partnership with Mr. F. L. Rawson, under the title of Woodhouse and Rawson, engineers and electric light contractors. This firm is now well known all over the world, a result largely clue to the extremely energetic and able manner in which the business was pushed at its commencement.

The death of Mr. Woodhouse is primarily due to overwork ; it is supposed that the extremely long hours he devoted to the development of the business of the firm must have had a serious effect upon his health, he being too often found in his office far into the night.

At the commencement of 1885, Mr. Woodhouse, on account of his health left England for Cannes, from whence he returned to England rather worse, owing to a fever he had caught whilst there. Although he gradually gained strength he never returned to business, and his death, on the 21st of September, at Brighton, although sudden, was not altogether unexpected. His funeral, five days later at Kensal Green Cemetery, was largely attended by personal friends and employees of the firm, showing the great estimation in which he was held by all who came into communication with him.

Mr. Woodhouse, besides being an able engineer, was well known in athletic circles. Until his work took up too much of his time he played regularly in the lawn tennis championship matches at Wimbledon, being second in the “all corners,” and winning the silver prize in 1880. In that year also he won the lawn tennis championship cup of America. In addition he had the distinction of being the only lawn tennis player who has ever beaten Mr. W. Renshaw for the championship.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 3rd of May, 1881, having previously been a Student.


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