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Richard Carden Despard

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Richard Carden Despard (1831-1863)

1864 Obituary [1]

MR. RICHARD CARDEN DESPARD was born on the 21st of May, 1831; he was the third son of the late Captain Despard, formerly of the 53rd Regiment, and subsequently for some years a Government Magistrate in the County Meath, Ireland.

Deprived of a father's care at an early age, Mr. Despard was articled to Mr. John Coode (M. Inst. C. E.), and spent some years in his office, &C., and on the works of the Portland Breakwater.

About the year 1851, he became assistant to Mr. Beardmore (M. Inst. C. E.), and eventually had charge of the construction of the Old Ford works on the river Lee, of which he presented a description to the Institution, receiving for this communication a Council Premium of Books.

He was also connected with the Colne Valley and the Halstead railways, as well as other undertakings; having been for some years prior to his decease the faithful and confidential coadjutor of Mr. Beardmore. From his acuteness as a mathematician, and clear workmanlike mode of dealing with the practical business of an Engineer, Mr. Despard won the confidence and esteem of all with whom he was brought in contact.

In his private relations to a widowed mother and a numerous younger family, his character was a model; and those who were acquainted with his affectionate and generous disposition, can estimate the void caused by his almost sudden and early death, on the 19th of March, 1863, in the 32nd year of his age.

Mr. Despard was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 4th of February, 1862 ; but for many years previously he had been a constant attendant at the meetings, and had taken advantage of the other facilities for professional advancement afforded by the Institution. On all occasions he never failed to acknowledge the great benefits that he had derived from access to the library, and from the privilege of being present at the meetings.

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