Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert James Cross

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Robert James Cross (1841-1893)

1893 Obituary [1]

ROBERT JAMES CROSS was born on 22nd April 1841 at Farm Easton, Chagford, near Exeter, and was educated at the Ayton Quakers' boarding-school.

At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed for seven years to Mr. Dicker, millwright, at Chagford; and on completing his time he went to Birmingham, and thence to Sydney, New South Wales, to join the Illawari Steamship Co. as second engineer on their vessel the "Illagory."

In 1867 he returned to England, and soon afterwards went out to New York as engineer on board a steamship.

Subsequently he entered the service of Messrs. Thompson and Boyd, Newcastle-on-Tyne, as outdoor foreman of their engineering works; and on leaving them became superintendent to Messrs. Watts Milburn, steamship and colliery owners, and subsequently superintendent engineer to the then firm of Messrs. Burns, steamship owners.

He left there in 1873 to join Messrs. Mark Whitwill and Son, managers of "The Great Western" steamship line, Bristol, as superintending engineer; and served simultaneously in the same capacity to the Wapping Dry Dock Co.

With the latter firm he remained until 1881, when he resigned this position in order to devote his whole time to Messrs. Mark Whitwill and Son, with whom he continued altogether for twenty years.

His death took place at Bristol on 4th February 1893, in the fifty-second year of his age, after a long illness.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1890.

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