Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Pearson Brereton

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Robert Pearson Brereton (1818-1894)

1818 April 4th. Born in Blakeney, son of Robert John Brereton and his wife Sarah Pearson Brereton[1]

1836 Joined Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and became his chief assistant in 1844. Brunel described him as "a peculiarly energetic persevering young man".

He worked on the Royal Albert Bridge across the River Tamar at Saltash, and supervised nearly all stages of construction because Brunel was first too busy then too ill to attend.

Brereton took over responsibility for completing various projects when Brunel died in 1859, finishing the West Somerset Railway in 1862.

The young Brereton had lost an eye in an explosion while working at Paddington on the Great Western Railway. He is depicted with a black eye patch in a mural in the Hayward Room of the SS Great Britain in Bristol.

1861 Robert P Brereton 43, civil engineer, lived in Marylebone with Anna M Brereton 43, Elizabeth A Brereton 44 and his nephew Cuthbert A Brereton 10[2]

1894 September 1st. Died

There is a memorial brass to Brereton in the church in Blakeney.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Parish records
  2. 1861 census