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British Industrial History

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Samuel Fowls

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Samuel Fowls (1779-c1848)

1820 Samuel Fowls, Northwich, Cheshire became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1849 Obituary [2]

Mr. Samuel Fowls was born at Allostock, near Peover, Cheshire, in the year 1779, whence the family removed to Wilton Northwich, where his Father had taken a farm upon which the subject of this memoir was put to work at nine years of age, after having received only the imperfect rudiments of education afforded by the parish clerk.

Having exhibited a taste for more active employment than farming, he was apprenticed to a joiner and builder, and after his hours of daily labour, devoted himself to the acquisition of useful knowledge, and the cultivation of the sciences.

He then turned his attention to the study of mechanics, and was eventually employed in the construction and repairs of the machinery connected with the salt-works of the district.

In the year 1809, in consequence of, the resignation of Mr. Johnson, and at the recommendation of Mr. Telford, by whom he was highly esteemed, he was appointed Engineer to the Trustees of the River Weaver, which post he held until his decease.

Several of the double locks and weirs on that navigation, as well as the basin and piers at Weston Point, where the Weaver falls into the Mersey, were constructed, or completed under his direction.

He also held the post of Bridge Master of the County of Chester until within a few years, and under his superintendence several useful public works were designed and completed. His advice and assistance were frequently obtained by other engineers, on account of his extensive local knowledge.

He was a sound practical engineer, and, in all respects, an estimable man. On his decease, the Trustees of the River Weaver wrote in these terms to his family:- 'The Trustees, while lamenting the loss of so invaluable an officer, desire to record their high sense of his integrity, zeal, and the extreme ability with which he conducted their works during such a lengthened period; and which, coupled with his uniform correctness of conduct, secured to him their respect and unlimited confidence.”

He was a very old Member of this Institution, having been elected in 1820, and whenever he came to London always attended the Meetings.


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