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William Lang

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William Lang (1838-1872)

1873 Obituary [1]

MR. WILLIAM LANG, the son of Mr. B. Lang, was born in Manchester in February, 1838.

His education was obtained principally at Hawthorn Hall, Cheshire, under the tuition of Dr. Somerville, with whom he remained till 1856.

He then entered the works of Messrs. Cochrane and Co., of Woodside, Dudley, and passed through the ordinary terms of probation in the several executive departments of the establishment, as well as in the drawing office.

In the year 1861, before his pupilage had expired, Mr. Edwin Clark, M. Inst. C.E., had designed some additions to the Central Transept of the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, in order to strengthen the structure. Messrs. Cochrane and Co. were commissioned to carry them out, and Mr. Lang was intrusted by the firm with the supervision, first of the manufacture, and afterwards of the erection of the work.

In 1862 Mr. Lang purposed to take advantage of the Civil Service appointments then newly thrown open for competition by examinations, for seeking a sphere of labour in India, but found he had just passed the limit of age.

In 1863 the construction of the lock gates for the docks at Penarth, from the designs of Mr. Hawkshaw, Past- President Inst. C.E., was confided to the firm. The designs were placed in Mr. Lang’s hands for working out the details, and on the completion of the manufacture of the gates he was further intrusted with the superintendence of their erection.

Altogether this extensive work occupied him more than two years, and was his last engagement for Messrs. Cochrane. In the intervals of his professional employment subsequently, he extended his knowledge of engineering works both at home and abroad.

He studied at the Royal School of Mines, attending the lectures of Professor Huxley and Dr. Percy, and he passed a year in Paris and on the Continent.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th of December, 1865, and was in a fair way to reap the fruits of steady and continuous labours in his profession, as a Civil Engineer in Manchester, when a termination was put to his career, which was almost tragic in its suddenness.

He was never very strong, and had been crowding too much effort of mind and body into the short space of a few months before his marriage. The consequences appeared only when he had time for relaxation. He was seized with mortal illness during a wedding tour in the Isle of Wight, and died at Ventnor on the 28th of September, 1872. Mr. Lang had been married but a few days to Eliza, daughter of Mr. Edward Stone, of Burn Barton, Bickleigh, Devon.

His friends have to regret the loss of a courteous and liberal-minded gentleman, who took a genial interest in the pursuits of others not connected with his own profession, and during seasons of leisure was able to bear his part well in the most vigorous and healthy forms of mental and physical recreation.

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