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British Industrial History

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Henry Corbyn Levinge

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Henry Corbin Levinge (1828-1896)


1896 Obituary [1]

HARRY CORBPN LEVINGE, born on the 1st of December, 1828, was the youngest son of Sir Richard Levinge, sixth baronet, and of Elizabeth Anne, daughter of Lord Rancliffe.

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated BA, and was then articled to Mr. S. U. Roberts, under whom he was engaged on the drainage works of Lough Corrib in Galway.

In 1854 he entered the service of the East Indian Railway Company, and was employed on works under construction in the province of Bengal until 1862, when he was appointed to the staff of the East India Irrigation and Canal Company. This Company was then about to carry out an extensive scheme of irrigation in the Orissa Delta, on which Mr. Levinge was engaged for seven years, first as a District and afterwards as Chief Engineer, until the works were taken over by the Government of India, when he and most of the officers of the Company were transferred to the Public Works Department.

Mr. Levinge was then appointed Superintending Engineer of the important scheme of irrigation in the Delta of the Sone, which - after numerous surveys and the preparation of plans and estimates involving a great amount of labour - he successfully carried out. Some idea of the magnitude of these works may be formed from the fact that the great dam across the Sone is over 2.5 miles long, is founded on sand alone, and is raised 9 feet above the summer level of the water. From the dam, on each bank of the river, are led off the main irrigating canals, which, with their branches, measure about 500 miles, nearly 400 miles being furnished with large locks. By means of these works communication was opened up throughout the Delta with the Ganges and thus with Calcutta

In 1879 Mr. Levinge was appointed Chief Engineer and Secretary to the Bengal Government, which post he held until 1883, when he retired from the service, receiving a weI1-earned farewell order, couched in the highest terms, from the Governor of Bengal.

On the death of his brother, Sir Vere Levinge, eighth baronet, in 1885, he succeeded to the family property of Knock Drin Castle, CO. Westmeath, and in the following year he was appointed High Shcriff of Westmeath. He subsequently served as Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

Mr. Levinge had suffered for some time from an affection of the heart, from which he died, after a distressing illness, at Knock Drin Castle on the 11th of March, 1896. By his kind and genial disposition he gained many friends, while as a landlord he was just and considerate.

He was elected a Member on the 5th of March, 1878.



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