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Thomas Craigie Glover

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Thomas Craigie Glover (c1836-1904), railway and public works contractor in India

1880s Major and successful railway contractor on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway and several others.[1]

1890 Listed as Thomas Craigie Glover (Messrs. Glover and Co., Public Works Contractors, India), Mountgrange, Edinburgh when he was shown as a director of the Calderbank Steel and Coal Co.[2]

1891 Report. 'Looking over a recent Times of India, I read (says a note writer in Land and Hater) the record of Mr. Thomas Craigie Glover, a great Scotch engineer, who went over from Canada to India in 1863. Seeing how helpless the natives were if left to their own inventive power, he personally trained squads of 20 or of them in the use of the simple tools of masonry. They, in turn, trained others. He has to-day half million natives under his orders, almost as efficient Europeans. He built the Prince’s Dock at Bombay, of which the Heir-Apparent laid the foundation stone in 1874, combining the qualifications of both contractor and engineer. When, few years ago, the authorities at Bombay suddenly awoke to the fact that their city was so situated that a prolonged drought occurred a water amine would set in, and cause, perhaps, a loss of 50,000 lives, Mr. Glover was summoned. instantly suggested the Tansa Dam, an astounding undertaking, which took away the breath of the officials, but which he, nevertheless, offered to complete before June, 1892. He was told to proceed with it. Next March it will be finished! It is an undertaking without parallel in the world, except, perhaps, the Great Wall of China. It is two miles long, 118 ft. high, 103 ft, thick at the base, tapering to 15ft. at the top, and contains 11,000.000 cubic feet of solid masonry. It places at the disposal of Bombay huge and undryable lake. Mr. Glover has, no doubt, made a little something out of his dual functions as engineer and contractor - not as much as Sir Guinness out of his popular beverage, perhaps ; but such deeds cull for something more than their cash reward. He is, however, not connected with the Government of India - a mere outside civilian, whom they rely in great difficulties - and so his name does not appear in the New Year’s honoars list, nor in any previous list—and unofficial India talks.'[3]

1895 March 6th. Death of his wife Ellen Dunoon Gordon in Edinburgh.[4]

1904 July 8th. Died.


1904 Obituary [5]

The death occurred yesterday his residence, Earlsferry House, Elie, Mr Thomas Craigie Glover, C.E., Mount Grange, Edinburgh, and late Bombay. Mr Glover, whose father was sheriff clerk at Leith, was born there about 67 years ago, and was educated at Leith High School.

After serving his apprenticeship a civil engineer with Dunbar Kirkwood, Edinburgh, went to America, but the success he met there was not sufficient to induce him to remain long in the New World.

His next venture was in India, where from the very first fortune seemed to smile upon his efforts. He settled in Bombay, and latterly became one the largest contractors in India. Under his direction some very important contracts, including the Bombay docks, some extensive railways, and large water works, were executed.

He owned a magnificent yacht, with which he frequently visited this country during his residence in India, and with which travelled extensively after his retirement from business.

He retired about 15 years ago, and took up his residence Edinburgh, subsequently acquiring Earlsferry House, where he spent a good deal of his leisure. Until his death, however, he continued to be chairman of the Bengal Iron and Steel Company, and he was also a sleeping partner Messrs S. and H. Morton and Co., shipbuilders, Leith.'


1904 Obituary [6]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Building the Railways of the Raj 1850-1900 by Ian J. Kerr
  2. St James's Gazette - Wednesday 11 June 1890
  3. Diss Express - Friday 09 January 1891
  4. London Evening Standard - Thursday 07 March 1895
  5. Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 09 July 1904
  6. Engineering 1904 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index