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James Walker (1781–1862): Civil Engineer

  1. Samuel Smiles, Lives of the Engineers, (London, John Murray, 1862), vol. 3, p.257.
  2. Ibid. p. 3.
  3. ICE Muniments 62 (093), mss. Diary, inscribed James Cooper April 30th. 1833, first entry September 17th. 1833. This a proper diary with day-by-day entries both before and after he entered Walker's office on 30 June 1835. Lat entry is 14 July 1839.
  4. Ibid. p. 44.
  5. Ibid. p. 59.
  6. Ibid. p. 61.
  7. Ibid. p. 63.
  8. Ibid. p. 42.
  9. Ibid. p. 67.
  10. Ibid. p. 19.
  11. Ibid. p. 87.
  12. Ibid. p. 76.
  13. Proc.ICE, 84, 1885–6, p.446, Obituary of Thomas Macdougall Smith. Alfred Burges had a son William (1827–1881) who attended lectures in civil engineering at Kings College, London, but went on to a successful career as an architect.
  14. Proc. ICE, 84, 1885–6, p.439, Obituary of William Bayley Bray. This obituary contains the following list of those who had worked in Walker's office: J. W. Bazalgette (1819–91), G.P. Bidder (1806–78), M. A. Borthwick (1810–56), W.B. Bray (1811–85), J. Cooper (1817–62), G.S. Dalrymple (1816–51), T. Diane, E. Druce, A. Drysdale, J. B. Hartley (1814–69), J. Hawkshaw (1811–91), C.M. Herbert, D.P. Hewitt, W.H. Holland, J.R. McClean (1813–73), J.M. M'Connochie, Major Newsome R.E., T. Ormiston, W. Parkes, F. Pollock, J.B. Redman, T.M. Smith (1826–1886), R. Townshend. J. Scott Tucker. (This is the list as published [But with dates added] and is by no means a complete record of Walker's assistants).
  15. As Ref; 3.3.
  16. Proc.ICE, 22, 11 November 1862, J. R. McLean, as Vice-President, speaking of Walker soon after his death.
  17. The Surveyor; Engineer, and Architect, No.XVI, 1 May, 1841, p.73. Their Editorial on Walker's Presidential Address occupied three and a half pages.
  18. Proc.ICE, 2, 1842, p.23, Walker's Presidential Address, 18 January 1842.
  19. Proc.ICE, 3, pp. 27–8, Presidential Address, 16 January 1844.
  20. See: The Civils: The story of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Garth Watson, London, Thomas Telford, 1988.
  21. The Surveyor; Engineer and Architect, No.XIII, 1 February 1841, p.15.
  22. This group comprised the Directors E. and W. India Dock Companies, Mr. Brogden, Sir Edward Banks, and others.
  23. ICE Tract 4to., 71 (5) Report to William Astell, Esqr, M.P. on the nature and supposed advantages of the Commercial Road Stone or Tramway to the East India Company, Limehouse, 8 December 1830.
  24. Geo. 4, c.CXII (1828).
  25. ICE Tract 4to. 71 (4), Report to Charles H. Turner, Esq. Chairman and the Trustees of the Commercial Road, Limehouse, 12 March 1829.
  26. See ref. 36.
  27. Mus. in Docklands, PLA Coll., Box 558 Minutes: Commercial Dock Company September 1807-September 1812. p.186.
  28. Ibid. p.199,7 December 1810.
  29. Ibid. p.203,28 December 1810.
  30. Ibid. p.205,3 January 1811.
  31. Ibid. p.406,2 December 1864.
  32. Geo.4, c.CXLII (1809).
  33. For a description of Rennie's bridge see The Autobiography of Sir John Rennie, London, Spon, p.6.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow; Ref: W36/Lea/3[Green Minute Book] Min. of Proc. of the Trustees of Lea Bridge and Road (beginning 22 June 1807), 10 May 1819.
  36. Ibid. 22 November 1819.
  37. Ibid. 24 January 1820. The Tenders submitted were:
  38. Walker's partner, Alfred Burges, produced a scholarly monograph on the original structure, See: Archaeologia, Society of Antiquaries of London, vol.XXVII, 1838, pp. 77–95: Account of the Old Bridge at Strafford-le-Bow in Essex, Read 12 and 19 May 1836.
  39. ICE Tract 8vo. vol.1 (3): Report To George Dacre Esqr Clerk to the Trustees of the Middlesex & Essex Turnpike Roads, Limehouse, 5 January 1828.
  40. 5 Will 4, c. LXXXIX (1834): Bow and Channelsea Bridges.
  41. Ibid. p. 11.
  42. Parl.Pap., 1844, VI, Reports Committees (2): W. & B. Reports 1843 are p.789: 22 August; p.791: 6 November; p.792: 28 November; and p.792: 30 November.
  43. Parl.Pap., 1846, XV, Reports Committees (11), p.426: Walker examined 19 May 1846, answer to Q. 1343.
  44. ICE Cooper's Diary, 26 July 1837.
  45. Parl. Pap. Select Committee on the Thames Tunnel, James Walker in giving evidence on 7 July 1837 said he was first consulted on 31 May 1836.
  46. Parl. Pap. 1837–8 (548) XXXVI, Accounts and Papers (1), p.557. Walker's Report to Treasury, December 1837.
  47. Ibid. p. 560.
  48. ICE Cooper's Diary, 16 August 1837.
  49. Ibid. 24 August 1837.
  50. ICE Tract 8vo, 1 (2) Walker's Report To the Directors of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, 18 November 1828.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Ibid. p. 16.
  54. Ibid. p. 19.
  55. Ibid. p.24. The Contractors for this line were Messrs. Jackson & Bean.
  56. Geo.4, c.59 [29 May 1830].
  57. Patent Office: Report of the Directors at their First General Meeting on Wednesday the 31st. August 1836; With an Appendix, Hull, 1836, pp.30 with folding map and section. [Ottley 7086].
  58. ICE Cooper's Diary, 23 December 1835.
  59. Ibid. 5 January 1836.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Act: 6 & 7 Will.4, c.103, 1836.
  62. Act: 6 & 7 Will.4, c.106, 1836.
  63. ICE Cooper's Diary, 25 April 1838.
  64. Cooper's Diary: 6 February 1836 (and continued until the 10 February).
  65. It was not, for example, until 1885, after Walker's death, that Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912) introduced tidal modelling.
  66. ICE Tract 4to. 34 (32) Report by Walker & Burges on Improving the Port and Harbour of Belfast, London, 10 July 1830, p.8.
  67. Ibid. p. 18.
  68. Ibid. p. 6.
  69. Ibid.
  70. Ibid.
  71. ICE Cooper's Diary, 29 March 1838.
  72. Ibid. p. 384.
  73. Ibid. The sites were Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Deal, Sandwich, Dover, and Folkestone.
  74. Ibid. p. 393.
  75. For an account of the Works see R. A. Otter, The Builder, 1859, p.297. and Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England, (Thomas Telford Ltd. 1994), p.247.
  76. Ibid. p. 3.
  77. Ibid.
  78. Ibid. p.10. The reports referred to were those of "Mr. Rennie, Mr. Rendel, Mr. Brooks, Capt. Washington R.N., Capr. Vetch R.E., Capt. Purdo, Mr. Calver, Mr. Thomas John Taylor, and Mr. Henry Turner."
  79. Ibid. p. 15.
  80. Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Present State of the River Tyne, HMSO, 1855, p.380.
  81. Ibid. p. 24.
  82. Select Committee on Lighthouses 1845: Minutes of Evidence, p.200, J. W. examined 5 June, Q.3174.
  83. Select Committee on Lighthouses 1845, p.201, 5 June, Q. 3186.
  84. Ibid. p.203, Q. 3204.
  85. Ibid. Q. 3209 and Q. 3210.
  86. Trinity House Obit. of J. W.
  87. Ibid. p.288,3 April 1828.
  88. ICE Cooper's Diary, 24 May 1838.
  89. Ibid. 26 June 1839. Walker also built two other skeletal iron lighthouses in the Thames estuary, namely the Gunfleet, and the Chapman, with Walker as engineer for the iron superstructure and Alexander Mitchell as screw pile contractor.
  90. See Ref. 140.
  91. ICE Cooper's Diary, 13 December 1838.
  92. Ibid. 21 May 1839.
  93. Ibid. 23 May 1839.
  94. Ibid. p.571,27 May 1862.
  95. Ibid.
  96. The term "Practical Engineer" appears for the first time in the Minutes in connection with the designation of Walker's successor.
  97. See Charles Hadfield & A. W. Skempton, William Jessop, Engineer, (Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1979).
  98. Ibid. p. 7.
  99. Ibid. p. 24.
  100. ICE Tract 4to. 52, Report on the drainage of the middle level part of the great Level of the Fens, called the bedford Level.
  101. ICE Tract, 8vo. 232 (11) Report made the 19th., January, 1826 to the Corporation of Great Yarmouth on the Plan for making A Ship Navigation from the sea at Lowestoft to Norwich, p.3.
  102. Ibid. p. 16.
  103. ICE Tract, 8vo. 71 (5) Reports to the Commissioners of the Haven of Great Yarmouth respecting the Proposed Lock upon the River Wensum at Norwich. by Messrs. Walker and Burges and Mr. George Edwards, 26 December 1836. p.4.
  104. Ibid. p. 5.
  105. Ibid. p. 4.
  106. Ibid. p. 5.
  107. Ibid. p. 6.
  108. Ibid. p. 17.
  109. Ibid.
  110. Ibid. p. 11.
  111. Ibid. p. 12.
  112. Ibid. p. 16.
  113. For an interesting account of the works see: Industry Illustrated: A Memoir of Thomas Jackson (London, 1884. Privately published) [ICE Lib.].
  114. James Ralph Walker (1829–1866) was the Grandson of Ralph Walker and, therefore, James Walker's cousin once removed.
  115. See: Proc.ICE, vol.19, 1859–60, pp.263–282: James Ralph Walker, MICE, 'Description of the Works on the Netherton Tunnel Branch of the Birmingham Canal, 7 February 1860.
  116. Ibid. p. 11
  117. Ibid.
  118. I am grateful to Jim Bowie of the ICE PHEW Panel and Gordon Masterson of Babtie Group Consultants for this information.
  119. Illustrated London News, 19 April 1851.
  120. Glasgow Saturday Post, 17 December 1853.
  121. Royal Society Lib. Walker's Form is signed by James Watt, William Chadwell Mylne, Thomas Telford, John and George Rennie, and others.
  122. Walker's wife Janet died in London on 31/12/1823 and was buried in Limehouse. Walker's daughter Margaret also died in London on 17/12/1846, 'on the sixth day after the birth of her first born child' and was buried in St. John's Churchyard, Princes Street, Edinburgh. Subsequently, Janet Walker's remains: 'were by her husband's desire, removed to this place from Limehouse, where they were first interred, on 27 July 1853'. (Quotations from the Edinburgh tombstones).
  123. ICE Lib. Professor A. W. Skempton's typescript notes on Alfred Burges.
  124. Ibid. p. 633.
  125. The Engineer, 17 October 1862, p.240: "The Late Mr. Walker, CE."
  126. Walker's memorial is alongside those of his wife and daughter, and in the Register of Burials is No.293 (Nat.Lib. Scotland, Edinburgh Room).

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