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British Industrial History

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Charles Liddell

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1879. Iverson road bridge.

Charles Liddell (1813-1894) of Liddell and Gordon, was an English railway engineer. He was uncle to Alice Liddell, immortalised by Lewis Carroll.

1813 Born in Easington, County Durham, he was the son of the Rector.

A student and educated by George Stephenson, he became involved in a number of Stephenson's projects, including the Grand Junction Railway (c.1833), the London and Birmingham Railway (c.1835) and the Birmingham and Derby Railway (c.1837),

In conjunction with Robert Stephenson he constructed the Leicester and Swannington Railway (c.1832), the system to Peterborough and the Rugby and Stamford Railway

1839 Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon formed a partnership with Robert Stirling Newall to manufacture wire rope and colliery equipment in a factory at Gateshead which became R. S. Newall and Co. Charles Liddell became a partner at some point, but just when is not clear[1].

1841 H J Liddell 54, rector, lived in Easington with Charlotte Liddell 55, Charlotte Liddell 25, Amelia Liddell 20, Charles Liddell 25, civil engineer[2]

Subsequently he went into partnership with L. D. B. Gordon as Liddell and Gordon

c.1846 Engineer-in-chief on the construction of the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway, where he drew up the specifications for both the wrought iron Crumlin Viaduct and the stone Hengoed Viaduct.

1851 C Liddell 38, fund holder, and E Liddell 26, his wife, were staying at a hotel in Tunbridge Wells[3]

1854 Patent to Charles Liddell, of Abingdon-street, in the city of Westminster, Esquire, in respect of the invention of " improvements in the permanent way of railways."[4]

c.1854 As a partner in R. S. Newall and Co, during the Crimean War, he laid a cable from Varna to Balaclava

After surveying the route for the Bedford and Cambridge Railway, he was Chief Engineer for the London extensions for both the Midland Railway (opened 1857), and Great Central Main Line (1890s).

1861 Charles Liddell 47, civil engineer, lived in Paddington, London[5]

1861 Birth of his son Charles Lyon Liddell

1866 Patent to Charles Liddell and Robert Stirling Newall for improvements in constructing and moooring floating structures[6]

1867 HER Majesty ... granted Robert Sterling Newall, Charles Liddell, and Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon, all of 24, Abingdon-street, Westminster, a prolongation for the term of five years of certain Letters Patent for "improvements in constructing and mooring Light Vessels, Buoys, and other similar Flashing Bodies," such Letters Patent having been originally granted to the late George Herbert, of Sumner-hill, Dartford, now deceased, and bearing date the 8th day of April, 1853, for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.[7]

1870 Agreed to manage the National Telegraph Manufacturing Co after it acquired the telegraph equipment works of R. S. Newall and Co.

1891 Charles Liddell 77, civil engineer, JP, was staying at the Grosvenor Hotel, London with Marion Liddell 47[8]

1894 Completed the extension of the Metropolitan Railway to Aylesbury and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway to Nottingham.

1894 August 10th. Died in London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1924 - the chairman of British Ropes named the 3 men as the founders of the company sometime before 1842 - reported in The Times September 12, 1924
  2. 1841 census
  3. 1851 census
  4. London Gazette
  5. 1861 census
  6. English Patents of Inventions, Specifications: 1865, 3186 - 3265
  7. London Gazette 8 Feb 1867
  8. 1891 census
  • Wikipedia
  • Obituary in The Times August 18, 1894