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British Industrial History

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James Lemon

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James Lemon (1834-1923), Borough Engineer of Southampton

1834 October 9th. Born in Lambeth the son of James Lemon and his wife Sarah Ann Thompson

After training as a civil engineer he worked for the Metropolitan Board of Works, before taking up the post of borough surveyor in Southampton in 1866.

His first task was to improve the woefully inadequate sewerage system in the town. The lessons of the 1849 cholera epidemic had not been learned and the disease broke out again in the summer of 1866. Despite indifference and opposition on the grounds of cost, Lemon was able to install miles of new sewage pipes, persuade the council to acquire land in St Denys for the purpose of sewage disposal, and build a new water main from the reservoir on the Common to replace local wells. He made numerous other improvements to the town, including widening East Street and asphalting the High Street.

1878 He resigned as borough surveyor to concentrate on his own business, but continued to serve the corporation as a consulting engineer. He was closely involved with various railway projects and schemes to extend the docks, including the rebuilding of the Royal Pier in the 1890s.

1892 Became chairman of the Harbour Board in 1892.

He was politically active in the local Liberal cause. He was elected to both the Borough Council and the County Council, representing Shirley and Freemantle. He was mayor in 1891 and 1892. He was elected alderman in 1897 and resigned from the council in 1900. He was knighted in 1909.

1911 Living at 11 The Avenue, Southampton: James Lemon (age 78 born Lambeth), Retired civil engineer and architect - widow. With his siter-in-law Elizabeth Cocks (age 75 born Pentonville), Widow. One servant.[1]

1923 Died and buried in the Old Cemetery. Lemon Road, off Waterhouse Lane, was named after him.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1911 Census