Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Pinkerton

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John Pinkerton (c1740-1813)

A civil engineer in a family famous for its civil engineering. His brothers James Pinkerton and Robert Pinkerton, as well as his nephew John Pinkerton Junior were all in the same line of work.

The family took on many prominent contracts such as the Driffield Navigation throughout the 1770s with the eldest brother James Pinkerton as the chief contractor. In 1780 however John became the chief contractor and sole management of the Billinghay Embankment.

1770 He was elected to the Smeatonian Society

1770 John worked with James on the Driffield Navigation and the Bishop Soil Sluices in 1770.

Various jobs with his brother James and William Jessop

1780 John was given the sole management of the Billinghay Embankment project.

1785 Started work on the Dudley Tunnel but had to give this up after a couple of years

1786 Married Ann Lakin; they had 4 children: Henry Lukin (b.1792), John Lukin (b.1793), Caroline and Harriett.

1791 Consulted on the Middlesex Canal by Loammi Baldwin.

Other work included:

There were several other jobs that the Pinkertons lost soon after gaining the contracts.

John Pinkerton died in 1813.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • A biographical dictionary of civil engineers in Great Britain and Ireland ... By A. W. Skempton.