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British Industrial History

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John Richard Ravenhill

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John Richard Ravenhill (1824-1894)

1862 John Richard Ravenhill, Engineer, Glass House Fields, Ratcliff, London.[1]

1895 Obituary [2]

JOHN RICHARD RAVENHILL, eldest son of the late Mr. John Ravenhill of Ashton Gifford, who was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and in 1870 High Sheriff for the county of Wiltshire, was born at Lavender Sweep, Clapham Common, on the 15th of April, 1824, and was educated at Winchester and at King's College, London.

He was then apprenticed to Miller, Ravenhill and Co, in which firm his uncle, Richard Ravenhill, was a partner. After serving a pupilage from 1842 to 1847, he remained in the drawing-office until August, 1850, when he became manager of the works at Orchard Wharf, Blackwall. Two years later he was admitted as a partner.

The firm of, Miller, Ravenhill & Co. had a long established reputation as makers of marine-engines, among its clients being the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, the Royal West India Mail Packet Company, the French, Russian, and Sardinian Governments, and finally the British Admiralty. Soon after he became a member of the firm, Mr. Ravenhill was called upon to bear a large share of the pressure of business consequent on the numerous orders arising out of the Crimean War. He carried out large contracts for the Admiralty, and subsequently took an active interest in the introduction of the screw-propeller into the British and foreign navies.

After many years good work as principal acting partner in the firm Mr. Ravenhill retired in 1874. He did not, however, entirely abandon active work, as for some time he served as an Engineer Assessor to the Wreck Commissioners Court of the Admiralty and to the Local Marine Board of London, and also as a member of the Thames Conservancy Board. He was a Member of Council of the Institution of Naval Architects, to which he contributed a Paper 'Twenty Minutes with our Commercial Marine Steam Fleet in 1877.'

In 1879 he read before the Royal United Service Institution a Paper 'On the latest Improvements in Marine Engines and Boilers.'

Mr. Ravenhill was elected a Member of the Civil Engineers on the 7th of February, 1865. Although he never contributed a Paper, he always took great interest in the proceedings, was a frequent attendant at the meetings, and more than once gave valuable information in the course of discussions, notably those on Ocean Steam Navigation and on the progress of steam shipping.

Mr. Ravenhill died at his residence, Delaford, Iver, Bucks, on the 28th of December, 1894, from exhaustion following a severe attack of bronchitis.

1895 Obituary [3]

JOHN RICHARD RAVENHILL was born at Lavender Sweep, Clapham, London, on 15th April 1824, and was the eldest son of John Ravenhill of Ashton Gifford, Wiltshire.

He was educated at Winchester College, and completed his education as a civil engineer at King's College, London.

He was then employed at his uncle's works, Orchard Wharf, Blackwall, and Glass House Fields, Ratcliff; and in 1853 became a partner in the firm of Miller, Ravenhill and Co.

In this position, and afterwards as head of the firm of Ravenhill, Hodson and Co., he completed large contracts for marine engines for the Admiralty, and for many shipping companies and private firms.

In 1874 he retired from engineering business, and for some time filled the position of engineer assessor in the Wreck Commissioners' Court; and was also a member of the Thames Conservancy Board.

His death took place at his residence at Delaford, Iver, near Uxbridge, on 28th December 1894, in his seventy-first year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1862; and was a Member of Council of the Institution of Naval Architects, and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

1895 Obituary [4]

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