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British Industrial History

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John Williams (1818-1887)

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John Williams (1818-1887)

1888 Obituary [1]

JOHN WILLIAMS was born in Glamorganshire in 1818, and articled about 1834 to Mr. Thomas Morris, engineer and surveyor, Newport, Monmouthshire, an experienced and energetic man, who gave him plenty of work early and late.

On leaving Newport, in 1837, Mr. Williams obtained an engagement on the engineering staff of Mr. Brunel, in the construction of the first line of the Taff Vale Railway from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff Docks, and he continued his connection with the Taff Vale Railway Company as Assistant Engineer, acting under Mr. George Fisher, M.Inst.C.E., and afterwards as engineer of new works, up to the time of his death half a century later, when the length of the lines of the Taff Vale railway system amounted to about 100 miles, exclusive of lines in course of construction, and the dividends paid by the Company had been from 10 to 15 per cent.

Mr. Williams had great experience in laying out lines of railway as well as in construction, as also an extensive acquaintance with Parliamentary Committees, mostly in cases connected with the Taff Vale Company’s interests.

He had a considerable private practice, in the course of which he made surveys for, and laid out important railway lines in England and Wales. Before his connection with the Taff Vale Company he was engaged on various waterworks and similar undertakings. He was a peculiarly energetic, hard-working, and genial man of business, and even late in life he was generally at work in his office by 9 A.M., although that involved a road and railway journey of more than an hour and a half‘s duration from the time he left his beautiful residence at Hendrescythan, near Llantrissant.

Mr. Williams married a sister of the late Evan Williams, J.P., of Duffryn Ffrwd, Glamorganshire, who survives him, but he left no children.

He died in London on the 5th of September, 1887, only about a week after having undergone a painful surgical operation.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 4th of May, 1875.

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