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Charles Woodley Whitaker

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Charles Woodley Whitaker (1837-1884)

1851 Living at 1 Hills Court, St. David's, Exeter: Thomas Whitaker (age 50 born Leeds), Surveyor. With his wife Martha Whitaker (age 49 born Broadhempstone) and their two sons George Whitaker (age 16 born Exeter) and Charles W. Whitaker (age 13 born Exeter). Also his sister Caroline Williams (age 40 born Broadhempstone) and his niece Caroline Williams (age 16 born Totnes). Also two surveyor apprentices William A. Zeal (age 20 born Westbury) and John Manley (age 19 born Bath). Two servants. [1]


1885 Obituary [2]

CHARLES WOODLEY WHITAKER, second son of Thomas Whitaker, for many years County Surveyor of Devonshire (who is still living at the advanced age of eighty-four years), was born at Exeter on the 17th of April, 1837.

He was educated at Exeter Grammar School, where he was a contemporary of the afterwards eminent Professor Clifford, and others who have done credit to that ancient foundation, and served their country in various departments of professional life.

Subsequently he was articled to his father, under whom considerable experience was gained of bridge- and road-works.

After being employed by Mr. Brunlees, Past-President Inst. C.E., for about two years, Mr. Whitaker entered the service of the Metropolitan Board of Works, and for eight years was actively engaged under Sir Joseph Bazalgette, C.B., Past-President Inst. C.E., in superintending the Southern High-Level Sewer, the Effra branch, the Southern Low-Level Sewer, and the Albert Embankment at Lambeth. In these important works he had a varied experience, and showed much engineering aptitude in getting over the difficulties which so often crop up unexpectedly in carrying out undertakings of this nature.

Subsequently Mr. Whitaker was engaged in practice as a civil engineer on his own account; and during this period, extending over fourteen years, he designed and superintended the construction of engine-houses, tramways, jetties, &C., on the Thames near Frith. Two bridges over the River Wye, near Ross, in Herefordshire, one being a wrought-iron girder road-bridge, of three spans of 80 feet each, and the other a suspension-bridge with a centre span of 140 feet. The drainage and sewage disposal of the towns of Uppingham and Oakham in Rutlandshire, of Budleigh Salterton in Devonshire, and of Chard in Somersetshire.

The Sea-wall and Promenade, with groynes and other defences, at Clacton-on-Sea, were planned and carried out by Mr. Whitaker, and he obtained the first premium of 6,000 roubles for the best design for a bridge over the Keva, at St. Petersburgh, in a competition open to all Europe. This bridge was subsequently constructed by Russian engineers.

In 1881 he was appointed County Surveyor of Bridges for West Sussex.

During the last few years of his life, Mr. Whitaker was much occupied with quantity-surveying of numerous engineering works, the cost of which amounted in the aggregate to over £750,000. His death took place at Croydon, on the 31st of July, 1884, after a short but very painful illness, endured with Christian fortitude. In private life Mr. Whitaker’s invariable good-temper and kindliness of manner endeared him to a large circle of friends, who deplore his loss.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 3rd of March, 1874, and five years later was transferred to full Member.


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