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William Henry Cock

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William Henry Cock (1833-1886)

1887 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM HENRY COCK was born at Swansea on the 10th December 1833, and was educated in that town until he was about fifteen.

In the year 1850 he was articled to Mr. Hibbert, and was engaged in various engineering works-surveys of Chichester and Langstone Harbours; land-reclamation at Hayling; and, under Mr. Wyndham Tarn, A.R.I.B.A., he was employed to superintend the erection of several extensive buildings in Yorkshire ; and was afterwards engaged on surveys, &C., for waterwork schemes at Bradford and Leeds, Barnsley drainage, &c.

For nearly two years he was employed on the Newport drainage-works, and on railway surveys under Mr. Alfred Williams, M.Inst.C.E.

In 1859 he went out to Rio de Janeiro as assistant to the late Mr. W. G. Ginty, M.Inst.C.E., having special charge of the gasworks, and assisting in the construction of a canal from the harbour to the gasworks; tramway-lines in Rio, &c.

In 1862 he was employed by Baron de Mauit to explore and report upon the feasibility of the . navigation of the Salado river (Argentine States), and was subsequently engaged to effect the canalization of this river from Matara to Fort Bracho; but owing to financial and political difficulties the scheme was not carried out. A series of letters describing the Salado, and the nature of the work to be undertaken, were published in the Buenos Ayres papers at the time, and reflect great credit upon him for the boldness and originality of his scheme.

In 1865 Mr. Cock took charge of the Montevideo Gasworks, and during the seven years of his management he more than doubled the capacity of the works, and constructed the Maud-graving dock, 226 feet in length, cut for the most part out of solid rock, and having machinery capable of pumping it dry in four hours.

In 1872 he was engaged by Messrs. Jackson and Cibils, of Montevideo, to design and superintend the construction of a graving-dock, 450 feet in length, on the western side of Montevideo Bay, a work which was successfully carried out under his immediate supervision, without the aid of a contractor. He also designed, in consultation with Mr. Charles Neate, M.Inst.C.E., some further works in connection with the graving-dock, consisting of a basin and piers for the accommodation of the coaling-trade of the port ; but owing to the depressed state of trade in general, the owners have not thought it advisable to carry out these additional works.

In 1882 he was appointed by the Argentine Government Engineer to the Arsenal, when he went to reside in Buenos Ayres. He had almost completed the design of a large dock and basin for the accommodation of the Argentine navy, when he was struck down by paralysis, from which he never recovered sufficiently to resume his duties at the Arsenal, and he died on the 27th of May, 1886.

Mr. Cock earned the esteem and friendship of all who knew him, and leaves behind the reputation of being an accomplished engineer, a man of incorruptible probity, and of singular modesty and urbanity.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution 011 the 4th of February, 1868.

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