Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Index to Volume Seven - The People - Dock Family Trees - Engineers, Artisans & Doers . . .

Samuel Dobson (1826-1870)

The following article is taken from 'The South Wales Coal Trade . . . ' [780] [499] published in 1888 by Daniel Owen, Cardiff :

 

                                                                         MR. SAMUEL DOBSON, C.E

 

About eighteen years ago there passed away from our midst one of those gifted and persevering northern spirits who have had so much to do in the development of our coal riches. The tale of his life is told in the journal of the institute with which he was associated. It is a biography characteristic of the engineering pen, is well and tersely told, and we cannot do better than incorporate it.

Mr. Dobson was the son of a farmer, and was born on the 28th of April, 1826, at Newton Hall, Horsley, in the County of Northumberland, and attended the village school at Ovingham. He was apprenticed as a colliery viewer to Mr. John Gray, of Garesfield, Durham, for three years, and at this time, finding himself somewhat deficient in education, he attended a night school at Crawcrook, near Rylan, kept by Mr. Craigie, a celebrated teacher of mathematics. At this school Mr. Nicholas Wood, Sir George Elliot, Mr. John Nixon, Robert Anderson, and other men of note received a considerable portion of their education. Mr. Dobson afterwards acted for two years as an assistant to the late Mr. T. J. Taylor, of Emsdon, Northumberland.

About 1848 he removed to South Wales, on being appointed, through Mr. Taylor's influence, mineral agent to the Clive, now the Windsor estate, and subsequently he was engaged in business on his own account as a mining engineer, and became mineral agent for many of the principal properties in the district. He had charge of the opening and working of some of the most important and extensive of the steam coal collieries of South Wales. Amongst them, Powell's Duffryn Collieries may be especially named. He was also in extensive practice as a consulting engineer in all matters relating to mining, and of late years had turned his attention to civil engineering matters.

He projected the Penarth Harbour, Dock, and Railway, for which he and Mr. John Hawkshaw, Past-President Inst. C.E., were afterwards the joint engineers. He was also instrumental in establishing several railways in South Wales, and reported upon experiments made by himself as to the comparative nature of Welsh and North Country coals for various purposes. Mr. Dobson was elected a member of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers, as well as a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

He was devotedly attached to the profession, worked very hard, and in private life was a man of engaging manners, very sincere, and one who formed many lasting friendships.

Such is the brief story of a life that was of great service to Wales, but was unhappily brief also in its duration. He died of consumption, on the 26th July, 1870, in his forty-fifth year.

 

 

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