Road and rail engineer. John Godwin, who was born in Swansea, trained with and then worked for James McAdam over a period of five or six years from the age of fourteen. After holding a series of posts in England, in 1836 he was appointed engineer to the Ulster Railway Company, a position which he held until 1862. He was also engineer to the Belfast and Co. Down Railway, 1847-1857, to the Newry, Warrenpoint & Rostrevor Railway, 1847-1859, and resident engineer on the Newry & Enniskillen Railway, 1847-1859. He was professor of civil engineering at Queen's College, Belfast, from 1850 until 1858, at about which time he resigned several of his appointments. According to the memoir in Min.Proc.Inst.CE, he died on 15 January 1869 at Tamnagharrie, Co. Down, 'having lived but three years in the residence which he purchased on his retiirement'.
The memoir records that Godwin had a taste for the fine arts and was 'a ready and accomplished draughtsman, and a very good painter in oil and water colours, for both of which he had considerable talent'. He was also 'possessed of great kindness of heart…ready and anxious to help the industrious, and to assist those in distressed cirumstances'.
Inst.CE: elected member, 24 June 1845.
ICEI: member by 1849; council member, 1859.
Addresses: Cliftonville, Belfast, 1841; Wellington Place, Belfast, 1847; Woodhouse, Rostrevor, Co. Down, 1852; Tamnagharrie, Co. Down, 1866c-1869.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the memoir of Godwin in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 30 (1869-70, Pt. II), 434-435, and from Thom's, Pettigrew & Oulton's and the Post Office directories (or from Jones's transcripts from these).
For these, see memoir, as above.
A John Godwin, CE, was living at 13 Burlington Rd, Dublin, from 1858 until at least 1863.
TICEI 3 (1847-49), list of members.
Martin's Belfast Directory for 1841-42.
Thom's Directory (1847), 443; according to Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 335, Godwin lived at no. 14.
Belfast and Province of Ulster Directory for 1852.