Selected: BRETT, JOHN HENRY


Born: 1835
Died: 1920


County surveyor for Cos. Limerick (Western Division), Kildare and Antrim. John Henry Brett, a son of HENRY BRETT  HENRY BRETT and brother of HENRY CHARLES BRETT HENRY CHARLES BRETT , was born about 1835 at Tobercurry, Co. Sligo, and educated at Waterford Academy and privately. He was first employed on railway work under WILLIAM DARGAN WILLIAM DARGAN . In 1863 he was appointed county surveyor for the western division of Co. Limerick, based in Rathkeale, and in 1869 county surveyor for Kildare;(1) he applied successfully for an increase in salary in 1871 and again, this time unsuccessfully, in 1876.(2) By this time he was also working privately in Dublin in partnership with his father; a little later, they were joined by his brother Henry Charles. The two brothers continued in private practice after their father's death as John H. & H.C. Brett.

In 1885 Brett was appointed county surveyor for Co. Antrim in place of ALEXANDER TATE ALEXANDER TATE . He was succeeded by his assistant county surveyor DAVID MEGAW  DAVID MEGAW in February 1914.(3) On his retirement he was made a JP for Co. Antrim.

Brett married Mary Josephine, daughter of James Brady, MD, of Dublin, in about 1876(4) and had a daughter and five sons. His pupils and assistants included ALEXANDER MITCHELL BURDEN  ALEXANDER MITCHELL BURDEN and CHARLES BOOTH JONES. CHARLES BOOTH JONES.

AAI: elected member, November 1872.(5)
ICEI: elected member, 11 February 1874.(6)
Association of Municipal and County Engineers: elected member, 1 August 1891.(7)

Address: Home: 3 Alexandra Gardens, Fortwilliam Park, Belfast, <=1909->=1911.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY . See also HENRY BRETT & HENRY BRETT & amp; SON(S).

References
The fullest account of Brett's life and particularly of his career as a county surveyor is in Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 115-117. All information and quotations not otherwise accounted for come from the biography of Brett in R.M. Young, Belfast and the Province of Ulster in the 20th Century (1909), 594, which is illustrated with a portrait photograph, and from the brief obituary in IB 62, 3 Jan 1920, 15, with additional data extracted by Jones from Thom's directories.

(1) County surveyors made themselves unpopular by refusing to issue false certificates to road contractors for work not properly executed (The Times, 3 Nov 1869; reference from Brendan O'Donoghue).
(2) IB 18, 1 Aug 1876, 229.
(3) IB 56, 28 Feb 1914, 127.
(4) 1911 census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001414300/ (last visited Mar 2009).
(5) IB 14, 15 Oct,15 Nov 1872, 281,313.
(6) TICEI 10 (1875), 101.
(7) Transactions of the Incorporated Association of Municipal and County Engineers 35 (1908-9), list of members, x.

7 work entries listed in chronological order for BRETT, JOHN HENRY


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Building: CO. KILDARE, NAAS, MAIN STREET SOUTH, COUNTY COURT HOUSE
Date: 1871-1873;1876
Nature: Repairs & improvements; addition of record court
Refs: IB 13, 1 Aug,1 Sep 1871, 201,230; 15, 15 Jul 1873, advertisement for tenders; 18, 1 Jan 1876, 14 (Plans and elevations of 8 Dec 1870 (survey or designs?), signed by R.J. Stirling, J.H. Mellon and E.T. Owen, in NA, OPW drawings collection, old ref. B.7.17)

Building: CO. KILDARE, NAAS, SEWERAGE
Date: 1875
Nature: Proposal for same
Refs: IB 17, 1 Aug 1875, ?; Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 116, gives date as 1879 and says it was rejected on grounds of cost..

Building: CO. WICKLOW, WICKLOW, COURT HOUSE
Date: 1876
Nature: Repairs and addition of new record court.  Estimated cost: £1,800.
Refs: IB 18, 1 Jan,15 Jul 1876, 14,215.

Building: CO. KILDARE, NEWBRIDGE, MAIN STREET, MILITARY BARRACKS
Date: 1879
Nature: Sewerage scheme.
Refs: IB 21, 15 Mar 1879, 91

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERCER STREET, MERCER'S HOSPITAL
Date: 1879;1887
Nature: JHB winner of competition for new wing, containing offices, 3 new wards, lecture theatre, and accommodation for doctors, students and nurses.  First phase of building, 1879.  Second phase, with W.M.Mitchell, 1887.
Refs: IB 21, 15 Nov 1879, 357; 22, 15 Jul 1880(illus.); IB 39, 15 Jan 1897, 18; RHA 1881, no. 599; RHA 1899(?surely 1889), no.409;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 552.


Building: CO. ANTRIM, BALLYMENA-CULLYBACKEY SEWERAGE SCHEME
Date: 1901
Nature: -
Refs: IB 43, 5 Dec 1901, 962

Building: CO. ANTRIM, TOOMEBRIDGE, WEIR
Date: 1910
Nature: Repairs; with C.L. BODDIE
Refs: Building News 99, 19 Aug 1910, 259

Author Title Date Details
Brett, John Henry 'County court-houses and county gaols in Ireland' 1875 IB 17, 14 Jan,1 Feb 1875, 25,41. (Paper read to AAI,Jan 1875.)