Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. Henry Charles Forde, the fifth son of Thomas Arthur Forde, barrister, of Seaforde, Co. Down, was born on 15 April 1827. He was educated at home, in Brussels and at the College for Civil Engineers at Putney. He then served under CHARLES VIGNOLES  CHARLES VIGNOLES on the laying out of the Limerick & Waterford Railway. In 1846, the Commissioners of Public Works appointed him an assistant engineer under LIONEL GISBORNE  LIONEL GISBORNE on the scheme to improve the navigation of the River Shannon between Limerick and the Lough Allen canal. He was also employed on various public works in Sligo which were undertaken as a famine relief effort. In 1849 he was appointed Resident Engineer on the Lough Lannagh arterial drainage works at Castlebar, Co.Mayo.

Forde had left Ireland by the spring of 1852 and spent his life in England and abroad. In 1854 he formed an engineering partnership with Gisborne, which carried out pioneering work in the field of submarine telegraphy. After Gisborne's early death, he continued this work in association with various other partners, with whom he was respnsible for submarine telegraph cables throughout the world. He died in England on 21 February 1897.

Inst.CE: elected associate, 3 February 1857; transferred to class of member, 11 February 1862.


All information in this entry is from the obituary of Forde in Min. Proc. ICE 128 (1896-7), 345-6, which gives further details of his career after he had left Ireland.