JESSOP, WILLIAM #
- Born: 1745 Died: 1814
English canal engineer, for a biography of whom see A.W. Skempton et al., A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland I (2002), 364-371. William Jessop received his professional training under JOHN SMEATON. (1) For more than thirty years he was connected with canal building in Ireland in an advisory capacity, the first time, apparently, in about 1770 when he was consulted about improving the operation of the 'dry hurries' which DAVIS DUCART had introduced on the small canal serving the Co. Tyrone coalfields. He came to Ireland with Smeaton in the summer of 1773, when Smeaton prepared a report for the directors of the Grand Canal Company advising on the line of the Grand Canal. Assisted by WILLIAM CHAPMAN , Jessop continued to act as consultant engineer to the Grand Canal Company until 1802. He laid out the line between Robertstown and Tullamore circa 1785.(2) In July 1788 Faulkner's Dublin Journal reported: 'The surveys and estimates of the great Shannon line will be finished by Christmas. The engineer who is engaged from England to assist Mr Evans, the company engineer, is named Jessop; his expences are to be defrayed and a salary of 3 guineas a day allowed him.'(3) Jessop supervised the construction of the new docks at Ringsend, built between 1791(4) and 1796. According to Ferrar, he came to Ireland yearly 'to give plans and directions' for the 'Grand Bason', while EDWARD CHAPMAN acted as executive engineer.(5)
In 1794 Jessop prepared a report for the Grand Canal Company on improving the navigability of the Shannon. In another report he set out the 'practicability and expence of making a harbour for large vessels at Dunleary, to communicate with the new Docks by means of a Canal'. This report was published in 1800 in an anonymous booklet 'By a Friend to National Industry' entitled Facts and Arguments respecting the Great Utility of an Extensive Plan of Inland Navigation in Ireland.(6)
An annotated rough drawing by Jessop, dated 1791 and entitled 'Method of constructing a Coffer Dam of a single sheet of Plank Piling' which was formerly among the papers of HENRY MULLINS & MCMAHON , contactors for the restoration and extension of the County of Kildare Canal for the Grand Canal Company in 1808-1810, is now (1998) in the collection of Thomas Pakenham, Tullynally, Co. Westmeath.(7)
See WORKS, for Irish work only.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from V.T.H. & D.R. Delany, The Canals of the South of Ireland (1966), 43, 43,46-7,51-2,104-5, and R. Delany, A Celebration of 250 years of Ireland's Inland Waterways (1988), 30,52,54,70,78,84-5,100.
(1) According to Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 8-19 July 1788, he was Smeaton's nephew.
(2) 'Address of M.B. Mullins…being an historical sketch of engineering in Ireland', TICEI 6 (1859-1861), 55.
(3) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 8-10 Jul 1788.
(4) See note 1, above.
(5) J. Ferrar, A view of Ancient and Modern Dublin (1796), 32.
(6) A.W. Skempton, British civil engineering 1640-1840: a bibliography of contemporary printed reports, plans and books (1987), 114 (no. 763).
(7) Photograph in IAA.
2 work entries listed in chronological order for JESSOP, WILLIAM #
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RINGSEND, DOCKS|
|Nature:||Construction supervised by Jessop. Designed by Jessop, according to Mullins, or by Chapman, according to Delany.|
|Refs:||'Address of M.B. Mullins…being an historical sketch of engineering in Ireland', TICEI 6 (1859-1861), 55; V.T.H. & D.R. Delany, The Canals of the South of Ireland (1966), 51|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, HARBOUR|
|Nature:||Proposed enlargement, with canal to docks at Ringsend.|
|Refs:||'Mr Jessop's report respecting the practicability and expence of making a harbour for large vessels at Dunleary, to communicate with the new Docks by means of a Canal' in Facts and Arguments respecting the great utility of an extensive plan of inland navigation in Ireland (Dublin, 1800), 69-76|
|Jessop, William||'Report respecting the practicability and expence of making a harbour for large vessels at Dubleary, to communicate with the new Docks by means of a Canal'||1800||Facts and Arguments respecing the Great Utility of an Extensive Plan of Inland Navigation in Ireland (Dublin, 1800), 69-76.|