Engineer, of Belfast, and assistant borough surveyor, 1888-1917. James Munce was born in Belfast on 28 January 1852, the son of DAVID MUNCE , who was also an engineer, and his wife Mary née Lockhart. According to his own account, he received his scientific training from private tutors in Belfast and Downpatrick during the years 1864 to 1868. Between 1866 and 1869 he served his engineering pupilage under his father and then worked as his father's assistant. In 1869 he became an assistant to John Murphy, a Belfast contractor, for whom he took quantities and prepared estimates. In May 1873 he became assistant to the Belfast borough engineer, JOHN JAMES MONTGOMERY . When Montgomery died in August 1884, the assistant borough engineer, JOSIAH CORBETT BRETLAND , replaced him and appointed Munce to the post of assistant borough engineer in his place. In 1888 Munce was appointed assistant borough surveyor, a post which he held until his death. According to the candidate's circular he submitted when seeking to be made a full member of the Insitution of Civil Engineers in 1905, he acted as city engineer from September 1902, when Bretland became ill, to December 1903, when HENRY ALBERT CUTLER took up the post; however, ROBERT INKERMAN CALWELL also claimed to have performed this function. Relations between Munce and Calwell appear to have been strained; in 1912 Calwell brought an action for slander against Munce. Munce's apology appeared in the Belfast Newsletteron 23 January 1912 and was reprinted in the Irish Builder on 3 February. Munce fell ill in the autumn of 1916 and remained absent from work until his death on 28 October 1917. He was presumably the father of JAMES STILWELL MUNCE . His pupils and assistants included JOHN CAFFREY.& #160; He was a subscriber to George Lister Sutcliffe, ed., The Principles and Practice of Modern House-Construction (London, 1898).
Inst.CE: elected associate member 19 May 1885; transferred to member, 19 December 1905. RSAI: elected member, 19 Apr 1897.
Addresses: Home: Alexandra Park, Holywood, Co. Down, 1897; Dromkeen, Holywood, at time of death.
See WORKS, BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, Archivist, and from the obituary of Munce in IB 59, 10 Nov 1917, 580, which gives his date of birth wrongly as 1862.
www.familysearch.org; this source gives his date of birth as 25 Jan 1852.
According to his obituarist in The Irish Times, he 'served his apprenticeship in the office of the County Surveyor of Down in the 'sixties'.
In his candidate's circular for transfer from associate member to member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Munce describes this post as 'a statutory office in Belfast, carrying with it all the responsibilities of Surveyor'.
IB 54, 3 Feb 1912, 86.
JRSAI 27 (1897), 200.
See note 4, above.