Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer, geologist, botanist, archaeologist and writer. Robert Lloyd Praeger, the son of Willem Emil Praeger, a Dutch linen merchant, by his wife Maria, daughter of Robert Patterson,FRS, of Belfast, was born in Holywood, Co. Down, on 25 August 1865. He attended the Royal Academical Institution in Belfast, and then studied engineering at Queen's College, graduating in 1886. He spent the next six years working as a harbour engineer in Belfast and was one of the engineering staff during the construction of the Alexandra Dock. The excavations for the dock enabled him to study the geological deposits under Belfast Lough. Together with the naturalist S.A. Stewart he prepared a paper on the estuarine clays of Belfast Lough, which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy when he was still only twenty-seven. He was elected a member of the Academy in the same year. At this point he decided to abandon engineering and in 1893 joined the staff of the National Library of Ireland in Dublin, devoting his spare time to the geological, botanical and archaological research and activities which made him famous. At the time of the 1911 census he had been married for nine years and was living at 24 Zion Road, Rathmines.   His later career falls outside the scope of this database. He retired to Craigavad, Co. Down, and died on 5 May 1953.


All information in this entry is from the obituary of Praeger by A. Farrington in ?JRSAI, 202-203 (photocopy in Jones file but source not given) and Who Was Who 1951-1960, 887-8.