RENNIE, JOHN #
- Born: 1761 Died: 1821
Engineer, for biography of whom see Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (3rd edn., 1995), 799-800. As a leading civil engineer, Rennie was associated, both as a designer and as a consultant,(1) with a number of Irish engineering projects, the earliest being the Custom House Dock in Dublin, completed in 1796. Following the death of RICHARD EVANS in January 1802, he was appointed consultant engineer to the Royal Canal Company.(2) He was later involved in the design of the harbours at Howth, Co. Dublin, and Donaghadee, Co. Down. He was the proponent of a scheme to build a ship canal linking Dublin and Dun Laoghaire, which his eldest son George Rennie (1791-1866) continued to advocate when he appeared before a parliamentary committee in 1833.(3)
John Rennie visited Ireland many times. The Dublin Journal for 8 January 1803, notes his arrival from England on one such visit.(4) On this occasion the Dublin Corporation pipe water committee took the opportunity of meeting him to consult him about the city's water supply; a second meeting took place on another visit later in the year, and a third in May 1804.(5) Rennie was asked to choose and purchase in England on the city's behalf a steam engine of sufficient power 'to throw up the water to the north side of the city' from the 'long meadows'.(6) Other visits are recorded in 1810,(6) 1815(7) and 1818.(8) Rennie was made a freeman of the city in October 1803(9) and an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1806.(10) After his death, his civil engineering practice was carried on by his second son JOHN RENNIE .
(1) He commented on Whitmore Davis's plans for North Wall docks, 1811, see PRONI D562/7763, examined John Semple's plans for Custom House stores, 1820, see NA/SPO CSORP 1820, 5118, and was consulted about the harbour at Dundrum, Co. Down, see PRONI D671/A5/8 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44.; last ref. may be to John Rennie).
(2) Peter Clarke, The Royal Canal: the complete story (1992), 56,58.
(3) Dublin and Kingstown Ship Canal Report (B of I).
(4) IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44.
(5) CARD XV, 281,290,311,321,366.
(6) CARD XV, 366.
(7) NA OPW8/HOW/437,513.
(8) NA OPW8/HOW/2223.
(9) NA OPW8/HOW/2761.
(10) CARD XV, 331.
(11) RIA minutes, 1806 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
12 work entries listed in chronological order for RENNIE, JOHN #
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CUSTOM HOUSE DOCKS|
|Nature:||Completed 1796. (Filled in c. 1927)|
|Refs:||NA/PRO Wide Streets Commissioners maps, 37 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); G.N. Wright, Historical Guide to Dublin (2nd ed., 1825), 176; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 18|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HOWTH, HARBOUR|
|Nature:||Rennie takes charge of work, originally designed by Captain George Taylor, after collapse of east pier. Responsible for construction of West Pier. Superintendent of works: John Aird.|
|Refs:||Documentation, 1807-1822, in NA OPW8/HOW (OPW Howth Harbour Index); Report from the Commission on Howth Harbour (1810); Min.Proc.Inst.CE 4 (1845), 372; 7 (1848), 382,407; 18 (1858-59), 117; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 25-28|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, NORTH WALL DOCKS|
|Nature:||Comments on plans for same by Whitmore Davis, 1810.|
|Building:||CO. CORK, CORK, CROSSES GREEN, FLOUR MILL|
|Nature:||Machinery designed by JR for Thomas Walker.
|Building:||CO. DOWN, DONAGHADEE, HARBOUR|
|Nature:||New harbour and lighthouse designed by JR; construction supervised by John Rennie.|
|Refs:||Documentation 1820-1833,1837,1841-43, in NA OPW8/110/1,3,4,6,10; Min.Proc.Inst.CE 7 (1848), 382-3; John S. Sloane, 'A History of the lighthouses of Ireland…III', IB 21, 15 Jun 1880, 167; Hugh Dixon, Kenneth Kenmuir , Jill Kennett, Historic Buildings…in Donaghadee and Portpatrick (UAHS, 1977), 21 (no. 20); jR.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 149-150|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CUSTOM HOUSE DOCKS, STACK A (FORMER TOBACCO WAREHOUSE)|
|Nature:||Cast iron and masonry structure. Opened 1821. Ironwork by Butterley Iron Foundry, Derbyshire.|
G.N. Wright, Historical Guide to Dublin (2nd ed., 1825), 177; J.J. McGregor, Picture of Dublin (1821), 310-311; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 19; Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 184-6, Pls. 56,57.
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CUSTOM HOUSE DOCKS, STACK C|
|Nature:||Attributed to JR.|
|Refs:||R.C. Cox, report to Institution of Civil Engineers Panel for Historical Engineering Works (photocopy in IAA)|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GEORGE'S DOCK|
|Refs:||J.J. McGregor, Picture of Dublin (1821), 310-311; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 18|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, REVENUE DOCK|
|Nature:||New inner dock adjoining George's Dock.
Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 183.
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, INNER DOCK|
|Nature:||Completed by 1824.|
|Refs:||R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 18|
|Building:||CO. DOWN, DUNDRUM, HARBOUR|
|Refs:||'Plan for improving the Port of Dundrum', s. & d. John Rennie, London, 19 Feb 1831, in PRONI, Downshire MSS, D671/P5/2a|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, HARBOUR|
|Nature:||Prepared original designs for harbour.|
13th Annual Report from the Board of Public Works in Ireland (1845), 6; Min.Proc.Inst.CE 7 (1848), 382,405-7; 18 (1858-59), 117.