Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. Arthur James Hamilton Smythe,(1) eldest son of Hamilton Smythe, QC, of Dollanstown, Co. Meath, was born in Dublin on 12 February 1846. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, and obtained the the Licentiate in Civil Engineering in 1868 and the BA degree in 1869. He served his pupilage with JAMES PRICE JAMES PRICE , chief engineer of the Midland Great Western Railway. Between 1870 and 1876 he had a number of positions, which included railway work in Hungary and Austria. In December 1876 he was appointed a district engineer of the Midland Great Western Railway, responsible first for the Sligo division and then for the western district. In August 1890 he was promoted to the post of engineer-in-chief of the railway and canal systems. He left the company four years later, in September 1894, and was employed by the Board of Works in holding public inquiries and preparing reports on railway and tramway proposals. He also undertook arbitration work in a private capacity. He appears to have had an office in London at this time.(2) In 1896 he was appointed an engineering inspector to the General Prisons Board, but remained in the post for only a few months on account of illness.

The remaining ten years of Smyth's career were spent out of Ireland: in West Africa, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and finally in England, where he joined the staff of the county surveyor for Hertfordshire. He died suddenly in London from heart failure on 15 May 1906.

Inst.CE: elected associate, 16 January 1877; transferred to class of member, 14 December 1880.
ICEI: elected member, 9 April 1892;(3) council member, 1894.(4)

Address: 9 Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW, 1896.(5)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 167 (1906-7, Pt. I), 370-371, which provides further detail about Smythe's career outside Ireland.

(1) He had hyphenated his name as Hamilton-Smythe by 1885 at the latest.
(2) TICEI 25 (1895-96), list of members.
(3) TICEI 22 (1892-93), ?.
(4) TICEI 23 (1894-94), list of office bearers.
(5) See note 2, above.

Author Title Date Details
Smythe, Arthur James Hamilton 'A comparison of British and Metric Measures for Engineering Purposes' 1885 Min.Proc.Inst.CE 80 (1884-85, Pt. II), 36-43
Smythe, Arthur James Hamilton 'Sidings for marshalling railway wagons' 1894 TICEI 23 (1893-94), 4-18 and IB 36, 1 Jan 1894, 1-2.