Rennie, John

SUBJECT AREA: Canals, Civil engineering
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b. 7 June 1761 Phantassie, East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland
d. 4 October 1821 Stamford Street, London, England
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Scottish civil engineer.
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Born into a prosperous farming family, he early demonstrated his natural mechanical and structural aptitude. As a boy he spent a great deal of time, often as a truant, near his home in the workshop of Andrew Meikle. Meikle was a millwright and the inventor of a threshing machine. After local education and an apprenticeship with Meikle, Rennie went to Edinburgh University until he was 22. He then travelled south and met James Watt, who in 1784 offered him the post of Engineer at the Albion Flour Mills, London, which was then under construction. Rennie designed all the mill machinery, and it was while there that he began to develop an interest in canals, opening his own business in 1791 in Blackfriars. He carried out work on the Kennet and Avon Canal and in 1794 became Engineer for the company. He meanwhile carried out other surveys, including a proposed extension of the River Stort Navigation to the Little Ouse and a Basingstoke-to-Salisbury canal, neither of which were built. From 1791 he was also engaged on the Rochdale Canal and the Lancaster Canal, as well as the great masonry aqueduct carrying the latter canal across the river Lune at Lancaster. He also surveyed the Ipswich and Stowmarket and the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigations. He advised on the Horncastle Canal in 1799 and on the River Ancholme in 1799, both of which are in Lincolnshire. In 1802 he was engaged on the Royal Canal in Ireland, and in the same year he was commissioned by the Government to prepare a plan for flooding the Lea Valley as a defence on the eastern approach to London in case Napoleon invaded England across the Essex marshes. In 1809 he surveyed improvements on the Thames, and in the following year he was involved in a proposed canal from Taunton to Bristol. Some of his schemes, particularly in the Fens and Lincolnshire, were a combination of improvements for both drainage and navigation. Apart from his canal work he engaged extensively in the construction and development of docks and harbours including the East and West India Docks in London, Holyhead, Hull, Ramsgate and the dockyards at Chatham and Sheerness. In 1806 he proposed the great breakwater at Plymouth, where work commenced on 22 June 1811.
He was also highly regarded for his bridge construction. These included Kelso and Musselburgh, as well as his famous Thames bridges: London Bridge (uncompleted at the time of his death), Waterloo Bridge (1810–17) and Southwark Bridge (1815–19). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1798.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1798.
Further Reading
C.T.G.Boucher, 1963, John Rennie 1761–1821, Manchester University Press. W.Reyburn, 1972, Bridge Across the Atlantic, London: Harrap.
JHB

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Rennie, John — born June 7, 1761, Phantassie, East Lothian, Scot. died Oct. 4, 1821, London, Eng. Scottish civil engineer. He built three bridges across the Thames at London: Waterloo Bridge (since replaced), the old Southwark Bridge (1814–19), and the New… …   Universalium

  • Rennie, John — (7 jun. 1761, Phantassie, East Lothian, Escocia–4 oct. 1821, Londres, Inglaterra). Ingeniero civil escocés. Construyó tres puentes sobre el Támesis en Londres: el puente Waterloo (después reemplazado), el antiguo puente Southwark (1814–19) y el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • RENNIE, JOHN —    civil engineer, born in East Linton, East Lothian; employed by the firm of Messrs. Boulton & Watt at Soho, Birmingham, and entrusted by them to direct in the construction of the Albion Mills, London, he became at once famous for his… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • John Rennie the Elder — John Rennie (7 June 1761 at Phantassie , near East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland 4 October 1821), a farmer s younger son, was a Scottish civil engineer who designed many bridges, canals, and docks.Early yearsRennie showed a taste for mechanics… …   Wikipedia

  • Rennie — Rennie, John, Schotte, geb. 1761, gest. 1822 zu London, berühmter Baumeister; seine Hauptwerke sind: der Kennet u. Avonkanal, der Hafendamm von Plymouth, die Ankerschmiede in Portsmouth, zu London die Waterloo und Southwarkbrücke …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • John Rennie the Younger — Infobox Engineer image width = 150px caption = PAGENAME name = John Rennie nationality = English birth date = 30 August 1794 birth place = Southwark, London death date = Death date and age|1874|9|3|1794|8|30|df=y death place = Bengeo,… …   Wikipedia

  • john — /jon/, n. Slang. 1. a toilet or bathroom. 2. (sometimes cap.) a fellow; guy. 3. (sometimes cap.) a prostitute s customer. [generic use of the proper name] * * * I known as John Lackland born Dec. 24, 1167, Oxford, Eng. died Oct. 18/19, 1216,… …   Universalium

  • John — /jon/, n. 1. the apostle John, believed to be the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and the book of Revelation. 2. See John the Baptist. 3. (John Lackland) 1167? 1216, king of England 1199 1216; signer of the Magna Carta 1215 (son of… …   Universalium

  • John Rennie — may refer to:People* John Rennie the Elder (1761 ndash;1821), engineer (factories, canals, design of London Bridge) * Sir John Rennie the Younger (1794 ndash;1874), engineer (rail lines, completion of London Bridge) * John Rennie (naval… …   Wikipedia

  • Rennie — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Callum Keith Rennie (* 1960), kanadischer Schauspieler Ernest Amelius Rennie (1868–1935), britischer Diplomat George Rennie (1802–1860), Bildhauer, Politiker und Gouverneur der Falkland Inseln John Rennie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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