By, Lieutenant-Colonel John

SUBJECT AREA: Canals
[br]
b. 7 (?) August 1779 Lambeth, London, England
d. 1 February 1836 Frant, Sussex, England
[br]
English Engineer-in-Charge of the construction of the Rideau Canal, linking the St Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers in Canada.
[br]
Admitted in 1797 as a Gentleman Cadet in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, By was commissioned on 1 August 1799 as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, but was soon transferred to the Royal Engineers. Posted to Plymouth upon the development of the fortifications, he was further posted to Canada, arriving there in August 1802.
In 1803 By was engaged in canal work, assisting Captain Bruyères in the construction of a short canal (1,500 ft (460 m) long) at the Cascades on the Grand, now the Ottawa, River. In 1805 he was back at the Cascades repairing ice damage caused during the previous winter. He was promoted Captain in 1809. Meanwhile he worked on the fortifications of Quebec and in 1806–7 he built a scale model of the Citadel, which is now in the National War Museum of Canada. He returned to England in 1810 and served in Portugal in 1811. Back in England at the end of the year, he was appointed Royal Engineer Officer in charge at the Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Works on 1 January 1812 and later planned the new Small Arms Factory at Enfield; both works were on the navigable River Lee.
In the post-Napoleonic period Major By, as he then was, retired on half-pay but was promoted to Lieu tenant-Colonel on 2 December 1824. Eighteen months later, in March 1826, he returned to Canada on active duty to build the Rideau Canal. This was John By's greatest work. It was conceived after the American war of 1812–14 as a connection for vessels to reach Kingston and the Great Lakes from Montreal while avoiding possible attack from the United States forces. Ships would pass up the Ottawa River using the already-constructed locks and bypass channels and then travel via a new canal cut through virgin forest southwards to the St Lawrence at Kingston. By based his operational headquarters at the Ottawa River end of the new works and in a forest clearing he established a small settlement. Because of the regard in which By was held, this settlement became known as By town. In 1855, long after By's death, the settlement was designated by Queen Victoria as capital of United Canada (which was to become a self-governing Dominion in 1867) and renamed Ottawa; as a result of the presence of the national government, the growth of the town accelerated greatly.
Between 1826–7 and 1832 the Rideau Canal was constructed. It included the massive engineering works of Jones Falls Dam (62 ft 6 in. (19 m) high) and 47 locks. By exercised an almost paternal care over those employed under his direction. The canal was completed in June 1832 at a cost of £800,000. By was summoned back to London to face virulent and unjust criticism from the Treasury. He was honoured in Canada but vilified by the British Government.
[br]
Further Reading
R.F.Leggett, 1982, John By, Historical Society of Canada.
—1976, Canals of Canada, Newton Abbot: David \& Charles.
—1972, Rideau Waterway, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Bernard Pothier, 1978, "The Quebec Model", Canadian War Museum Paper 9, Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
JHB

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

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Macdonell, Lieutenant-Colonel John —    Born in Glengarry; son of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Macdonell, of the 1st Glengarry militia. Present at the capture of Detroit and mentioned in despatches. In 1812 aide de camp to Sir Isaac Brock, and took an important part in the battle of …   The makers of Canada

  • Colonel John Vaughan — John Vaughan Colonel John Vaughan, C. 1808 …   Wikipedia

  • Colonel John Burke — John Timothy Burke (July 8, 1838 ndash; June 23, 1914) was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was court martialed for alleged cowardice at the Battle of Antietam and dismissed from the army. Burke was born in Dunmanway …   Wikipedia

  • Lieutenant colonel (United States) — Please see Lieutenant Colonel for other countries which use this rank In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and the United States Air Force, lieutenant colonel is a field grade officer rank, with the pay grade of O 5. Lieutenant… …   Wikipedia

  • Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon. Michael Claude Hamilton Bowes-Lyon — The Hon. Michael Claude Hamilton Bowes Lyon He was the 5th son of Claude George Bowes Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Nina Cecilie Cavendish Bentinck. Born 01 Oct 1893, he married Elizabeth Cator on 02 Feb 1928. She was the daughter of John… …   Wikipedia

  • John McCrae — Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae um 1914 John Alexander McCrae (* 30. November 1872 in Guelph, Ontario, Kanada; † 28. Januar 1918 in Boulogne sur Mer, Frankreich) war ein kanadischer Dichter, Schrifts …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever — Lieutenant Colonel John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever DL (May 20, 1886–July 19, 1971), was a military officer, statesman, a newspaper proprietor, and a member of the prominent Astor family. Note: Standard genealogies of the Astor family… …   Wikipedia

  • John Boys — (1607 October 8, 1664), is best known as the Royalist captain who was the Governor of Donnington Castle in Berkshire during the English Civil War. Boys was born in at Bonnington, in Kent, the eldest son and heir of Edward Boys of Bonnington, by… …   Wikipedia

  • John By — Born 7 August 1779(1779 08 07) Lambeth, London Died 1 February 1836( …   Wikipedia

  • John Laurens — (October 28, 1754 August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.Early lifeJohn was born to Henry Laurens and Eleanor Ball in Charleston, South Carolina. He was the eldest of their five… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.