Rawlinson, Sir Robert

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Rawlinson, Sir Robert (1810–98). English civil engineer. In 1831 he joined Jesse Hartley and worked on the construction of docks and harbour works until he entered the employment of Robert Stephenson, and was engaged on the building of the London and Birmingham railway. In 1840 he returned to Liverpool as Assistant Surveyor to the Corporation, where he was primarily concerned with public health: his proposals to supply the city with water drawn from Wales were eventually implemented. He is best remembered as head of the Commission charged with ameliorating the deplorable sanitary conditions of the British army during the Crimean war. Thereafter he was mostly involved in improving public health, especially in regard to water-supply and sewerage: for his contributions he was knighted in 1883. He published numerous books and papers on drainage, hygiene, and public works. Apart from his undoubted national and international importance in this respect, his architectural activities included responsibility for the construction of Elmes's St George's Hall, Liverpool, from 1841: the structure of this, probably the finest Neo-Classical building in the British Isles, was completed by Rawlinson in 1851, after which C. R. Cockerell finished the interiors, largely to his own designs (1851–4).


Colvin (1995);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

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