William Jessop

1745 - 1814

Engineer. Born in Devonport (Devon, England), Jessop was the son of a shipwright in the Naval Dockyard there. He became the pupil of John Smeaton (1724-92) and soon became his protege. Jessop was responsible for several canals on England and Ireland, together with the West India Docks in London and several early railways. In Scotland, he built the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway for the Duke of Portland, together with the Laigh Milton Viaduct which carries that line over the River Irvine and which is now one of the world's oldest railway viaducts.

Jessop twice served as Mayor of Newark-on-Trent (Nottinghamshire) and died at his home Butterley Hall in Derbyshire.

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