Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Lindley, William

1404255Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement, Volume 3 — Lindley, William1901Thomas Hudson Beare

LINDLEY, WILLIAM (1808–1900), civil engineer, son of Joseph Lindley of Heath, Yorkshire, was born in London on 7 Sept. 1808. He was educated at Croydon and in Germany, in which country he was afterwards to make his name as an engineer. In 1827 he became a pupil of Francis Giles, and was chiefly engaged in railway work. He was in 1838 appointed engineer-in-chief to the Hamburg and Bergedorf railway, and it was in the city of Hamburg that the engineering work by which he will be remembered was carried out for the next twenty-two years. He designed and supervised the construction of the Hamburg sewerage and water works, of the drainage and reclamation of the low-lying 'Hammerbrook' district, much of which is now a valuable part of the city, and he drew out the plans for rebuilding the city after the disastrous fire of May 1842. He was in fact responsible for most of the engineering and other works which have changed the ancient Hanseatic city into one of the greatest modern seaports of Europe. His water supply for Hamburg was the first complete system of the kind, now usually adopted on the continent, and his sewerage arrangements contained many principles novel at that time, though since commonly adopted. He left Hamburg in 1860, and in 1865 he was appointed consulting engineer to the city of Frankfort-on-Main. He designed and carried out complete sewerage works for that city. Here again many improvements were for the first time adopted, and this system has become more or less typical for similar works on the continent. He retired from active work in 1879. He joined the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1842, and was for many years a member of the Smeatonian Society of Engineers, becoming president of it in 1864. He died at his residence, 74 Shooter's Hill Road, Blackheath, on 22 May 1900.

[Obituary notices; Proc. Inst. Civil Engineers, cxxxvi.]

T. H. B.