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Samuel Bentham (1757-1831), Naval architect

Sitter in 4 portraits
Mechanical Engineer credited with numerous innovations related to naval architecture and artillery. At the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to a shipwright at Woolwich Dockyard. In 1780 he travelled to Russia and was employed by Prince Potemkin. Hired initially as a shipbuilder, Bentham eventually came to have complete responsibility over the administration of Potemkin's estate. In 1791, Bentham became Inspector-General of Naval Works to improve naval efficiency and economy in Britain. His main endeavour in this role was to increase efficiency and economy. Bentham was successful in this task, introducing pioneering measures to assess the size of the dock basins and minimise the risk of fire in the yards.

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Samuel Bentham

by Henry Edridge
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1795-1800
NPG 3069


Men of Science Living in 1807-8

by Sir John Gilbert, and Frederick John Skill, and William Walker, and Elizabeth Walker (née Reynolds)
pencil and wash, 1858-1862
NPG 1075


Engraving after 'Men of Science Living in 1807-8'

by George Zobel, and William Walker
engraving, 1862
NPG 1075a