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William Chapman (1749-1832), Civil engineer

Sitter in 2 portraits
The Chapman family were well known in the northeast as shipowners and mariners. Chapman at first followed his father's profession and for three years he commanded a ship trading with western and northern Europe. His interest in the steam engine led him to find work as an engineer. He went to Ireland with Matthew Boulton in 1783 and remained there for the next eleven years. He acted initially as an agent for Boulton and Watt, but increasingly undertook civil engineering projects, planning and overseeing the construction of canals, bridges, and docks. In England, he worked on drainage schemes and railway lines to and from coal mines. He wrote numerous technical papers for various professional journals.

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

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