Henry Chapman 1835 - 1908


Engineer active in Paris between 1858 and 1908 he was an Agent for Sharp Stewart & Co of Manchester before becoming a consultant engineer.

Henry Chapman was born on 14th March 1835 in Dieppe, France, where is father, George Chapman, was the long-serving British Vice-Consul.

He was educated at a private school at Lewes, where his skill in mathematics emerged, which drew him to choose a career in engineering.

At the age of seventeen he began a five years' apprenticeship in the works of Sharp, Stewart and Co., locomotive engineers, of Manchester, and went through all the departments. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship in 1857 he was chosen to represent the firm in Paris.

In 1858 he established a business as a consulting engineer, continuing to represent Sharp, Stewart, as well as other firms of machine-tool makers and general engineers. Many of the Continental railway companies employed him to provide designs and specifications for rolling-stock, and occasionally for bridges.

His obituaries credited him with introducing new inventions into France and other countries, including Tweddell's system of applying hydraulic power to machine tools.

Chapman was one of the promoters and a director of the Hull Hydraulic Power Co., predecessor of the London and Liverpool companies, of which he was also a director, and later the chairman. He was, too, the chairman of the Hydraulic Engineering Co., of Chester.

Chapman took an active part in the Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation, which was organized when the British Parliament first made employers responsible for accidents. He was a director, and in later years vice-chairman.

Chapman became a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1866. He was first elected to the Council in 1878, and continued until 1880; he was re-elected in 1899, and in 1907 became a Vice-president. He contributed a Paper in 1881 on "The Farquhar Filtering Apparatus." Chapman also served as honorary local secretary for the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889, taking a leading role in the Paris Exhibitions.

In 1878 France honoured Chapman with the title Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and he was promoted to the rank of Officer in 1889. He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Naval Architects, and a life Member of the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France.

Henry Chapman 18th October 1908, at the age of seventy-four.