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Author Topic: Henry Ellacombe  (Read 1104 times)

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Offline conan

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Henry Ellacombe
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 22:45:22 »
Henry Ellacombe, a fine engineer and a remarkable churchman was born in 1790 at Alphinton near Exeter. He came from a family of clerics but had a flair for engineering drawings and model construction. It was at Oriel College Oxford that he met Marc Isambard Brunel, father of the immortal Isambard who saw his drawings and was impressed and a rapport developed between the two men..So much did Brunel value his skills that he made him first an assistant and then Resident Engineer at Chatham Dockyard, there he created an ingenious device for hoisting timber which was noted for its uniform motion - the result of a clever weights and chains balancing act.

   Ellacombe was not to remain for long at the dockyard, in 1816 Brunel returned from France to discover that to save on costs they had dismissed the Resident Engineer. Brunel remonstrated with the powers that be and they agreed to Ellacombe's reinstatement only for as long as it would be "absolutely necessary " for him to stay in the job" at the public expense". Such unappreciated and short sighted treatment of himself and Brunel sickened Ellacombe and disillusioned with engineering he returned to Oxford to study for the church.
Here the story leaves Kent as he moved to the Somerset - Gloucestershire border where he took the parish of Bitton between Bath and Bristol, where he ministered to a mixed congregation of miners and agricultural people, wrote a survey of the church bells of Devon when in his 70s and followed that with a survey of the towers of Somerset. He created a fine garden with plants from around the world and generally improved the lot of his fellow man in the parish and the surrounding area.

Has anyone got any plans or drawing of the ingenious device for lifting timber?

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero


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