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Biographical entry Bennett, William Christopher (1824 - 1889)

4 July 1824
Rathmines, County Dublin, Ireland
29 September 1889
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


William Bennett occupied many important engineering posts in New South Wales including that of commissioner for main roads. He advised against a narrow-gauge railway to Mudgee, saving the colony from the confusion of two internal railway gauges.


Born Dublin, 4 July 1824. Died Sydney, 29 September 1889. Articled surveyor 1840; worked in Ireland on border surveys and as a surveyor and engineer on railways and drainage works; surveying and exploring, Latin America 1852 and 1853; New Zealand 1854; Survey Department, New South Wales 1855; assistant city Engineer on sewage works 1855-56; Campbelltown railway extension 1857-58; assistant engineer of main roads to superintend the repair of a flood-damaged bridge at Bathurst 1858; engineer to the Department of Roads 1859-60; Railway Department 1862; commissioner for main roads 1862-89. Appointed to special commissions in the field of water supply and sewerage in Sydney 1868, 1875 and 1888.


Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • William Christopher Bennett - Records, 1850 - 1889, UMS 333; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Edited Books

  • Bailey, M. R.; Chrimes, M. M.; Cox, R. C.; Cross-Rudkin, P. S. M.; Hurst, B. L.; McWilliam, R. C., Rennison, R. W.; Ruddock, E. C.; Sutherland, R. J. M.; Swailes, T. ed., Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 2: 1830-1890 (London, United Kingdom: Thomas Telford Publishing, 2008), 907 pp. pp.79-80, 570. Details


See also

  • Engineers Australia, Wonders never cease: 100 Australian engineering achievements (Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Institution of Engineers, Australia, 2019), 236 pp. p.74. Details

McCarthy, G.J.