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Biographical entry Russell, Peter Nicol (1816 - 1905)


4 July 1816
Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
10 July 1905
Porchester Gate, London, United Kingdom
Ironfounder and Benefactor


(Sir) Peter Nicol Russell was a partner in Russell Brothers general engineering and foundry business, established in Sydney in 1838. In 1842 he took over James Blanche's foundry and renamed it The Sydney Foundry and Engineering Works. He had contracts for all the ironwork required by the New South Wales government and The Sydney Municipal Council. In 1855 he formed P.N. Russell & Co and in 1859 he moved to London as the company's resident UK partner. He gave £50,000 to the University of Sydney in 1895 to establish the Peter Nicol Russell School of Engineering and a further £50,000 in 1904. He is commemorated by the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal, which was established by the Institution of Engineers, Australia in 1919.



Life event - Arrived in Hobart Town with family on the Anne Jamieson
Moved to Sydney with family
1842 - 1855?
Career position - The Sydney Foundry and Engineering Works established
1855 - 1874
Career position - P. N. Russell & Co established
Life event - £50,000 donation given to the School of Engineering at the University of Sydney (16 December)
Award - Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
Life event - £50,000 donation given to the Peter Nicol Russell School of Engineering, University of Sydney

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituary: Peter Nicol Russell', The Engineer (1905). Details
  • Russell, P. H., 'Sir Peter Nicol Russell - 1816-1905: his family and associates. Pioneers of the Australian iron and engineering industry', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 50 (1964), 2. Details
  • Russell, P. W., 'Sir Peter Nicol Russell 1816-1905', Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, 50 (Pt 5) (1964), 396. Details


See also

Rosanne Walker