Person NameRennie; John (1761-1821); Engineer
ActivityThe son of a farmer, John Rennie was born at Phantassie, East Lothian, in 1761. He studied at Edinburgh University while learning to be a millwright: after he left university he toured engineering works and sites in England and Scotland, learning the techniques of bridge-building. He established a national reputation as a millwright with the completion of Albion Mills in 1786, and branched out into other forms of engineering. Docks in London, Plymouth and Glasgow benefited from his improvements, and he worked on several canals in England and then constructed the Crinan Canal in Argyll from 1793 to 1801. He also contributed to work on the Bell Rock Lighthouse, and specialised in bridges, building four over the Thames in London alone. He died in 1821 and is buried in Westminster Abbey, London.
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