|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
Robert Stephenson in 1856
|Born||16 October 1803
Willington Quay, Wallsend, Northumberland
|Died||12 October 1859
|Engineering discipline||Civil engineer|
|Institution memberships||Institution of Civil Engineers (president), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (president), Fellow of the Royal Society, Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne (President 1855–1859)|
|Significant projects||Kilsby Tunnel, High Level Bridge, Britannia Bridge|
Robert Stephenson FRS (16 October 1803 – 12 October 1859) was an English civil engineer. He was the only son of George Stephenson, the famed locomotive builder and railway engineer; many of the achievements popularly credited to his father were the joint efforts of father and son.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Stockton and Darlington Railway
- 3 Colombian mines
- 4 Locomotive designer
- 5 Civil Engineer
- 6 Bridge builder
- 7 Other aspects of his life
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Robert Stephenson was born on 16 October 1803,[note 1] at Willington Quay, east of Newcastle Upon Tyne. His parents were George Stephenson and Frances née Henderson (commonly known as Fanny). Fanny, who was twelve years older than George, had before marriage worked as a servant in the house where George was lodging. George and Fanny lived in an upper room in a cottage on the Quay; George worked as a brakesman on the stationary winding engine on the Quay and in his spare time cleaned and mended clocks and repaired shoes. Fanny had tuberculosis (known at the time as consumption), so George would take care of his son in the evening. Robert later recalled how he would sit on his father's left knee with his right arm wrapped around him whilst he watched him work or read books; his biographer Jeaffreson explained this is why Robert's left arm was the stronger. In autumn 1804 George became a brakesman at the West Moor Pit, and the family moved to a two rooms in a cottage at Killingworth. On 13 July 1805 Fanny gave birth to a daughter, who died three weeks later, and Fanny's health deteriorated before she died on 14 May 1806.
George employed a housekeeper to look after his son, and went way for three months to look after a Watt engine in Montrose, Scotland. He returned to find his housekeeper had married his brother Robert. He moved back into the cottage with his son, and took on other housekeeper, who was soon replaced by his sister Eleanor. Known to Robert as Aunt Nelly, Eleanor had been betrothed before travelling to London to work in domestic service. Summoned back to get married, Eleanor's ship had been delayed by poor winds and she arrived to find her fiance had already married. Eleanor could read, and attended services at the local Methodist church, whereas George would not regularly attend church, preferring on Sundays to work on engineering problems and meet his friends.
Robert was first sent a village school 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) away in Long Benton, where he was taught by Thomas (Tommy) Rutter. On his way to school he would carry picks to the smith's at Long Benton to be sharpened. George was promoted in 1812 to be enginewright at Killingworth Colliery with a salary of £100 per year. In 1814 George built his first steam locomotive, Blucher, and the following year was earning £200 a year. George had received little formal education and determined that his son would have what he lacked, he sent the eleven-year-old Robert to the Percy Street Academy, in Newcastle, to be taught by John Bruce. At first Robert walked the 10 miles (16 km), but he was liable to catch cold and fearing tuberculosis George bought him a donkey. Robert became a member of the Philosophical and Literary Society of Newcastle and borrowed books for his father and him to read. In the evening, after school, he would work with George on plans for steam engines; in 1816 they made a sundial together, which is still in place above the cottage door.
After leaving school in 1819, Robert was apprenticed to the mining engineer Nicholas Wood, the viewer (manager) of Killingworth colliery. The following year Robert's Aunt Nelly married and George married Elizabeth Hindmarsh. The couple had courted before he had met Fanny, but the relationship had been put to an end by Elizabeth's father, Elizabeth swearing that she would not marry another. As an apprentice Robert worked hard and lived frugally and unable to afford to buy a mining compass, he made one which he would later use to survey the High Level Bridge in Newcastle. Robert learnt to play the flute, which he played in services at the local parish church.
Stockton and Darlington Railway
In the early 19th century ways of transporting coal from the mines in the Bishop Auckland to Darlington, and the quay at Stockton-on-Tees were investigated. Canals had been proposed, but the Welsh Engineer George Overton suggested a tramway. Overton surveyed the route in September 1818 and the scheme was backed by the Quaker Edward Pease at a meeting in November. A private bill for a Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was presented to Parliament in 1819, but was opposed by landowners, and did not pass. The route was changed, Overton carried out another survey, and the Act received Royal Assent on 19 April 1821. Concerned about Overton's competence, Pease asked George Stephenson to meet him in Darlington, and by 23 July George had been appointed to make a fresh survey of the line.
Robert had not completed his apprenticeship, but his health was suffering and he showed symptoms of tuberculosis. Also the work was hazardous; he was down West Moor Pit when there was underground explosion. After a holiday trip to London, paid for by his father, Wood was asked to release the 18-year-old Robert so that he could assist his father during the survey By the end of 1821 they reported that a usable line could be built within the bounds of the Act, but another route would be shorter and avoid deep cuttings and tunnels. George was elected Engineer by shareholders with a salary of £660 per year and he advocated the use of steam locomotives. Pease visited Killingworth in the summer of 1822 and the directors visited Hetton colliery railway, on which George had introduced steam locomotives. During the survey of the S&DR, George was persuaded that Robert would benefit from a university education. He could have afforded to send his son to Cambridge, but he did not want him to become a gentleman, instead wishing that Robert should work for his living. Robert assisted William James to survey the route of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway before he attended Edinburgh University between October 1822 and April 1823; it was whilst he was at Edinburgh that Robert met George Parker Bidder.
On 23 May 1823 the second S&DR Act received Assent, with the deviations from the original route and permission for the use of "loco-motives or moveable engines". In June 1823 the Stephensons and Pease opened a works at Forth Street, Newcastle, to build these locomotives, Pease lending Robert £500 to buy his share. As George was busy supervising the building of the railway, the 20-year-old Robert was placed in charge of Robert Stephenson and Company, with a salary of £200 a year. On 16 September 1824 the company received an order for two steam locomotives and two stationary engines from the S&DR. Robert was also the engineer for the Hagger Leases branch, planned serve collieries at Butterknowle and Copley Bent. He stayed in London for five weeks while the bill passed through the parliamentary process, Assent being given in May 1824. However, when the S&DR opened on 27 September 1825, Robert was working in South America.
On 18 June 1824 Robert set sail on the Sir William Congreve from Liverpool for Colombia, with a contract for three years. The Colombian Mining Association had been formed to reopen gold and silver mines in South America and a Robert Stephenson and Co. partner, Thomas Richardson, was a prompter. Robert Stephenson & Co. received orders for steam engines from the company, and Richardson suggested to Robert that he go to South America, which he accepted. Robert took Spanish lessons and visited mines in Cornwall to prepare for the trip, and consulted a doctor, who advised that such a change of climate would be beneficial to his health. Robert had arrived in Liverpool on 8 June, and George was in Liverpool from 12 June to say goodbye to his son. Rolt was not satisfied with earlier biographers' suggestions that the assignment was solely due to Robert's health. Questioning why Robert left the locomotive construction company and his other work, he suggests that there must have been a disagreement between the Stephensons over George's business dealings. Longbridge, who agreed to temporarily take over management of Robert Stephenson and Co. in Robert's absence, understood that it would only be for a year.
After a five week journey, Robert arrived at the port of La Guayra in Venezuela on 23 July 1823. Robert investigated building a breakwater and pier at the harbour, and a railway to Caracas and estimated the cost of a pier at £6,000, but a breakwater or railway would be uneconomic. He travelled overland with an interpreter and a servant to Bogotá, then the capital of Greater Colombia, arriving on 19 January 1825. Travelling onward, Robert the found the heavier equipment at Honda on the Magdalena River; there was no way to get it to the mines as the only route to Mariquita was a narrow and steep path. The mines were another 12 miles (19 km) from Mariquita, Robert setting up home in a bungalow built from bamboo at Santa Ana. The Mining Association had sent Cornish miners to work the mine, but these proved unmanageable, drinking so heavily that only two-thirds were ever available for work. They refused to accept that Robert, who had not been brought up in Cornwall, could know anything about mining. His reports to London appeared to be ignored, as heavy equipment continued to be sent. Robert suffered from fevers, and once felt his "old complaint, a feeling of oppression in the breast."
Robert's contract ended on 16 July 1827. He travelled to Cartagena to see if he could walk across the Panama Isthmus, but this proved too difficult. While waiting for a ship to New York, he met Richard Trevithick, who had been looking for South American gold and silver in the mines of Peru and Costa Rica, and gave him £50 so he could buy passage home. Enroute to New York the ship Robert was on picked up shipwreck survivors that were so weak they had to be winched aboard, before sinking in another hurricane; although everyone was saved Robert lost his money and luggage. During the rush for the lifeboats he noticed that priority had been given to a second class passenger. Questioning the captain later, he found that as they were both Freemasons they had sworn an oath to show such preference to each other in times of peril. Robert was impressed and became a Freemason in New York. Wishing to see something of North America, Robert and four other Englishmen walked the 500 miles (800 km) to Montreal via Niagara Falls. He returned to New York, caught the packet Pacific across the Atlantic and arrived in Liverpool at the end of November.
George was in Liverpool at the time, working as engineer-in-chief of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and Robert was able to briefly stay as a guest at his father's house. Robert travelled to London to meet the directors of the Colombian Mining Association, before starting on the business the then insolvent Robert Stephenson & Co. After a business trip to Brussels, he spent Christmas in London, where he was impressed with the tidiness of Gurney's steam carriages, before returning to Newcastle, where he was to spend the next five years.
In 1827 George had built the Experiment with sloping cylinders instead of the vertical ones on previous locomotives at Newcastle for the S&DR. Robert wanted to improve the drive to the wheels and he had a chance when an order for a locomotive arrived in January 1828 from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. In April the L&MR withdrew the order, and by mutual agreement the locomotive was sold to the Bolton and Leigh Railway. Named the Lancashire Witch, the inclined cylinders allowed the axles to be sprung. A number of similar locomotives with four or six wheels were built in the next two years, one being sent to the U.S. for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. At the same time as working at the locomotive works, Robert was surveying routes for railways and also advised on project to built a tunnel under the River Mersey.
In March 1828 Robert wrote to a friend saying he had an attraction to Broad Street in London; living at Broad Street was Frances (Fanny) Sanderson. They had known each other before he had gone away, and calling on her soon after returning, he had an invitation from her father to be a frequent visitor. He introduced her to his father in August 1828 and she accepted his proposal of marriage at the end of that year. Robert did not wish for a long engagement; he spent so much time in London that year that this Quaker partners accused him of neglecting his business. However, it took a while to find a suitable house, but one was found at 5 Greenfield Place in Newcastle and Robert and Fanny married in London on 17 June 1829.
Liverpool and Manchester Railway
The L&MR directors had not decided whether to use fixed engines with ropes or steam locomotives, and resolved on 20 April 1829 to hold trials to see if a steam locomotive would meet their requirements.On the last day of August the date was set to 1 October and the location as a two-mile (3.2 km) double track railway that was to be built at Rainhill. Robert designed the locomotive for the trials during the summer of 1829. It was given only two driven wheels, as experience had shown that wrought iron tyres had a high rate of wear that quickly resulted in wheels of different size. He provided gears for both forward and reverse running.[note 2] The idea to heat water using many small diameter tubes through the boiler came in a letter from his father; Booth is credited with this idea,[note 3] but with George and Booth both in Liverpool, Robert was responsible for the detail design. He fitted twenty-five 3-inch (76 mm) diameter tubes from a separate firebox through the boiler. In September the locomotive was sent to Rainhill where it was coupled with its tender; when it was given the name Rocket is not known.
The Rainhill Trials started on Tuesday, 6 October, and between 10,000 and 15,000 people had assembled to watch the contest. Five locomotives had arrived, but Perserverance had been damaged on the way to Rainhill so did not compete and Cyclops, powered by two horses in a frame, was not a serious entry. Rocket was up against Novelty, built by John Ericsson and John Braithwaite in London and Sans Pareil, by Timothy Hackworth, locomotive supervisor of the S&DR, and built in the Shildon railway works. None of the locomotives were ready on Wednesday, and the following at 10:30 am Rocket started its 70-mile (110 km) journey forwards and backwards across the 1 1⁄2-mile (2.4 km) course. The first thirty-five miles were covered in 3 hours and 12 minutes, then the coke and water were replenished for fifteen minutes, and the course completed in another 2 hours 57 minutes. With an average speed of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h), the highest speed reached was over 29 miles per hour (47 km/h). Novelty still had to run, and although the favourite George is recorded as saying "Eh mon, we needn't fear yon thing, her's got nae goots". When she ran that Saturday she made one run before a pressurised joint failed. Sans Pareil was found to be overweight the following Tuesday. She was allowed to run, burning fuel at more than three times the rate of Rocket before her boiler ran dry and the lead plug melted. Novelty was tried again the following day, but was withdrawn after a joint failed again, and Rocket was declared the winner.
The L&MR purchased Rocket and ordered four similar locomotives from Robert Stephenson & Co before the end of October. Four more similar locomotives followed, but Planet was delivered on 4 October 1830 with cylinders in the modern position placed horizontally under the boiler. Hackworth was building Globe at the Robert Stephensons & Co. works at the same time, and Edward Bury delivered Liverpool the same month, and both these had cylinders under the boiler. It has been alleged that Robert copied Hackworth or Bury; he later said he had no knowledge of Liverpool at the time he was designing Planet. A Planet type locomotive was shipped to the U.S., named John Bull and became the first movement by steam on a railway in New Jersey when it ran on the Camden and Amboy Railroad in 1831. So many orders for locomotives were received that Robert proposed in 1831 to open a second locomotive works, and what to become the Vulcan Foundry was developed at Newton-le-Willows.
There was still opposition to the use of steam locomotives and before the L&MR opened George and directors hosted a number of private viewings. The actress Fanny Kemble, then famous for her recent portrayal of Juliet at Covent Garden, accompanied George for a trip on the footplate. The L&MR opened on 15 September 1830 with the Prime Minster the Duke of Wellington in one of the inaugural trains. During a stop on the journey, William Huskisson, a Member of Parliament alighted from one of the other carriages, and was hit by Rocket passing on the other track. Huskisson was taken by train to Eccles before dying that evening.
George Stephenson & Son
George Stephenson & Son had been created on the last day of 1824, when Robert was in South America, with the same partners as Robert Stephenson & Co. Formed to carry out railway surveys and construction, George and Robert were both listed as Chief Engineers and responsible for Parliamentary business and had list of assistant engineers that included Joseph Locke, John Dixon, Thomas Longridge Gooch and Thomas Storey. The company however, took on too much work, that was delegated to inexperienced and underpaid men.
Soon after he had returned from America Robert took over responsibility for overseeing the construction of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway. This opened on 3 May 1830 after a locomotive, similar to Rocket and named Invicta, was supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co. He was also responsible for the Bolton & Leigh and Warrington & Newton railways, both of which were branches of the L&MR. The Leicester & Swannington Railway was built to take coal from the Long Lane colliery to Leicester, and Robert was appointed engineer; there was a succession of resident engineers. Robert Stephenson & Co. supplied Planet type locomotives, but found underpowered these were replaced in 1833. Robert thought that the coalfield could be developed further and with two friends purchased an estate at Snibston that came up at auction. In 1831 George moved to Alton Grange to supervise, and a seam of coal was found after digging through a layer of waterlogged mudstone over hard volcanic greenstone. George was to later say that at Snibston colliery was his most profitable enterprise.
The route of Grand Junction Railway authorised on 6 May 1833 had been surveyed by Locke. Although he had been instructed by George, Locke hoped to became Engineer-in-Chief, his contract with Stephenson having expired. The contract was divided, after George threatened to withdraw support completely, and George and Locke was each engineer for half of the route. Locke divided the work into well defined small contracts that had been all placed by September 1834. George, delegating the work to untrained assistants, drew up specifications and estimates that were vague or inaccurate which were difficult to place. In August 1835 Locke took over supervision of the entire length of line, the Grand Junction Railway opening in 1837.
London & Birmingham Railway
On 18 September 1830 George Stephenson & Son signed a contract to survey the route for the London & Birmingham Railway. George recommended the route via Coventry, rather than an alternative via Oxford, but it was Robert that did most of the surveying; that same year Robert joined the Institution of Civil Engineers as a member. There were two surveys in 1830–31, these meeting opposition from landed gentry and those who lived in market towns on the coach route that would be bypassed. When a bill was presented to parliament in 1832, Robert stood as the engineering authority. During cross-examination, it was suggested that he had allowed too steep an angle on the side of the cutting at Tring. Remembering that Thomas Telford had cut through similar ground at Dunstable, Robert left with Gooch in post-chaise that night. Arriving at dawn, he found the cutting at the same angle that he had proposed, and he returned and was in the company solicitor's office at 10 am. That year the bill passed through the Commons but was defeated in the Lords. After a public campaign, and another survey by Robert, the necessary Act was obtained on 6 May 1833 and it was Robert, not yet 30 years old, that signed the contract on 20 September 1833 to build the 112-mile (180 km) railway from Camden Town to Birmingham.
Robert was granted a salary of £1,500 plus £200 expenses a year,[note 4] and he and Fanny moved from Newcastle to London, first briefly to St John's Wood and then to a house on Haverstock Hill. Robert drew up plans and made detailed work estimates, dividing the line into 30 contracts, most of which were placed by October 1835. A drawing office with 20–30 draughtsmen was established at the empty Eyre Arms Hotel in St John's Wood; Bidder, Robert's friend from Edinburgh, worked there.[note 5] Some of the contracts were more difficult than expected, and the railway was completed by work with direct labour.
Primrose Hill tunnel, Wolverton embankment, and Kilsby Tunnel, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Rugby railway station all had engineering problems. The Grand Junction Canal opposed the railway and tried to prevent a bridge being built, until this was settled in court in 1835. The line permitted by the 1833 Act terminated north of Regent's Canal at Camden (near Chalk Farm tube station), as Baron Southampton owned the land to the south, and had strongly opposed the railway in the Lords in 1832. Later, Southampton changed his mind, and authority was gained for an extension of the line south over Regent's Canal to Euston Square. This incline, with a slope between 1 in 75 and 1 in 66, was too steep for locomotives of the time, and was worked by a stationary engine at Camden − trains from Euston were drawn up by rope, whereas carriages would descend under gravity.[note 6]
Robert was unable to order from Robert Stephenson and Co due to railway company rules about a conflict of interest, and so locomotives were purchased from Edward Bury and Company. Charles Wheatstone was Robert's friend, and he installed the first electric telegraph between Euston square and Camden Town stations in autumn 1837. Trains started running on 24 June, and the L&BR opened ceremonially on 15 September 1838. Construction had taken four years and three months but had cost £5.5 million, against the original estimate of £2.4 millon
While living at Haverstock Hill, Robert would work six days a week, rising at 5 am, when he would study the sciences and read poetry; he was a firm Tory, but avoided reading political articles in newspapers. He told a friend that he felt that his reputation would "break under me like an eggshell"; he smoked cigars and according to Conder he used calomel, a form of mercury chloride. Conder said that if he was needed on site somewhere, he would catch the northbound coach, sometimes sitting on the outside seat without an overcoat on a winter's evening. He did not play his flute at this time. However, Robert would be at home on Sundays attending church and spending time with his wife. Robert and Fanny had no children, but were surrounded by family. Fanny was liked by Robert's friends who would visit, such as Bidder, Gooch, John Joseph Bramah, and Charles Parker. Fanny was said to rule "her husband without ever seeming to do so"; to please her he commissioned a coat of arms from the Herald's College, paying for them in November 1838, but he never liked it and called it a "silly picture" just before his death.
In 1838, Robert was summoned to Tuscany by Emanuele Fenzi and Pietro Senn to direct the works for the Leopolda railway. The success attained in this first Tuscan experiment in railways led the Russian princes Anatolio Demidoff and Giuseppe Poniatowski to commission Stephenson to construct a railway to Forlì, passing through the Muraglione Pass. Although this railway was not built, it was to all effects the first project for what was to become, almost forty years later, the Faentina railway.
Robert Stephenson's advice on railway matters was sought after in various countries. In France, he advised his friend the French engineer Paulin Talabot during the years 1837 to 1840 on the construction of the Chemins de fer du Gard from Beauvoir to Alès. He made journeys to Spain to advise on the construction of the railway from the Bay of Biscay to Madrid, and he visited the line Orléans – Tours.
On Prosper Enfantin's initiative, he and Talabot and Alois Negrelli became members of the Société d'Études du canal de Suez in 1846, where they studied the feasibility of the Suez canal. In late 1850, he was called by the Swiss Federal Council to advise on the future Swiss railway net and its financial implications. From 1851 to 1853, he built the railway from Alexandria to Cairo, which was extended to Suez in 1858.
Robert Stephenson constructed a number of well-known bridges to carry the new railway lines, following the experience of his father on the Stockton and Darlington line. George Stephenson built the famous Gaunless Bridge (which was dismantled and reassembled and is now in the car park of the York Railway Museum) for example, a very early wrought and cast iron structure. He also designed the many bridges needed for the Liverpool and Manchester line, opened in 1830.
In 1850, the railway from London to Scotland via Newcastle was completed. This required new bridges for both the Tyne and the Tweed rivers. He designed the High Level Bridge, at Newcastle upon Tyne as a two-deck bridge supported on tall stone columns. Rail traffic was carried on the upper deck and road traffic on the lower deck. Queen Victoria opened the bridge in 1849. Stephenson also designed the Royal Border Bridge over the Tweed for the same line. It was a viaduct of 28 arches and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1850. At last the railway ran all the way from London to Edinburgh.
In the same year, Stephenson and William Fairbairn's Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait was opened. This bridge had the novel design of wrought-iron box-section tubes to carry the railway line inside them, because a tubular design using wrought-iron gave the greatest strength and flexibility. The Conwy railway bridge between Llandudno Junction and Conwy was built in 1848 using a similar design. The Conway and Britannia bridges were such a success that Stephenson applied the design to other bridges, two in Egypt, and the 6,588 foot long Victoria Bridge over the St Lawrence River at Montreal in Canada. This was built as one long tube made up of 25 sections. The design was rarely used owing to the cost, and few now remain, the best preserved being the Conwy bridge, which is still used by trains. Other bridges include, Arnside Viaduct in Cumbria, and a joint road and rail bridge in 1850 over the River Nene, at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire.
One of Stephenson's few failures was his design of the Dee bridge, which collapsed under a train. Five people were killed. He was heavily criticised for the design, even before the collapse, particularly for the poor choice of materials, which included cast iron. In fact, he had used cast iron for bridge designs before, as had Brunel, but in this case he used longer 98 feet (30 m) girders than used previously, and their great length contributed to the failure. Stephenson had to give evidence at the inquest and this proved to be a harrowing experience. Fellow engineers such as Joseph Locke and Brunel who were called as witnesses at the inquiry, refused to criticise Stephenson, even though they rarely used cast iron themselves. A large number of similar bridges had to be demolished and rebuilt to safer designs.
Other aspects of his life
Robert Stephenson served as Conservative Member of Parliament for Whitby from 1847 until his death. Within the Tory party, he sat on right-wing, at that time hostile to free trade, and Stephenson appeared anxious to avoid change in almost any form. He was a commissioner of the short-lived London Metropolitan Commission of Sewers from 1848. He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, for two years from 1855.
Robert’s father George died in 1848 aged 67. Robert died on 12 October 1859 at his London home aged 55. Fellow engineer Brunel had died one month earlier on 15 September 1859. Robert was buried in Westminster Abbey next to Thomas Telford. Queen Victoria gave special permission for the cortege to pass through Hyde Park and 3,000 tickets were sold to spectators. In his eulogy, he was called ‘the greatest engineer of the present century’. In his will he left nearly £400,000.
Stephenson was god-father to Robert Baden-Powell, whose full name was Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the first two in honour of his godfather, the third his mother's maiden name.
Robert Stephenson played a key role in the creation of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. In his will £2000 was left to fund a permanent building as a home for the Institute of which he was a member.
Notes and references
- Robert and George both gave the month of Robert's birth variously as October, November or December.
- To reverse earlier locomotives the driver had to manipulate the valves manually in sequence; with no brakes on the locomotive and wooden brakes on the tender this was the only way of stopping. The was only one S&DR driver that could carry do this in the dark, the others required the firemen to hold up a light.
- Marc Seguin, engineer to the St Etienne and Lyon Railway, had the idea at about the same time. He built such a boiler that summer and fitted it to a locomotive, two months after the Rainhill Trials. There is no evidence of communication between two engineers.
- This increased to £2,000, to match the salary Isambard Kingdom Brunel was granted when he became engineer of the Great Western Railway.
- After gaining the contract for the Great Western Railway, Brunel borrowed copies of Robert's drawing and modelled his system of draughting on that used by Robert.
- Locomotives were used after July 1844 and the stationary engines were moved to a silver mine in Russia.
- Rolt 1984, p. 10.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 9–10.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 8–9.
- Rolt 1984, p. 11.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 13.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 11–12.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 15–17.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 18, 22–23.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 15–16.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 19–17, 29.
- Smiles 1868, pp. 165–166.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 30, 33–34.
- Rolt 1984, p. 17.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 35–36.
- Kirby, M.W. (2004). "Stephenson, Robert". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26400.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 42–44.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 46.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 8–9, 17.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 47–49.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 50.
- Allen 1974, pp. 15–16.
- Allen 1974, p. 17.
- Rolt 1984, p. 65.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 74.
- Rolt 1984, p. 69.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 53–54.
- Allen 1974, p. 20.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 79–80.
- Allen 1974, p. 19.
- Rolt 1984, p. 77.
- Tomlinson 1915, p. 83.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 90–92.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 60–61.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 85–86.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 80–81.
- Tomlinson 1915, pp. 86–87.
- Allen 1974, p. 24.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 101–102.
- Rolt 1984, p. 102.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 66–68.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 69, 72.
- Smiles 1868, pp. 301–302.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 74–75.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 95–96.
- Rolt 1984, p. 119-120.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 120–121.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 120–124.
- Smiles 1868, pp. 305, 307.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 124–126.
- Smiles 1868, pp. 108–109.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 126–127.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 112–113.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 114–115.
- Rolt 1984, p. 188.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 131, 148.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 148–149.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 130–131.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 132–134, 137.
- Smiles 1868, p. 353.
- Rolt 1984, p. 206.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 158–159.
- Rolt 1984, p. 160.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 162–165.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 135–136.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 126–128.
- Rolt 1984, p. 162.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 141–143.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 166–171.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 171–173.
- Rolt 1984, p. 176.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 180–184.
- Watkins, J. Elfreath (1891). Camden and Amboy Railroad: Origin and early History. Gedney & Roberts. pp. 3, 33–34.
- Rolt 1984, p. 187.
- Rolt 1984, p. 188–192.
- Rolt 1984, p. 196–199.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 103–105.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 211–212.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 205–206.
- Rolt 1984, p. 207.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 208–210.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 164.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 212–215.
- Rolt 1984, p. 215.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 166–167.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 165.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 169–172.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 166–167, 172.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 177–178.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 179–180, 185.
- Acts relating to the London and Birmingham Railway. George Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode. 1839. p. 1.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 223–224.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 188.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 186.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 185-187.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 188-192.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 213.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 193–203.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 206–208.
- Conder 1868, p. 32.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 206.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 232–234.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 235–236.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 245, 247.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 209.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, pp. 232–233, 243.
- Conder 1868, pp. 22–23.
- Rolt 1984, pp. 231–232.
- Jeaffreson & Pole 1864a, p. 237.
- Paulin Talabot, a biography par Baron Ernouf, 1886 (French)
- Instructions by the Federal Council (German)
- Stephenson's Report (German)
- Arnold T. Wilson, The Suez Canal, 1939
- Harding, J.T. (1986), "A History of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers", The Mining Engineer – Journal of the Institution of Mining Engineers 146: 252–6
- Allen, Cecil J. (1974) . The North Eastern Railway. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0495-1.
- Conder, F.R. (1868). Personal Recollections of English Engineers and of the Introduction of the Railway System in the United Kingdom. Hodder & Stoughton.
- Jeaffreson, J.C.; Pole, William (1864a). The Life of Robert Stephenson FRS Vol. 1. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green.
- Jeaffreson, J.C.; Pole, William (1864b). The Life of Robert Stephenson FRS Vol. 2. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green.
- Rolt, L.T.C. (1984). George and Robert Stephenson: The Railway Revolution. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-007646-8.
- Smiles, Samuel (1868). The Life of George Stephenson and of his son Robert Stephenson. Harper & Brothers.
- Tomlinson, William Weaver (1915). The North Eastern Railway: Its rise and development. Andrew Reid and Company. OCLC 504251788.
- Addeyman, John & Haworth, Victoria (2005) Robert Stephenson: Railway Engineer, North East Railway Association, Amadeus Press ISBN 1-873513-60-7
- Bailey, Michael R. (ed.) (2003) Robert Stephenson; The Eminent Engineer, Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, ISBN 0-7546-3679-8
- Dugan, Sally (2003) Men of Iron, London: Channel Four Books, ISBN 1-4050-3426-2
- Haworth, Victoria (2004) Robert Stephenson: The Making of a Prodigy, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Rocket Press, ISBN 0-9535162-1-0
- PR Lewis and C Gagg (2004), Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 45, 29.
- PR Lewis,(2008) Disaster on the Dee: Robert Stephenson's Nemesis of 1847, Tempus Publishing (2007) ISBN 978-0-7524-4266-2
- Robbins, Michael (1981) George and Robert Stephenson, London: Her majesty’s Stationery Office, ISBN 0-11-290342-8
- Rolt, L.T.C. (1960) George and Robert Stephenson: The Railway Revolution, London: Penguin, ISBN 0-14-007646-8
- Ross, David (2010). George and Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success. Stroud: History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-5277-7.
- Smith, Ken (2003) Stephenson Power: The Story of George and Robert Stephenson, Newcastle upon Tyne: Tyne Bridge Publishing, ISBN 1-85795-186-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Stephenson.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Robert Stephenson
- Robert Stephenson in Portuguese
- The Robert Stephenson Trust
- The Robert Stephenson Centre (with pictures)
- Robert Stephenson at school net
- Robert Stephenson information at Structurae
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Whitby
Harry Stephen Thompson
|Professional and academic associations|
|President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
|President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
December 1855 – December 1857