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About James Trubshaw

James Trubshaw (13 February 1777 – 28 October 1853)

English builder, architect and civil engineer. His civil engineering works include the construction of the Grosvenor Bridge in Chester, Cheshire, then the longest stone span. He also pioneered the technique of under-excavation with the straightening the leaning tower of St Chad's in Wybunbury, Cheshire.

He was born to stonemason, builder and engineering contractor, James Trubshaw and his second wife Elizabeth (née Webb), at the Mount near Colwich in Staffordshire, the second son in a family of seven sons and two daughters.

He was educated in Rugeley, but left school aged only eleven to start work in his father's business. His earliest experience included working on buildings such as Sandon Hall, Fonthill Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. In 1795, he worked on Wolseley Bridge near Colwich, and many of his early projects were bridges.

When his father died in 1808 Trubshaw started a building business in Stone; an early commission was to build Ashcombe Hall. He worked for a time in partnership with the Lichfield architect Thomas Johnson (1794–1865), who married his eldest daughter. In 1827, Trubshaw became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and presented several papers there. He later became the chief engineer of the Trent and Mersey Canal Company, and superintended the construction of reservoirs, feeders and railways for the company.

Although he received only a limited education, he was a gifted practical engineer. His obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine described him as a man "of original genius, of great natural talent, and persevering energy ... gifted with an instinctive perception of all great mechanical principles, uniformly guided by excellent common sense."

He married Mary Bott of Stone in 1801; they had three sons and three daughters. Their eldest son, Thomas Trubshaw (1802–42), also became an architect; their eldest daughter married the architect Thomas Johnson, and their daughter Susanna was a poet and essayist.

The family settled in Little Haywood near Colwich in Staffordshire in 1809, and Trubshaw remained there until his death in 1853. He is buried at Colwich, where the parish church contains a memorial to him.

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James Trubshaw's Timeline

February 13, 1777
The Mount, nr Colwich, Staffordshire, England UK
April 4, 1802
May 4, 1803
September 8, 1804
Stone, Stafford
Stone, Stafford
Colwich, Stafford
October 28, 1853
Age 76
Little Haywood, Colwich, Staffordshire
Colwich, 4/11/1853