Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer. John Frederick Evelyn Barnes, a son of FREDERICK PIERS BARNES FREDERICK PIERS BARNES , was born in Inistiogue, Co. Kilkenny, on 21 January 1851. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, and was apprenticed for five years to his father, who was town surveyor of Blackrock, Co. Dublin. After completing his articles in 1872, he spent a year as an assistant in the office of ALEXANDER TATE ALEXANDER TATE , county surveyor of Antrim. He then took up the position of engineer and surveyor to the estates of the Duke of Abercorn in Cos. Tyrone and Donegal. In 1874 he was also appointed town surveyor of Strabane, Co. Tyrone. He resigned the latter post in October 1875, when WILLIAM MCCULLOUGH  WILLIAM MCCULLOUGH was appointed in his place. The Town Commissioners passed a resolution which noted that Barnes had resigned 'through circumstances which he could not control' but that they had 'every respect for, and confidence in, his professional abilities, and ever found him energetic in the discharge of his duties, and courteous and unobtrusive in his general demeanour'.(1) Whatever the circumstances of his resignation may have been, the following month he was appointed joint engineer with FRANCIS A. DOYLE  FRANCIS A. DOYLE for the new water supply to the town.(2)

In August 1880, having passed the necessary examination, Barnes was admitted a government land surveyor in the British colony of Natal. He spent the rest of his life in Natal. In 1882 he became borough engineer of Durban and in 1887 assistant colonial engineer. When the latter post was abolished, he was appointed to the new post of chief engineer, Public Works Department, which he held until his retirement in 1910. He was created a Companion of St Michael and St George in 1901. He died in Pietermaritzburg on 24 June 1924. .(3) He had married Mary Sanbach, daughter of Edwin Edward Graves in 1879 shortly before leaving Ireland.

Inst.CE: elected associate member, 6 April 1886; transferred to member, 5 November 1889.(4)
ICEI: elected associate, 1876; transferred to member, 1 March 1879.

Addresses: Strabane, <1876->=1879; 45 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, <=1912(5)->=1914.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from ICEI membership applications, II, 40, InstCE candidates' circulars (data kindly provided by Mrs Carol Morgan, archivist, InstCE),  Who was Who 1916-1928, 43, and www.sahra.org.za.

(1) B 33, 23 Oct 1875, 961.
(2) IB 17, 15 Nov 1875, ? .
(3) TICEI 52 (1925-6), 201.
(4) Charter…and list of members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (1912), 72.
(5) See note 4, above.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for BARNES, JOHN FREDERICK EVELYN

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Date: ?
Nature: Designed and carried out by JFEB.
Refs: Candidate's circular for admission as associate member of Inst.CE, 1886.