- Born: - Died: 1874
County surveyor for the eastern division of Co. Tyrone, 1847-1860, and for Co. Derry, 1860-1874. Richard Williamson, who was
a pupil of JACOB OWEN , was appointed county surveyor for the eastern division of Co. Tyrone in December 1847. He is mentioned in the Dublin Builderin October 1859 as having chaired the annual meeting of county surveyors which had taken place the previous month.(1) In July 1860, following the death of STEWART GORDON , he was promoted to the county surveyorship of Co. Derry.(2) His departure from Dungannon was marked by the presentation of a testimonial and a service of plate which 'cost £150, and was consequently exceedingly handsome'.(3) He remained in the Derry surveyorship until his death, when he was succeeded in by ARTHUR C. ADAIR. (4)
Within a year of his arrival in Derry, Williamson was taken into partnership by THOMAS TURNER , who had opened an office in Glasgow. Shortly afterwards the partnership arrangements were extended to include THOMAS DREW in Belfast. Drew's participation came to an end in 1862, when he moved to Dublin, but the partnership of TURNER & WILLIAMSON appears to have survived for some time. Somewhat surprisingly in 1869, when he was defending himself against the accusation that he did not devote enough of his time to his duties as county surveyor, Williamson stated that he was not an architect and that although he was in partnership with 'A. Williamson', he devoted no time to architecture.(5) Like his predecessor, Stewart Gordon, he was also surveyor to the Irish Society in Co. Derry. His pupils and assistants included THOMAS W. LAMON .
In April 1874 Williamson travelled to London to give evidence to the House of Lords on the Londonderry Port and Harbour Bill. On landing from the Irish packet at Fleetwood, Lancashire, he was thoroughly drenched, which caused him to fall ill with acute bronchitis. He died at the Victoria Hotel, Euston Square, London, on 27 April.
Address: Court House, Bishop Street, Derry, <=1868->=1873.(6)
Home: Bayview Terrace, Derry, 1871.(7)
See WORKS; see also works of TURNER & WILLIAMSON.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 326-327, which gives the fullest account of Williamson's career.
(1) DB 1, 1 Oct 1859, 123.
(2) DB 2, 1 Sep 1860, 328; B 18, 1 Sep 1860, 558-9.
(3) DB 3, 15 Jan 1861, 406.
(4) IB 16, 1 Jun 1874, 161.
(5) Londonderry Standard, 10 Mar 1869 (B.O'D.). 'A. Williamson' does not appear in the Derry Almanac.
(6) Derry Almanac, 1868-1873.
(7) Derry Almanac(1871), 116.
3 work entries listed in chronological order for WILLIAMSON, RICHARD
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|Building:||CO. DERRY, KILLEA, BURIAL GROUND, SUPERINTENDENT'S HOUSE|
|Nature:||Gothic with bell-cote.|
|Refs:||James Stevens Curl, The Londonderry Plantation, 1609-1914 (1986), 414,Pl..359|
|Building:||CO. DERRY, CULMORE, IRISH SOCIETY'S SCHOOLS|
|Nature:||New schools, for Irish Society. Stonecutter: Hazlett, Derry.|
|Refs:||IB 33, 15 Oct 1891, 230 (Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 403, gives schools to Thomas Turner, but James Stevens Curl, The Londonderry Plantation, 1609-1914 (1986), 414, gives them unequivocally to RW)|
|Building:||CO. DERRY, BALLOUGHRY, SCHOOL|
|Nature:||'picturesque single-storey school…with projecting paired gabled ends in the manner of Thomas Turner' (Rowan) but actually by RW.|
|Refs:||Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 404; James Stevens Curl, The Londonderry Plantation, 1609-1914 (1986), 414,Pl.358|