Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for the southern division of Co. Kerry, 1889-1891, and for Co. Wexford, 1891-1909. Henry Webster, son of John Webster, brick and slate merchant of 8 Longford Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, was born in Monkstown on 10 October 1862.(1) He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in November 1879, graduating BA with a Senior Moderatorship and Gold Medal in Experimental Science in 1883 and obtaining the BAI degree in 1885. He then entered the service of the Board of Public Works under ROBERT MANNING ROBERT MANNING , remaining for over four years, first as a draughtsman and then as superintendent of harbour works in the west and south of Ireland. Having successfully sat the competitive county surveyorship examination, he was appointed county surveyor for South Kerry in October 1889 and in July 1891 was promoted to the county surveyorship of Co. Wexford. He was one of the three-man commission - the other members being SAMUEL USSHER ROBERTS  SAMUEL USSHER ROBERTS and PETER BURTCHAELL -  PETER BURTCHAELL - appointed in May 1894 by the Lord Lieutenant to report on the purchase and improvement of Mountcarrot Toll Bridge, linking Cos. Kilkenny and Wexford.

In June 1901 Wexford County Council called for Webster's dismissal, alleging that he had misled them about the condition of the county's bridges at the Deeps, Ferrycarrig and Wexford and had greatly underestimated the amount of money needed to repair them.(2) He survived this crisis but eventually resigned in June 1909. The optimism he expressed at the time about his ability to find a better job elsewhere(3) proved to have been justified: by September 1909 he was living in Vancouver and by November of the following year he held the post of provincial surveyor for British Columbia.(4) He appears to have remained in British Columbia for the rest of his life. He died in Victoria, British columbia, on 11 March 1940.(5)  He had married Lucie Margaret, daughter of Luke White, of Chandos, Co. Longford, in 1891.

Inst.CE: elected associate member, 6 December 1892; transferred to member, 27 November 1894.
RSAI: elected member, 1896.(6)

Addresses: Belvedere House, Wexford, 1896;(7) Ounavara, Gorey, 1900;(8) 1134 Comox Street, Vancouver, 1909; 103 Lightheart Block, Seymour Street, Vancouver, 1911; 1010 McClure Street, Vancouver (or Victoria?), 1913; 642 Simcoe Street, Victoria, 1914; 442 Superior Street, Victoria, 1914; 38 Dallas Avenue, Victoria, 1922.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Insitution of Civil Engineers, kindly supplied by the Archivist, Mrs Carol Morgan and from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 322-324, which see for a fuller account of Webster's professional career; a portrait photograph appears as illustration no. 74.

(1) Thom's Directory (1863), 1472.
(2) IB 43, 20 Jun 1901, ?.
(3) The People, 20 Feb 1909 (B.O'D.)
(4) IB 52, 12 Nov 1910, 686.
(5) Irish Times, 16 Mar 1940 (information from brendan O'Donoghue, 2016).
(6) JRSAI 26 (1896), 265.
(7) See note 5, above.
(8) JRSAI 30 (1900), list of members.