Thomas Telford

1757 (Westerkirk, Scotland) – 1834 (London)

Telford fancied himself as a poet, and left money to his friend Southey, who had dubbed him “the Colossus of Roads.” Telford’s fellow-Scot Adam helped him get an early job in London. He met the penal reformer Howard when renovating a prison. Brewster became a friend — Telford wrote engineering articles for his Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. He worked with Watt on the Glasgow water-supply, and consulted with Stephenson about the Liverpool–Manchester railway. Wilkinson was one of his supporters, and MacNeill his assistant. A classic workaholic, he himself said that he did not make many friends.