(Sir) Edward Leader Williams

Civil Engineer

Sir Edward Leader Williams, M.I.C.E. (1828-1910) was appointed Chief Engineer for the projected Manchester Ship Canal in 1882 and was responsible for its design and construction. He had previously been Engineer to the Mersey and Irwell Navigation, the Bridgewater Canal and the Weaver Navigation Trustees. He designed the hydraulic lift at Anderton (1856), which linked the Weaver Navigation with the Trent & Mersey Canal. He was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894 upon the official opening of the Ship Canal.

KNIGHTHOOD FOR AN ENGINEER—Mr. Leader Williams, engineer of the Manchester Ship Canal, has received a communication from Lord Rosebery offering him a knighthood in commemoration of his labours in connection with that undertaking. Mr. Williams is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He is the eldest son of the late engineer of the Severn Navigation, and received on those works his early professional training, 1844-1850. He was then engaged as a resident engineer in the construction of the Great Northern Railway. Mr. Williams was appointed in 1856 engineer to the Weaver Trust. Before completing his work on the Weaver Mr. Williams received the appointment of engineer to the Bridgewater Navigation Company, and the enlargement of the Runcorn Docks was carried out under his direction. On September 26, 1882, his plans for the Ship Canal to Manchester were unanimously adopted by the provisional committee. [Builder 23 June 1894]

See also William Henry Hunter.