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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
A celebrated engineer, born, the son of a shepherd, in Westerkirk parish, Eskdale; served an apprenticeship to a stone-mason, and after a sojourn in Edinburgh found employment in London in 1782; as surveyor of public works for Shropshire in 1787 constructed bridges over the Severn, and planned and superintended the Ellesmere Canal connecting the Dee, Mersey, and Severn; his reputation now made, he was in constant demand by Government, and was entrusted with the construction of the Caledonian Canal, the great road between London and Holyhead (including the Menai Suspension Bridge), and St. Katherine Docks, London; but his bridges, canals, harbours, and roads are to be found in all parts of the kingdom, and bear the stamp of his thorough and enduring workmanship; "the Colossus of Roads," Southey called him (1757-1834).
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Telford, Thomas'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/t/telford-thomas.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.