Authorised form of nameDonkin; Bryan (1768 - 1855)
Dates1768 - 1855
Place of birthFountain Hall, Sandoe, Northumberland, England
Date of birth22 March 1768
Place of death6 The Paragon, New Kent Road, London
Date of death27 February 1855
OccupationCivil engineer
Research fieldAstronomy
Assistant working on the estate of the Duke of Dorset, Knole Park, Sevenoaks; apprenticed, at the recommendation of John Smeaton (FRS 1753) to John Hall, Dartford (1775); involved in developing an improved machine for paper-making (1802); in charge of a works for producing such machinery, Spa Road, Bermondsey (1803); patented various inventions, including a steel pen; involved in founding the Institution of Civil Engineers (1818); Member, Committee of the Thames Tunnel Company (1824); built an observatory at his house, New Kent Road; retired (1846); his machines won a Gold Medal at the Great Exhibition (1851)
FRAS; MICE; FRSA (1803); Phrenological Society of Edinburgh
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election18/01/1838
RelationshipsSon of John Donkin of Sandoe; married (1798) Mary Brame, daughter of Peter Brame, nurseryman
Bulloch's Roll; DNB
Proc Roy Soc 1854-1855 vol 7 pp 586-589
Transactions of the Newcomen Society, vol 27 (1949-1951)
A brief account of Bryan Donkin, FRS and of the company he founded 150 years ago - The Bryan Donkin Company Limited, Chesterfield (The Bryan Donkin Company Limited, 1953)
RH Clapperton, The Paper-making machine: its invention, evolution and development (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1967), pp 305-330
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA7570
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
DM/4/144Letter from Bryan Donkin to James Hudson, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society21 February 1831
DM/4/142Copy of report from M I Brunel, Bryan Donkin and Field to Viscount Althrop15 February 1831
IM/005723Donkin, Bryan1829
NLB/6/892Copy letter from Theodore E James, to B Donkin11 August 1892
NLB/10/920Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Mrs Bedford, 17 Ladbroke Terrace, W. 8 March 1895
NLB/10/776Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Bryan Donkin4 February 1895
NLB/10/885Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Bryan Donkin care of Messrs Donkin & Company, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, S.E.26 February 1895
NLB/10/868Copy letter from Dr Michael Foster, to Bryan Donkin, care of Messrs B Donkin & Company, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, S.E.23 February 1895
EC/1838/01Donkin, Bryan: certificate of election to the Royal Society
NLB/10/778Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Dr Michael Foster, Secretary, Royal Society4 February 1895
MC/16/176Letter from Bryan Donkin, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, to the Secretary of the Royal Society, Burlington House, Piccadily30 January 1895
MC/16Volume 16 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1893-1896
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