Authorised form of nameBrunel; Sir; Marc Isambard (1769 - 1849); civil engineer
ForenamesMarc Isambard
Dates1769 - 1849
Dates and placesBirth:
Hacqueville, near Gisors, Normandy, France, Europe (25 April 1769)
1 Prospect Park, St James's Park, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe (12 December 1849)
Kensal Green cemetery, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Civil engineer
Gisors (1777)
St Nicaise seminary at Rouen (1780)
Received training in hydrography and draughtmanship from François Carpentier; Volunteered for journey to West Indies on 'Le Maréchal de Castries' (1786-1792); Fled France to New York and became a civil engineer (1793); Appointed chief engineer of New York (1795); Moved to England (1799); Patented various machines he had invented, including one for making ships' blocks; Erected sawmills at Battersea and Woolwich; Cast into prison for debt; Built the Thames Tunnel (1825-1842)
French Légion d'honneur (1829)
Kt (24 March 1841)
FRSE; Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm; Institutions of Civil Engineers (1823)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
Proposers: John Lewis Guillemard; Thomas Murdoch; John Barrow; George Spencer; Thomas Hoblyn; Gilbert Blane; Thomas Young; Glocester Wilson
Sworn into Council: 1 December 1832
VP 1832-1834
Committee appointments include: Report of the Hydrometer Committee (1832)
RelationshipsWife: Sophie Kingdom (married 1 November 1799)
Children: Sophia Kingdom Brunel, Emma Kingdom; Isambard Kingdom Brunel (FRS 1830)
Parents: Jean Charles Brunel and Marie Victoire Lefèvre
General contextDue to his royalist stance, which many people from Normandy shared, he had to flee France during the Reign of Terror. His later-wife, Sophie Kingdom, was imprisoned during this time as an English spy and was spared a death sentence through the fall of Robespierre in 1794.
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; ODNB
Sir Alan Muir Wood, 'Self-Confident Engineer', review of Adrian Vaughan, Isambard Kingdom Brunel: Engineering Knight Errant in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 323-325
F C Moon, 'Robert Willis and Franz Reuleaux: pioneers in the theory of machines' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 209-230
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA7956
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
AP/18/5fLetter from M I Brunel to J G Children18 May 1834
MM/13/89Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
AP/18/5aLetter from M I Brunel to J G Children20 March 1834
DM/4/142Copy of report from M I Brunel, Bryan Donkin and Field to Viscount Althrop15 February 1831
DM/4/147Letter from M I Brunel to Henry Warburton28 February 1831
RR/1/255Referee's report by Marc Isambard Brunel, on a paper 'On the resistance of fluids to bodies through water' by Walker15 July 1833
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
IM/000624Brunel, Marc Isambardnd
M/031Brunel, Marc Isambard Thames Tunnel medal
AP/13/20Observations on the plan proposed by Mr Parrot of St Petersburg16 June 1828
MM/13/84Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee11 December 1832
MM/13/85Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 20 December 1832
IM/005309Brunel, Marc Isambard2001
MM/13/90Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
CMP/1/1Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society1 December 1832
MM/13/88Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 29 January 1833
MM/13/87Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 22 January 1833
MM/13/86Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 15 January 1833
EC/1813/16Brunel, Sir Marc Isambard: certificate of election to the Royal Society
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