Record

Authorised form of nameBrunel; Sir; Marc Isambard (1769 - 1849); civil engineer
Dates1769 - 1849
NationalityFrench
Place of birthHacqueville, near Gisors, Normandy, France, Europe
Date of birth25 April 1769
Place of death1 Prospect Park, St James's Park, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death12 December 1849
Dates and placesBurial:
Kensal Green cemetery, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
OccupationCivil engineer
ActivityEducation:
Gisors (1777); St Nicaise seminary at Rouen (1780)
Career:
Received training in hydrography and draughtmanship from Franois Carpentier; volunteered for journey to West Indies on 'Le Marchal 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)
Honours:
French Lgion d'honneur (1829)
Kt (24 March 1841)
Memberships:
Member of the Institutions of Civil Engineers (1823); Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm (1828); Foreign Horonary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1834); Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society Edinburgh (1845)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election24/03/1814
Age at election44
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Sworn into Council 1 December 1832 ; VP 1832-1834
Committee and panels:
Report of the Hydrometer Committee (1832)
RelationshipsParents: Jean Charles Brunel and Marie Victoire Lefèvre
Married: Sophie Kingdom
Children: Sophia Kingdom Brunel; Emma Kingdom; Isambard Kingdom Brunel (FRS 1830)
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. Throughout his life, Brunel struggled with his finances and after a financially unsuccessful venture into other industries, he remained within civil engineering. He and his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, continuously collaborated throughout their professional lives, although his son is frequently considered the more well-known and successful one of the pair in his contributions to engineering.
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Image

Brunel M I, IM000624.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; ODNB
References:
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 Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/134149196547674792547
Royal Society codeNA7956
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/13/89Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
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
AP/18/5fUnpublished letter, regarding the recovery of treasure from the wreck of HMS Thetis from M I [Marc Isambard] Brunel to J G [John George] Children15 May 1834
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
IM/000624Brunel, Marc Isambardnd
M/031Brunel, Marc Isambard Thames Tunnel medal
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
AP/18/5aUnpublished letter, regarding the recovery of treasure from the wreck of HMS Thetis from M I [Marc Isambard] Brunel to J G [John George] Children20 March 1834
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
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
MC/2Volume 2 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1832-1838
MC/2/53Letter from Marc Isambard Brunel to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society21 October 1832
AP/13/20/1Unpublished letter, relating to Parrot's method for repairing a hole in a tunnel from Mc I [Marc Isambard] Brunel to Dr [William Hyde] Wollaston16 June 1828
AP/13/20/2Unpublished manuscript, 'Observations on the plan proposed by Mr Parrot of St Petersbourg [Petersburg] for mending the hole over the tunnel, securing the works against future irruption [upsurges] and in case of any irruption [upsurge], for saving the men' by Mc I [Marc Isambard] Brunel16 June 1828
AP/13/20Unpublished paper and letter, 'Observations on the plan proposed by Mr Parrot of St Petersbourg [Petersburg] for mending the hole over the tunnel, securing the works against future irruption [upsurges] and in case of any irruption [upsurge], for saving the men' by Mc I [Marc Isambard] Brunel16 June 1828
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