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Kemp, William, 1788-1864 (engineer, businessman and amateur geologist)



Kemp was born at Melrose (1790) where his father was the proprietor of the Bleachfield, arriving in Galahsiels in 1821 where he set up business as a turner and cooper, erecting the first wooden foot-bridge across the Gala at Langaugh Ford, making caulds at Buckholmside, Jedburth and Innerleithe and erecting the first condenser in Scotland in Huddersfield Mill from models and sketches by Thomas Roberts in America. Between 1834 and 1860, Kemp managed the Galashiels Gas Company. Geology was his main interest and Kemp was a regular contributor to Chambers' Journal, elected a corresponding member of the Glasgow Geological Society and lecturing to the Mechanics Institute. As an antiquary he was honorary curator of the local museum. Kemp was an ardent admirer of Robert Burns and enthusiastic 'curler' for which he fitted up a wooden rink behind his house smeared with black soap to play all year round.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


William Kemp: letters to him, including letters from Charles Darwin and Robert Chambers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10252
Dates: 1840-1861
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