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Grave of William Symington
St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London
associated engineer
William Symington
date  22nd March 1831
era  Georgian  |  category  Grave of Engineer  |  reference  TQ335812
William Symington, engine-builder and pioneer of steam-propelled shipping, is buried in the graveyard of St Botolph's Church, Aldgate.
Largely eclipsed by the work of James Watt, Symington's achievement was not fully recognised until decades after his death. A plaque inside the church, unveiled in 1903 by the Mayor of London, reads, "To the memory of William Symington, Born October 1763. He constructed the Charlotte Dundas, the first steamboat fitted for practical use.
Dying in want, he was buried in the adjacent churchyard, March 22nd 1831." Later biographers suggest that "dying in want" may have been a somewhat melodramatic overstatement, but certainly Symington never saw great financial reward during his lifetime.
reference sources   LG/SJ
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Grave of William Symington