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Born: ~1777
Died: 1856 09 26


Was civil engineer, waterworks engineer for Londonderry, Ireland from 1807 until 1812. Chisholm's name appears on drawings for a 'Commercial Hall, Cape Town' which are dated 1790 and now to be found in the Manuscripts Department of the British Museum, London among papers presented to the museum by A Gunther. Chisholm arrived in the Cape in 1812 11 21, being selected by John Rennie, with subordinate staff and equipment to improve the primitive and inadequate water supply there, where he was appointed Inspector of Waterworks. He erected thirty-six cast-iron fountains, the one in Prince Street a National Monument (now Provincial Heritage Resource). He held the position of Government Architect, having decided to remain at the Cape after his five year contract expired, in which capacity he prepared a design for the Commercial Exchange building on the Heerengracht, built to his design modified by the contractors, Durham & Warren. He was a partner of Twentyman & Co a firm of general merchants and silversmiths and served as master mason as member of the Freemasons. By 1834 he was gazetted as a sworn surveyor. As trustee of St George's Church he prepared plans and cost estimates. He was twice married, his first wife Mary Anne, presumably of Londonderry, dying in 1824. In 1825 he married Mary Tait, widow of Alexander Gray. He had two children, John and Eliza (prsumably by his first marriage). He died in the Cape.

(Afr N & N X:22; Lewcock 1963)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing CHISHOLM

HSRC. 1987. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 122-123

Lewcock, Ronald. 1963. Early Nineteenth Century Architecture in South Africa : a study of the interaction of two cultures, 1795-1837. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 77, 84, 109, 354, 443