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Robert Stevenson

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Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850) was born in Glasgow, son of a West Indies merchant. His mother later married Thomas Smith (1752 - 1815), first Engineer to the Northern Lighthouses Board (NLB), after she was widowed.

Stevenson education was completed at Anderson's College and the University of Glasgow, and he went on to succeed his step-father as engineer to the NLB in 1797. He was to hold this post for a total of 47 years, during which time he was responsible for designing 18 of Scotland's lighthouses.

Robert Stevenson's work was carried on by a further 8 members of his family, together responsible for the construction of 97 lighthouses around Scotland between 1790 and 1940, resulting in their description as the Lighthouse Stevensons.

He was also the grandfather of author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94). Although he had intended to be part of the Lighthouse Stevensons dynasty, R L Stevenson transferred from engineering to law at Edinburgh University. He became and advocate in 1875, but persistent ill-health led him to leave Scotland in search of warmer climates, and the opportunity to develop his writing.

Robert Stevenson's lighthouses

Bell Rock (1811)
Toward Point (1812)
Southerness Point (1812)
Isle of May (1816)
Corsewall Point (1817)
Point of Ayre (1818)
Calf of Man (1818)
Sumburgh Head (1821)
Rhinns of Islay (1825)
Buchan Ness (1827)
Cape Wrath (1828)
Tarbat Ness (1830)
Mull of Galloway (1830)
Dunnet Head (1831)
Douglas Head (1832)
Girdle Ness (1833)
Barra Head (1833)
Lismore (1833)

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