Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Dyce Cay
Designation: Engineer
Born: 1838
Died: 1925
Bio Notes: William Dyce Cay FRSE, MICE, was born in 1838. His father, Robert Dundas Cay an Edinburgh lawyer was a descendent of Robert Cay, (1649-1754), of North Charlton Hall, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne while his mother, Isabella Dyce, was the youngest sister of the painter William Dyce. In 1844 Robert Dundas Cay was appointed registrar to the Supreme Court of the colony of Hong Kong. Eight years later Isabella was involved in a carriage accident and died as a result of her injuries on 21 June 1852. She was buried at Wong-We-Chung, Happy Valley Cemetery, Victoria in Hong Kong. In addition, the scientist James Clerk Maxwell was his cousin, Robert’s sister Frances having married John Clerk Maxwell. The two men remained close, William Dyce Cay acting as best man at Maxwell’s marriage.

William Dyce Cay studied at Edinburgh University where he won the Straiton Gold Medal, the highest mathematical prize, in 1856. Between 1856 and 1858 he served his pupilage in engineering in Belfast with Lord Kelvin's brother, James Thomson, whose ingenuity James Clerk Maxwell has once described as "quite equal to that of his brother." In 1872 he was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and in 1882 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. For many years was the resident engineer at Aberdeen Harbour and he made numerous contributions to professional engineering journals on harbour construction.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this engineer:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 272, Waterloo Quay , Aberdeen, Scotland    
Item 2 of 2 Blackford Road, Edinburgh, Scotland 1890  

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this engineer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1B & E Blyth1861 AssistantWorking on the Castle Douglas to Portpatrick Railway

Buildings and Designs

This engineer was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 51861Glenlair BridgeCorsock Dumfries-shireScotland 
Item 2 of 51869Torry HarbourTorry AberdeenScotlandSouth Breakwater and lighthouse
Item 3 of 51873Cluny HarbourBuckie BanffshireScotlandOriginal section to west
Item 4 of 51874Aberdeen Harbour, North Pier  AberdeenScotlandConcrete extension
Item 5 of 51881Lerwick Harbour Extensions LerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this engineer:
Item 1 of 1Sharples, J, Walker, D W and Woodworth, M2015The Buildings of Scotland: Aberdeenshire South and Aberdeen London and New Haven: Yale University Pressp797