Edward Fenwick Boyd was the third son of William Boyd, a banker from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Born on the 30th August 1810, he attended Witton Grammar School (Witton le Wear) between 1821 and 1826 and showed a talent for drawing.
After leaving school in 1826 Boyd served ‘time’ with Mr Thomas Crawford, the manager of Lord Durham’s collieries, till 1830. Between 1830 and 1831 Boyd attended Edinburgh University. In 1832 he became an underviewer at Hetton Colliery. After five years he moved on to becone a viewer at Urpeth Colliery. At this time he also became a Mineral Agent to Dean and Chapter of Durham and kept this position until his death in 1889. This gave him great experience of the Durham coal fields. Boyd was also the manager of Wylam Colliery, on behalf of the Blackett family.
Between 1837 and 1857 Boyd lived in Urpeth House, which he shared with his wife Ann Anderson when they married in 1841.
Boyd helped in foundation of North of England Institute of Mining Engineers in 1852. Following the pit disasters at Haswell in 1844 and Seaton in 1852, he aided with liasons between mining engineers and pit managements in the area. From 1852 to 1869 Boyd was the Treasurer of Institute. In 1857 there was a financial crisis and the Institute lost savings in the collapse of District Bank. In 1858 Boyd became Chief Mining Engineer to Consett Iron Company and superintended workings of its collieries until 1872. After this he acted as a consulting engineer until 1887. Boyd became President in 1869 and remained in this position until 1872.
Two major events happened during Boyd’s period of office – the foundation and affiliation with Durham University of the College of Physical Science in 1871 and the opening of the Nicholas Wood Memorial Hall in 1872. The foundation of the College of Physical Science had been a project of longstanding at Institute. By 1870 there was a local need for well-trained men with more scientific training. On the 10th of June 1871 the constitution of College was passed. Boyd attended many council meetings for the College and had a great interest in its welfare. Opinions on the aims and aspirations of colleges were published in the Newcastle Daily Chronicle and the Newcastle Daily Journal. At the opening of the Nicholas Wood Memorial Hall, Boyd (as President) gave the opening address which can be found in the Institute’s Transactions (Vol XXI, p223).
From 1875 onwards Boyd was a local magistrate. He died on the 31st of August 1889.
Transactions Vol XVIII, p 153
Transactions Vol XIX, p41, ‘Inaugural Address as President’
Transactions Vol XXI, p 223 ‘Presidential Address at opening of Nicholas Wood Memorial Hall’
Transactions Vol XXV, p145 ‘Remarks on the Coal Measures and Oil Produce of the United States of America’
Boyd, E. F. (1861) A paper on a part of the carboniferous or mountain limestone series of north Northumberland. North of England Institute of Mining Engineers. Andrew Reid: Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Newcastle Daily Chronicle, October 13th 1885
Newcastle Daily Journal, June/July 1887
Information taken from:
Transactions: Federated Institution of Mining Engineers, Vol II, p204, ‘Memoir of Edward Fenwick Boyd’ By His Son, Hugh Fenwick Boyd
See also the article in Wikipedia