General William Twiss, (1745 –
14 March 1827), was a British Army Royal Engineer, responsible for the design of many military defenses.
Probably born in
Kentin 1744 or 1755, Twiss worked in the ordnance office at the Tower of Londonfrom 1760, before becoming overseer of works at Gibraltar. Receiving a commision in the army in 1763. Returning to England, he commenced work on the defences at Portsmouth Dockyard, before accompanying General Sir John Burgoyne's army to Canadain 1776, where he was responsible for a number of defensive programmes. He returned to England in 1783. Over the following years, Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello Towersalong the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss also accompanied the army on expeditions to the Netherlands, the Channel Islandsand Ireland. Twiss was made Major Generalin 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.Alastair W. Massie, ‘Twiss, William (1744/5–1827)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27920, accessed 28 May 2008] ]
Twiss's engineering projects include:
Coteau-du-Lac canal, Canada
Royal Military Canal, running from Hythe to Rye
*English South Coast Defenses especially the
Martello Towers, Dover Castleand the Western Heights complex in Dover, and the Shorncliffe Redoubt.
* Early 19th Century Irish defenses including
Bere Island, Bantry Bayand Cork Harbour
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=3179 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
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