Stonemason, architect and civil engineer. Born Eskdale, Dumfriesshire. Aged 12 left school to work for a local stonemason. Aged 25 rode on horseback to London. Built roads, bridges and canals. Never married and spent his live travelling from one project to another. An early nick-name was "Laughing Tam"; his admirer Robert Southey called him "Colossus of Roads". Telford New Town is named after him. Died at home at 24 Abingdon Street. The first engineer to be buried in Westminster Abbey.