Alan Stevenson

Alan Stevenson

Born(1807-04-28)28 April 1807
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died23 December 1865(1865-12-23) (aged 58)
EducationRoyal High School, Edinburgh
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
OccupationLighthouse engineer
EmployerNorthern Lighthouse Board
Known forlighthouse design
Skerryvore Lighthouse
Spouse(s)Margaret Scott Jones (1813–1895)
ChildrenRobert Alan Mowbray Stevenson
Jean Margaret Alan Stevenson
Dorothea Francis Alan Stevenson
Katharine Elizabeth Alan Stevenson
Parent(s)Robert Stevenson (father)
Jean Smith (mother)
RelativesDavid Stevenson (brother)
Thomas Stevenson (brother)
Robert Louis Stevenson (nephew)
Skerryvore Lighthouse
Alan Stevenson's grave, New Calton Cemetery

Alan Stevenson FRSE LLD MInstCE (28 April 1807 – 23 December 1865) was a Scottish civil engineer, known for designing and building lighthouses in and around Scotland.[1]


Stevenson was born in Edinburgh on 28 April 1807 the eldest son Jean Smith and her husband and step-brother Robert Stevenson.[2] He was a member of the Stevenson family of engineers, eldest son of Robert Stevenson, and brother of David and Thomas Stevenson. The writer Robert Louis Stevenson was his nephew.

He was educated at the High School in Edinburgh. In 1821, he attended the University of Edinburgh to study Latin, Greek and mathematics with a view to becoming a member of the clergy. However, 2 years later in 1823, he decided to pursue a career in engineering and began a four-year apprenticeship at his father's business. He continued to study part-time at the University and graduated with an MA in 1926.[1]

Between 1843 and 1853 he built 13 lighthouses in and around Scotland. Among his notable works is the Skerryvore Lighthouse.[3]

He was Engineer in Chief to the Northern Lighthouse Board from 1843 to 1853.[4]

In 1838 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposer being James David Forbes. In 1840 the University of Glasgow conferred on him an honorary LLB degree.

He died at 13 Pitt Street[5] (later renamed Pittville St)[6] in Portobello on 23 December 1865.

He is buried in the Stevenson family vault in New Calton Cemetery with his wife, Margaret Scott Jones. The vault lies midway along the eastern wall.


  • Biographical Sketches of the Late Robert Stevenson (1861)[7]


On 11 September 1844, he married Margaret Scott Jones (1813–1895), daughter of Jean (née Scott) and Humphrey Herbert Jones of Anglesey.[1] They had three daughters, Jean, Dorothea and the author and journalist Katherine Elizabeth de Mattos Stevenson (1851–1939), and one son, art critic Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1827–1880).[1][8]

He was uncle to Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Alexander Stevenson and David Alan Stevenson.[citation needed]

Lighthouses by Alan Stevenson


Family Tree

Alan's position in the Stevenson family tree.


  1. ^ a b c d Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, B., eds. (23 September 2004), "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26427, retrieved 5 May 2019
  2. ^
  3. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  5. ^ Portobello Post Office Directory 1865
  6. ^ NLS 1893 map of Portobello
  7. ^
  8. ^ Inscription on grave of Alan Stevenson, New Calton Cemetery

This page was last updated at 2019-11-08 18:26 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari