Skip to content

RICS 150

2 MAY 2018

Edward Ryde: South Eastern Railway

Edward Ryde was one of the most eminent British surveyors of the 19th century and one of The Institution’s early Presidents.

Edward moved to London in 1846 where he worked at several firms before being appointed surveyor to the South Eastern Railway Company in 1855, a post which he held throughout the rest of his life.

Along with the secretary of the company, Edward was responsible for laying and surveying the new lines of the railway. One of the major projects which he worked on was the extension of the railway from London Bridge to Cannon Street and Charing Cross, a route which involves crossing the Thames in two places.

As such, the South Eastern Railway project involved building a new bridge over the Thames and new city terminuses at Cannon Street and Charing Cross.

It was during this time that Edward developed the Ryde scale for calculating the fees due to surveyors for compulsory purchase. The scale, which was the basis of surveyor’s fees for nearly 150 years, was based on a specific percentage of the level of compensation or the value of the claim. It was only replaced in 2002 when fees started becoming agreed by both parties.

In 1854 Edward published a comprehensive encyclopaedia on all aspects of land, property and building, a text that was a point of reference for many surveyors and other property professionals. In 1878 Edward went with John Penfold, Julian Rogers and Charles Shoppee to the International Congress of Surveyors in Paris, where he was offered and accepted role as Vice Presidency of the Congress.

Edward Ryde’s commitment to the profession was recognised by The Institution in 1880 when he was appointed President. During his three-year Presidency Edward oversaw The Institution’s name change to RICS and the granting of its Royal Charter.