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SIR ARTHUR THOMAS COTTON (1803-1899)

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 254 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR ARTHUR THOMAS COTTON (1803-1899), English engineer, tenth son of Henry Calveley Cotton, was born on the 15th of May 1803, and was educated at Addiscombe. He entered the Madras engineers in 1819, served in the first Burmese war (1824-26), and in 1828 began his life-work on the irrigation works of southern India. He constructed works on the Cauvery,Coleroon,Godavari and Kistna rivers, making anicuts (dams) on the Coleroon (1836–1838) for the irrigation of the Tanjore, Trichinopoly and South Arcot districts; and on the Godivari (1847–1852) for the irrigation of the Godavari district. He also projected the anicut on the Kistna (Krishna), which was carried out by other officers. Before the beginning of his work Tanjore and the adjoining districts were threatened with ruin from lack of water; on its completion they became the richest part of Madras, and Tanjore returned the largest revenue of any district in India. He was the founder of the school of Indian hydraulic engineering, and carried out much of his work in the face of opposition and discouragement from the Madras government; though, in the minute of the 15th of May 1858, that government paid an ample tribute to the genius of Cotton's " master mind." He was knighted ill 1861. Sir Arthur Cotton believed in the possibility of constructing a complete system of irrigation and navigation canals throughout India, and devoted the whole of a long life to the partial realization of this project. He died on the 24th of July 1899. See Lady Hope, General Sir Arthur Cotton (1900).
End of Article: SIR ARTHUR THOMAS COTTON (1803-1899)
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