PERRY (Captain John)

, was a celebrated English engineer. After acquiring great reputation for his skill in this country, he resided many years in Russia, having been recommended to the czar Peter while in England, as a person capable of serving him on a variety of occasions relating to his new design of establishing a fleet, making his rivers navigable, &c. His salary in this service was to be 300l. per annum, besides travelling expences and subsistence money on whatever service he should be employed, with a farther reward to his satisfaction at the conclusion of any work he should finish.

After some conversation with the czar himself, particularly respecting a communication between the rivers Volga and Don, he was employed on that work for three summers successively; but not being well supplied with men, partly on account of the ill success of Peter's arms against the Swedes at the battle of Narva, and partly by the discouragement of the governor of Astracan, he was ordered at the end of 1707 to stop, and next year was employed in refitting the ships at Veronise, and 1709 in making the river of that na ne navigable. But after repeated disappointments, and a variety of fruitless applications for his salary, he at length quitted the kingdom, under the protection of Mr. Whitworth, the English ambassador, in 1712. (See his Narrative in the Preface to The State of Russia.)

In 1721 he was employed in stopping the breach at Dagenham, made in the bank of the river Thames, near the village of that name in Essex, and about 3 miles below Woolwich, in which he happily succeeded, after several other persons had failed in that undertaking. He was also employed, the same year, about the harbour at Dublin, and published at that time an Answer to the objections made against it.—Beside this piece, Captain Perry was author of, The State of Russia, 1716, 8vo; and An Account of the Stopping of Dagenham Breach, 1721, 8vo.—He died February the 11th 1733.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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* PERRY (Captain John)
PETIT (Peter)