John Rennie Junior succeeded his father, John Rennie (Snr), as engineer to the Admiralty in 1831 which meant that he was responsible for ensuring the successful completion of the Plymouth Breakwater. He was also given the job of constructing the Royal William Vicctualling Yard from 1827 to 1835. This 16 acre complex was custom designed to help the Royal Navy prepare for its long voyages to guard the extended and extending Empire. It was largely constructed using convict labour and had to reclaim six acres from the sea.
He published his Account of Plymouth Breakwater in 1848 upon its completion and Theory, Formation and Construction of British and Foreign Harbours.
Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article | Significant Individuals