Scots architect and engineer. He made his reputation with the design and installation of machinery at the Albion Flour Mills, Southwark, London (1784—destroyed 1791), and he established his own business in 1791, designing bridges, canals, systems of land-drainage, harbours, light-houses, and docks, all of which are admirable both in their architecture and engineering. They include the Tweed Bridge, Kelso, Roxburghshire (1800–3), the Dundas Aqueduct, Limpley Stoke, Wilts. (c. 1795–7), Southwark Bridge, London (1811–19—with one of the world's largest cast-iron arches—demolished 1913), and London Bridge (1824–31—rebuilt at Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA, 1963–71). London Bridge was constructed under the direction of his sons, George (1791–1866) and John (1794–1874). The latter, who was knighted on the completion of the bridge in 1831, designed various works in the Royal Dockyards, including the Royal William Victualling Yard, Stonehouse, near Plymouth, Devon (completed 1832), one of the most impressive architectural ensembles ever constructed in England. J. Britton, in The Original Picture of London, claimed John Rennie jun. was the architect of the Stamford Street Unitarian Chapel, Blackfriars, London (1823), the fine Greek Doric portico of which alone survives. However, Charles Parker (1799–1881) has also been credited with its authorship.
Boucher (1963);Colvin (1995);Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);Reyburn (1972);Skempton et al. (eds.) (2002);Smiles (1862);Summerson (ed.) (1993);Jane Turner (1996);