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Waterways Chronology from 1752 to 1761

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Chronology Index

1752

River Ouse (Yorkshire)

John, senior Smith

About this time he surveyed the river and produced a plan for a lock at Naburn, which he estimated would cost 5,517.

Whitby Canal

Built between 1752 and 1754.

1753

River Cart

Authorised by an Act but no work done under this Act.

Middle Level Navigation

Promoted by Act.

River Nene

Thomas Yeoman

He surveyed the river from Thrapston to Northampton.

Salford - Wigan Canal project

William Taylor

He surveyed the line of the proposed canal, which was to take water from the Irwell and return it to the navigable part of the river.

River Nene

John Squires

He proposed a plan for making the river navigable from Thrapston to Northampton for 13,000 guineas.

1754

River Nene

Ferdinando Stratford

Around this time he put proposals to the Western Division commissioners for making their part of the river navigable.

River Nene

Promoted by Act.

Sankey Brook Navigation

Henry Berry

Surveyed the line of the canal with William Taylor.

Sankey Brook Navigation

William Taylor

Surveyed the line of the canal with Henry Berry.

Whitby Canal

Built between 1752 and 1754.

1755

Stroudwater Canal

Thomas Yeoman

He made a survey and proposed building a reservior to supply the mills on the proposed navigation.

Sankey Brook Navigation

Authorised by Act.

1756

River Ivel

Langley Edwards

He surveyed the river and produced a plan to make it navigable from Tempsford to Biggleswade Mill.

River Nene

Navigation from Thrapston to Northampton promoted by Act.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Smeaton

He was asked to survey a navigation between Wakefield and Elland but was too busy with work on the Eddystone lighthouse.

Louth Navigation

John Grundy

He reported on his preliminary survey of the proposed navigation.

1757

River Blyth

An Act authorised the navigation.

Gwauncaegurwen Canal

Existed in 1757 carrying coal and men.

River Ivel

Thomas Yeoman

He and Langley Edwards were appointed surveyors.

River Ivel

Navigation improvements authorised by an Act.

River Lee

John Clark

Was appointed surveyor following the death of William Whittenbury.

Sankey Brook Navigation

Opened.

River Tern

Used before 1757, when the Tern Forge that it served was closed.

Sankey Brook Navigation

The Sankey Brook Navigation, later called the St Helen's Canal, was opened.

Sankey Brook Navigation

The first recorded staircase lock on British Canals, Old Double Lock on the Sankey Brook Navigation.

River Blyth

Thomas Manning

He gave evidence for the navigation Bill that the river could easily be made navigable.

River Ivel

Langley Edwards

Gave evidence to the Parliamentary committee examining the navigation bill. He proposed a depth of 3 foot for 20 ton barges which would pay a charge of 3 pence a lock.

River Ivel

Langley Edwards

Was appointed surveyor together with Thomas Yeoman.

River Nar

Langley Edwards

He was paid 100 for survey and for "putting out the works from King's Lynn to Westacre for himself and his assistants untill the same is completed". He produced an estimate of 2,500 for the entire works, chiefly for the making of new cuts.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Smeaton

He was again asked to survey a navigation between Wakefield and Elland and agreed to come in the autumn, requesting a scale plan of the river in preparation.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He reported the results of his survey to the commissioners, estimating the cost of the work at around 3,000.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Smeaton

He reported to a meeting at Halifax on his proposals, based on his recent survey, for a 23½ mile navigation to take 20 to 25 ton craft with a draught of up to 3 feet 6 inches. This was to run from Wakefield to Salterhebble bridge.

1758

Calder and Hebble Navigation

Promoted by an Act.

River Ivel

Navigation improvements completed to Biggleswade (7 miles).

Trent and Mersey Canal

James Brindley

At the request of Earl Gower, Lord Anson and Thomas Broade he surveyed the line of a canal from Wilden Ferry to Stoke-on-Trent.

Trent and Mersey Canal

James Brindley did a survey for Earl Gower for a canal from Wilden Ferry on the River Trent to Stoke-on-Trent.

River Trent

Henry Bradford

Proposed to make the rivers Trent and Tame navigable to Tamworth.

River Weaver

Henry Berry

Undertook a survey of the river and proposed improvements to the locks and navigation channel.

River Nene

Case

Put in plans for improvements to the Western Division of the river but later dissented from these proposals and the terms required for the work.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Eyes

Did a survey to extend the proposed navigation to Sowerby Bridge.

River Nene

John, junior Smith

He put in an estimate for improving the navigation between Thrapston and Northampton. His plans were rejected in favour of those from a Mr Case who later withdrew his proposals. Smith then submitted new plans and an estimate of 14,070 4s 2½d that was accepted.

River Nene

Mr Wyman

He put forward a proposal for making the river navigable from Thrapston to Northampton. His plan was approved by Thomas Yeoman but he withdrew in favour of a plan by John Smith junior "on account of Mr Smith's cheaper proposals, his Integrity and superior Experience in such affairs".

River Nene

Thomas Yeoman

He was asked examine the propsals of John Smith junior and Mr Wyman for making the western division of the river navigable and found that both schemes were sound.

River Wear

Joseph Robson

As engineer to the commissioners he did an estimate for extending the navigation to New Bridge.

River Nene

John, junior Smith

The contract was signed for his river improvements that included 20 pound-locks 10 feet 6 inches wide and 100 feet long.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Smeaton

He was appointed part-time superintendent (or engineer) at 250 a year.

River Nar

Langley Edwards

He was asked to complete the work on the river by 1st January 1759, lter extended to 15th February but with a 20 a week penalty for any over-run.

1759

Bridgewater Canal

The Duke of Bridgewater obtained an Act of Parliament authorising him to build a canal from his collieries in Worsley to supply coal to Manchester.

River Nar

John Aram

Was paid ten guineas for his part in surveying the river.

River Nene

John, junior Smith

The navigation reached Wellingborough where he built wharves.

River Nene

Thomas Yeoman

He reported that the navigation between Wansford and Waternewton was very bad in places and that the commissioners seem to have had little or no authority over the proprietors, who had sole use of the tolls for themselves.

Stroudwater Canal

Thomas Yeoman

He gave evidence in support of the Bill that became an Act in early April.

Stroudwater Canal

An Act was passed allowing the navigation to be built without locks.

River Stort

Act passed but no work done.

River Wear

John Smeaton

He appeared in Parliament supporting the bill that became the Wear Act and was asked to make a survey and prepare a plan for buildinf 12 locks and a number of short cuts.

River Wear

Promoted by an Act.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

Was asked to resurvey the river and again estimated 3,000 as the cost of improvements.

River Blyth

John Grundy

He was asked to give a second opinion on Langley Edwards survey for the navigation but was too busy to take on the task immediately. He did however set out his terms for the work which proved too expensive for the commissioners to consider.

Bridgewater Canal

James Brindley

At this date he was part-time assistant engineer for the canal and had started a survey of the Worsley to Manchester section..

River Nar

Langley Edwards

He completed the navigation but was in dispute with the commissioners over the payment of the costs for two additional staunches that had been found to be needed.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He sent his regrets at being unable to attend the commissioners meeting. Unforseen circumstances had detained him at Biggleswade.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He attends a meeting of the commissioners at which they place a contract for earthworks.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Smeaton

His pay for work as engineer began and it is believed that construction started after this date.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

Joseph Nickalls

He assisted Smeaton on the Wakefield to Dewsbury section.

1760

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

John Gott

Was appointed engineer by Peter Birt, the lessee of the navigation. Over the next few years he spent about 4,000 on capital improvements and 9,000 on maintenance, mainly on weirs.

Stretford and Leigh Branch (Bridgewater Canal)

Authorised by the Bridgewater Canal Act.

Bridgewater Canal

James Brindley

As Engineer for the canal he gives evidence to parliament.

Bridgewater Canal

Authorised under Acts.

River Weaver

Promoted by Act.

River Wey

John Smeaton

He was engaged on the extension of the navigation from Guildford to Godalming.

River Wey

Promoted by Act (extension from Guildford to Godalming).

Fletcher's Canal

James Brindley

He devised a system for pumping water from the Wet Earth colliery using a water from the river Irwell to drive a wheel. The works included a half mile channel which forty years later were converted into the canal.

Louth Navigation

John Smeaton

The town clerk of Louth wrote to him asking for assistance. He replied five days later requesting more information and adds "P.S. Is the expense and practicallity the chief point, or the getting the Bill through Parliament on account of expected opposition?".

Louth Navigation

John Smeaton

The town clerk of Louth wrote saying that little opposition was was expected and that it was desireable to get the canal Bill into Parliament in the next session. However, the promoters were not willing to proceed until he had confirmed John Grundy's report.

Louth Navigation

John Smeaton

He replied to the letter of the 1st advising them to hasten slowly and explained that he was busy and would no wish them to delay their Bill because of him.He also wrote
" I will, however, give you this caution to be very careful of giving public notice as early as possible of your intention to apply to Parliament and in making the gentlemen of your country acquainted with your scheme. Be very careful in applying to the land-owners whose estates lay upon or near the intended navigation, and if possible get the consent of the majority of the principals of those who may be affected by it, for if the least opposition arises, which seldom shows itself till after the petition is presented to the House. they generallyhang upon those matters; for upon this footing the Wey Bill was thrown out last year, tho' it is likely to pass this, and the present year the Tamworth petition has been thrown out upon the same footing without ever entering into the merits thereof.
I am Sir
Your most humble servant.
J. Smeaton".

River Blyth

Samuel Jones

Was assistant engineer to Langley Edwards.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

Defects discovered in newly constructed bridges prompt the commissioners to seek his explaination but they find his whereabouts are unknown.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He writes to the commisioners saying that he is detained on business and cannot attend their meeting on the 9th but he "was surprised at the account of the brickwork as I have had many built of the same dimensions of wall and have never yet had one failed".

Louth Navigation

John Grundy

Went though his proposal for a 9 lock, 11 mile, navigation with John Smeaton.

Louth Navigation

John Smeaton

He met John Grundy and went through Grundy's report and confirmed that Tetney Haven was the proper outfall to provide communication with the Trent so that flat bottom barges could navigate into Yorkshire without going to sea. He estimated the cost as 15,590 for a 'Two Barge Canal', 13,686 for a "One Barge Canal" and 10,884 for "Lighter drawing 2 feet".

River Don

James Brindley

Called into to advise the company on changes to the navigation and to estimate the costs of altering three fixed bridges to swing bridges.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He writes to the commisioners saying he is sorry he did not attend their meeting on the 20th.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

He attended a meeting with the commisioners and appologised for missing the last meeting as he had arrived a day late due to having been taken ill on the road and he had other jobs to complete. He had missed another meeting due to a fall from his horse and a third due to his horse being taken lame on the road.

1761

Stretford and Leigh Branch (Bridgewater Canal)

Completed.

River Blyth

Samuel Jones

Was appointed as toll-collector, surveyor of works, lock-keeper and warehouse-keeper at the salary of 45 a year.

Bridgewater Canal

James Brindley

Surveys the line to the Mersey.

Bridgewater Canal

Sir Roger Newdigate

Acted as Counsel in connetion with theBridgewater Canal extension to the Mersey.

Bridgewater Canal

The Duke of Bridgewater's canal, including the aqueduct across the River Irwell at Barton, opened.

River Nene

Navigation from Northampton to Peterborough opened.

Trent and Mersey Canal

John Smeaton

He reviewed James Brindley's 1758 plan for a canal from Stoke-on-Trent to Wilden Ferry and suggested that the canal could be extended "to join the navigable river that falls into the west sea" at a cost of 77,939.

River Trent

John Smeaton

He said: "the present navigation is much obstructed by shoals and scours, insomuch that in several places, in the common state of the river in dry seasons, there is not above 8 inches depth of water, and that at such times, without the aid of flashes from King's Mills upon the Trent, and the lowest mills upon the Derwent, the navigation would then be impracticable".

River Witham Navigation

Langley Edwards

Together with John Grundy and John Smeaton he presented the results of their survey of the river between Lincoln and Boston.

River Witham Navigation

John Grundy

Together with Langley Edwards and John Smeaton he presented the results of their survey of the river between Lincoln and Boston.

River Witham Navigation

John Smeaton

Together with John Grundy and Langley Edwards he presented the results of their survey of the river between Lincoln and Boston.

Bridgewater Canal

The original Barton Aqueduct was built by James Brindley in 1761 to take the Duke of Bridgewater's epoch making canal across the River Irwell.

River Nene

Thomas Yeoman

Around this time he surveyed the newly opened navigation and gave it a favourable report.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

The commissioners very dissatisfied with his non-attendence at meetings advertised the meeting in the press in the hope it would ensure his presence. He arrived late and appologised.

Bridgewater Canal

James Brindley

His Barton Aqueduct over the Mersey & Irwell Navigation was opened.

River Blyth

Langley Edwards

The navigation was completed at a cost of 3,822 compared to his original estimate of 3,000.

River Nene

John, junior Smith

His navigation works to Northampton were completed.

Bridgewater Canal

James Brindley

Conducted a survey for the extension of the canal from Longford Bridge to Hempstones, a little above Runcorn, including a branch to Stockport from Sale Moor. His work on this continued until January 1762.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

John Gwyn

He and Matthias Scott were appointed as surveyors.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

Matthias Scott

He and John Gwyn were appointed as surveyors.

Previous PageNext Page

Chronology Index

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List