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Waterways Chronology from 1795 to 1804

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Chronology Index

1795

Bridgewater Canal

Authorised under Act.

Cinderford Canal

Completed by this time.

Caistor Canal

Robert Dickenson

Was engineer for the canal when it was built.

River Don

John Copeland

Became the navigation's engineer following the death of John Thompson.

River Don

Benjamin Outram

He surveyed the river.

Ellesmere Canal

The Chester to Ellesmere Port section completed.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

James Dadford

Appointed resident engineer on Robert Mylne's recommendation.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Dennis Edson

Was dissmissed from his post of resident engineer.

Glamorganshire Canal

Robert Whitworth

Around this time he was called in to arbitrate between the canal company and their former contractors, the Dadfords and Thomas Sheasby. Of the 17,000 claimed by the company he awarded that only 1,512 should be refunded by the contractors.

River Great Ouse

Promoted under Act.

Grand Union Paddington Branch

Authorised under the Grand Junction Canal Act.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

Was open from Over to Newent (16 miles and 13 locks).

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Robert Whitworth

Following the appointment of Samuel Fletcher as resident engineer and in view of his own other commitments he continued as engineer at half salary.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Burnley Embankment (designed by Robert Whitworth, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Company Engineer) started.

Lancaster Canal

Archibald Millar

He had many complaints about the bad work of the contractors, John Pinkerton and John Murray, and their inattention to his instructions. Robert Whitworth was called in to arbitrate and the work was taken back and let out again as smaller contracts under Millar's supervision.

Lancaster Canal

Robert Whitworth

He was called in to arbitrate in the disputes between Archibald Millar the resident engineer and the contractors John Pinkerton and John Murray.

Leicester Navigation

Christopher, Senior Staveley

He was appointed engineer of the completed navigation.

Neath Canal

Completed in 1795, but in May 1798 an Act of Parliament passed to extend the canal by 2 1/2 miles to near Briton Ferry.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Newdigate Canals

William Bean

Completed the 5.5 mile of private canals, with 13 locks, that were started around 1764.

Newdigate Canals

Mostly built between 1770 and 1795.

Penrhiwtyn Canal

Built between 1790 and 1795.

River Parrett

Josiah Easton

Was in charge of works to improve the navigation.

River Parrett

Promoted by Act.

Petworth Canal

William Jessop

He surveyed a line for the proposed canal.

Stainforth & Keadby Canal

Daniel Servant

He became engineer for the canal.

Stainforth & Keadby Canal

Robert Whitworth

He surveyed the unfinished canal.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Joseph Hill

An Act enabling the navigation was passed based on his revised estimate of 48,930 for building the canal. He is appointed resident engineer.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Somerset Coal Canal

William Bennet

Called in to assist William Smith in the preparation of plans.

Somerset Coal Canal

William Smith

He prepared plans for summit level canals assisted by William Bennet.

Stratford upon Avon Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Shropshire Union - Llangollen Canal

Staircase locks built at Grindley Brook.

Tamar Manure Navigation

James Murray

He was employed by John Rennie to resurvey the line which at Tamerton bridge or Launceston would join the Bude Canal.

Wilts and Berks Canal

John Ralph

He and William Whitworth estimated the cost of the 55¼-mile main line and put the cost of the branches at 8,350.

Wilts and Berks Canal

Robert Whitworth

He and his son William signed the deposited plan.

Wilts and Berks Canal

William Whitworth

He and his father signed the deposited plan and he and John Ralph signed the estimate of 103,603 for the 55¼ mile main line and 8,350 for the branches. He began construction helped by Robert Whitworth, whether his father or his brother is not known.

Wilts and Berks Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Wern Canal

Opened about this date.

Warwick & Napton Canal

William Felkin

Was appointed company engineer.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

Robert Whitworth

He was appionted engineer.

Dorset & Somerset Canal

William Bennet

Completed his survey and estimated the cost as 200,000. Later changes were made and he estimated the shorter route as 146,018.

Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

He was appointed engineer on a part-time basis.

Crinan Canal

John Rennie

He changed his mind on the depth of the canal and a decision was made to build it 12 feet deep. It was also decided that the Daill route should be followed and the locks should be 96 by 24 feet.

Swansea Canal

Charles Roberts

About this time he left his post of engineer.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

William Chapman

He made a preliminary report on the canal.

Shrewsbury Canal

Thomas Telford

Appointed Engineer to succeed Josiah Clowes.

Peak Forest Canal

Benjamin Outram

He reports to the committee that 'Messrs. Fulton and McNiven are not proceeding in the cutting that part of the said Canal contracted to be cut by them'. This refers to Robert Fulton and Charles McNiven.

Shrewsbury Canal

Thomas Telford

A meeting ordered "that an Iron Aqueduct be errected at Longton (agreeable to a plan to be approved bt Mr. Telford) by Messrs. William Reynolds & Company" at a cost not exceeding 2,000.

Dearne and Dove Canal

Robert Whitworth

He surveyed the unfinished canal.

Peak Forest Canal

Robert Fulton

The committee take up his suggestion for a cast iron aquduct over the River Goyt and he later suggests the use of tub-boats and inclined planes.

Peak Forest Canal

Benjamin Outram

He was sent with two others to view the operation of tub-boats and inclined planes at Coalbrook Dale and reported favourably on their use.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

Ralph Dodd

He publised a pamphlet proposing a Stella to Hexham canal on the soth side of the Tyne and estimated a cost of 35,709 for 18 miles of canal with 12 locks.

Peak Forest Canal

Robert Fulton

The company award him 100 guineas for the ideas and plans that he had put to the committee.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

William Chapman

Between 26 June and 10 August he issued three parts of a detailed study on a proposed route from the north side of the Tyne at Newcastle, to Hexham and Haydon Bridge, through the Tyne and Irthling valleys to Carlisle and Maryport.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

John Evans

Was employed at 2 guineas a week in charge of building Standege Tunnel under Benjamin Outram. He later did some contracting.

Ellesmere Canal

William Jessop

He recommends that the company abandon the locks which were planned at each end of Pontcysllte Aqueduct and instead build an iron aqueduct at the height of 125 feet above the River Dee. He also recommends iron for the other aqueduct at Pont-faen saying in might the be possible to move the crossing to Chirk, which proved true.

Ellesmere Canal

William Jessop

He approved Thomas Telford's plans for the revised line between Ruabon and Chester.

Ellesmere Canal

Thomas Telford

William Jessop appoved his plans for the Ruabon to Chester line of the canal.

Tamar Manure Navigation

John Rennie

Having employed John Murray to resurvey the line he issued a preliminary report which envisaged the navigation joining the Bude Canal and ejoying a prosperous future.

Warwick & Napton Canal

Charles Handley

He suggested that if the canal's line was altered so that it joined the Oxford Canal at Napton instead of Braunston a saving of 50,000 would be made. This suggestion was adopted and he was given 300 guineas for the work he did in surveying the altered line.

Peak Forest Canal

Robert Fulton

The last time he is recorded to be working on the canal (as a contractor).

Commercial Canal project

Robert Whitworth

He surveyed the line for the canal.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Samuel Fletcher

He was appointed resident engineer.

Keyingham Navigable Drains project

Joseph Hodskinson

He did a preliminary report indicating that the drains could be rebuilt so that they would be navigable for about 3 miles to Keyingham bridge.

Lancaster Canal

William Cartwright

The canal committee record the presentation of a silver cup to him "as a reward for his extra care and attention in superintending the Foundations of the Lune Aqueduct".

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

William Jessop

He agreed with William Chapman's line on the north side of the Tyne and thought that an estimate of 3,737 per mile was not high. He and Chapman jointly signed the estimate of 355,067 for the 95 mile canal.

River Foss

John Moon

He was severely criticised in a report by John Rennie who said that had William Jessop's plan been followed the navigation would be open to Sheriff Hutton instead of being well short with all the money spent. He was replaced as engineer shortly afterwards.

River Foss

John Rennie

He reported on the construction of the canal saying 'throughout the whole of the Work, very little attention indeed has been paid to Mr Jessop's original design, by which not only many thousand Pounds have been thrown away, but the Works rendered much less secure'.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Benjamin Outram

He decides to only work on Standedge Tunnel from the two ends thus saving the expense of sinking the very deep shafts that would be needed to work at more places but extending the completion date.

Leominster Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

John Rennie criticised his work on the canal.

Leominster Canal

John Rennie

Following proplems with the construction of the canal he was asked to advise. He was critical of Thomas Dadford junior's work and estimated that 20,000 was needed to complete the Southnet to Leominster section and 135,937 to finish the rest.

Tamar Manure Navigation

John Rennie

He approves the plans to improve the river by dredging where necessary and estimated the cost as 80,803.

1796

Aberdeenshire Canal

John Rennie

He was appointed consulting engineer.

Aberdeenshire Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Ashton Canal

Completed, except for the Ancoats to Piccadilly section, about this year.

Bath & Bristol Canal project

John Rennie

He surveyed the route as a proposed extension to the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Dudley Canal Line No 2

Benjamin Timmins

He is given charge of the works except for Lappal Tunnel and Leasowes Aqueduct, which were being supervised by William Underhill.

Dudley Canal Line No 2

William Underhill

He is given charge of the works for Lappal Tunnel and Leasowes Aqueduct.

Bude Canal

John Rennie

He was consulted by Lord Stanhope on the idea of a 'pendenter' that was a type of vertical boat lift.

Coombe Hill Canal

Opened.

Dorset & Somerset Canal

Authorised by an Act of 1796 but never opened.

Donnington Wood Canal

Completion of the Pitchcroft Branch.

Derby Canal

Fully open.

Driffield Navigation

William Chapman

Produced plans and estimates for improving the navigation.

Earl of Ashburnham's Canal

Canal being built, or perhaps extended.

River Foss

William Scruton

He was appointed engineer and completed the two Oulston Moor reservoirs and the line to Strensall.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

William Jessop

He and Robert Whitworth were consulted about changes to the line.

River Great Ouse

Promoted under Act.

Grand Union Leicester Section

James Barnes

Called in to assess the line of Saddington Tunnel. He judged it was not straight but did not consider the problem serious.

Grand Union Northampton Branch

James Barnes

Surveyed a line for the branch on behalf of the Grand Junction Canal Company and estimated the cost at 25,349.

Grand Western Canal

Promoted under Act.

River Hull

William Chapman

Both he and William Jessop submitted reports on land drainage schemes for the river.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Promoted by a further Act.

Lancaster Canal

Promoted by Act.

Leominster Canal

18.5 miles, and 16 locks, open by 1796 but no further progress, or connection to any other waterway, was made.

London & Southampton Ports Junction Canal project

Joseph Hill

He did a survey for the proposed canal and estimated the cost at 127,000.

London & Southampton Ports Junction Canal project

George Smith

He made a survey of the route and estimated the cost as 157,566.

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal

Completed.

Melton Mowbray Navigation

Authorised by an Act.

Monmouthshire Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

He produced a plan for the extension of the canal one and a half miles from the Newport Town Pill.

Monmouthshire Canal

Main line opened.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

John Sutcliffe

He rejected Ralph Dodd's plans and proposed a different Stella to Hexham line 44 feet wide at the surface and 6 feet deep taking craft between 50 and 60 tons, but not exsisting keels. This 17 mile, 18 lock route was estimated at almost 90,000 to bring a revenue of 23,460 and a net yield of 17,595.

Nottingham Canal

Opened.

Nutbrook Canal

Opened about 1796.

Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Isis Lock was opened.

Peak Forest Canal

Benjamin Outram

He was engaged in a scheme for a line from the canal near Marple to run above Macclesfield and past Rudyard to the Caldon Branch about 4 miles from Leek. This proposal also included a reservoir at Rudyard.

Polbrock Canal

John Rennie

About this time he directed James Murray in a survey for the 5½ mile canal from Wadebridge along the western side of the river past Polbrock to Dunmere, with a ½ mile branch to near Ruthernbridge.

Padstow - Lostwithiel Scheme

James Murray

He resurveyed a shorted route, that ended at Dunmere about 1.5 miles from Bodmin, under John Rennies direction.

Padstow - Lostwithiel Scheme

John Rennie

He was asked to comment on the plans and suggested a canal using pairs of narrow boats 35 feet long and 7 feet 6 inches wide. Although he expected useful traffic from the coast inland he did not forsee much coast to coast use of the navigation and suggested a navigation from Guinea Port near Wadebridge to Bodmin - see the Polbrock Canal.

Somerset Coal Canal

William Bennet

Appointed engineer.

Shropshire Union - Llangollen Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Swansea Canal

Part open.

Tees Canal schemes

Ralph Dodd

Surveyed the Tees and proposed a canal from Stockton to Darlington and Staindrop to Winton with branches to the River Wear near Durham and the River Ure at Boroughbridge.

Tamar Manure Navigation

John Rennie

He was asked his opinion on the works and was critical of the decision to deepen to 7 foot and build a basin at Nutstakes. He proposed that the canal section be 3 feet deep with a 20 feet width at the surface to take 10 to 12 ton boats if locks were used or 5 to 6 tons if inclined planes. Boats had to be kept small so they could use the inclined plans on the Bude Canal should a connection ever be made.

Tamar Manure Navigation

Authorised by an Act.

Trewyddfa Canal

Opened.

Ulverston Canal

Opened in 1796.

Warwick & Napton Canal

The line change, to join the Oxford Canal at Napton, was authorised by an Act of 14 May 1796.

London & Southampton Ports Junction Canal project

John Chamberlain

Made an early survey for this route.

Dudley Canal Line No 2

Robert Whitworth

He was asked to make an inspection of the works following the death of Josiah Clowes and before the appointment of William Underhill as engineer.

Grand Junction Canal

James Barnes

Proposes a different line for Blissworth Tunnel due to excessive water in the workings of the original tunnel.

Grand Junction Canal

Robert Whitworth

He was called in to advise on the problems of Blisworth Tunnel and supported James Barnes idea for a tunnel on a slightly different line.

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal

Benjamin Outram

Following an inspection of the works he reported that 26,924 would be needed to complete the canal with wide locks and bridge-holes.

Somerset Coal Canal

John Sutcliffe

He left his post of chief engineer.

River Parrett

Robert Whitworth

He was asked to examine the works and to estimate the costs of completion.

Rochdale Canal

Thomas Bradley

Appointed resident engineer.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

John Sutcliffe

Around this time he produced another report for the extension of the canal to Haydon Bridge and rported on the north side line with a detailed estimate and attacked Ralph Dodd, William Chapman and especially William Jessop.

Grand Junction Canal

John Rennie

He supported James Barnes' proposal for Blisworth Tunnel to be built on a slightly different line to overcome various problems.

Crinan Canal

John Rennie

He gave up his previous half-year's salary because he had not found it necessary to visit the works as often as he expected when he took the job. This 'liberal offer' was repaid with a piece of plate valued at 20 guineas.

Warwick & Napton Canal

William Felkin

The committee decide to replace him with an engineer that was not also employed elsewhere.

Warwick & Napton Canal

John Turpin

He was briefly appointed engineer.

Macclesfield Canal

Benjamin Outram

He reported to a meeting at Macclesfield the results of his survey. It was agreed that a canal from the Peak Forest by way of Rudyard to the Caldon line at Endon would be advantageous, with a branch canal or railway from Poynton and Norbury to Stockport. He estimates were 90,000 for the project bringing a revenue of 10,175 a year.

Rochdale Canal

William Jessop

He inspected the works and reported favourably on what had been done.

Warwick & Napton Canal

Charles Handley

He was appointed engineer at 350 guineas a year including valuation fees, plus five free shares on the satisfactory completion of the work.

Helston Canal project

Robert Fulton

Together with the surveyor, Charles Moody, proposed a 14 mile tub-boat canal across Cornwall from The Helford River near Gweek to The Hayle River below St Erth. Seven inclined planes were proposed climbing and decending 350 feet from coast to coast.

Helston Canal project

Charles Moody

Together with the engineer, Robert Fulton, proposed a 14 mile tub-boat canal across Cornwall from The Helford River near Gweek to The Hayle River below St Erth.

Leicester Navigation

Hugh Oldham

He was called in to judge if Saddington tunnel was straight. He said it was not and James Barnes later confirmed his view.

Leicestershire & Northampton Union Canal

William Fletcher

In his role as assistant engineer of the canal he discovered that Saddington Tunnel was not straight.

Leicestershire & Northampton Union Canal

John Varley

It was suggested that Saddington Tunnel was out of straight. He offered to pay the costs if it was and entered into a 2,000 bond. The problem was not found to be very serious.

Tamar Manure Navigation

James Murray

He was employed to resurvey the section of canal to Horsebridge.

Durham Canal project

Ralph Dodd

He reported to the subscribers of the project that the River Wear should be made navigable with 11 locks from just above Durham down to Picktree, below Chester-le-Street at an estimated cost of 25,338. From ther a 7.25 mile canal would be built up the Team valley to the Tyne, estimated at 29,604. There was also to be a branch just under 3 miles long with 15 locks rising to Beamish and from there a iclined plane and tub boat canal to West Kyo, near Stanley, at a cost of 22,644. All the navigation apart from the tub-boat canal was to take Humber Keels.

River Weaver

John Johnson

He surveyed a canal between Frodsham and Weston Point.

Commercial Canal project

William Jessop

He re-surveyed the proposed route.

Keyingham Navigable Drains project

William Chapman

Was commissioned to make a survey of the proposed navigation.

Warwick & Birmingham Canal

William Felkin

Following various engineering problems, starting with the colapse of the River Blyth aqeduect in late 1795, he was dismissed from his post but was taken on again when his replacement failed to arrive.

Leeds & Liverpool - Rufford Branch

Robert Whitworth

He reported that a canal was proposed from the Lancaster Canal to the Ribble opposite the Douglas outfall. He suggested that the Leeds & Liverpool could improve the Douglas up to Sollom lock by an artifical cut and thus provide a route between the two canals.

1797

Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby Section

Elias Wright

He said that extra height dam boards had to be used at Haddlesey weir because the 3 feet 6 inches depth of the canal was too shallow.He also said that two miles of the canal had sandy banks which washed and blew into the canal necessitating frequent dredging.

Wyrley and Essington Canal (BCN)

The canal was opened throughout.

Bridgewater Canal

William Sherratt

He watched the trials of John Smith's steamboat on the canal between Runcorn and Castlefield.

Bridgewater Canal

John Smith

His steamboat travelled the canal fron Runcorn to Castlefield.

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Opened.

Donnington Wood Canal

Hugh's Bridge Inclined Plane constructed to connect the Lilleshall branches to the canal. This replaced the previous tunnel & shaft system.

River Don

Robert Whitworth

He made a survey of the river.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal

John Rennie

He was asked to comment on four proposed lines for the canal. He responded proposing a fifth line further north through Ratho, Winchburgh, Linlithgow, Falkirk, Cumbernauld and Hillhead or Drumpellier.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Robert Whitworth

He and William Jessop were consulted about changes to the line.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Promoted by Act.

Grantham Canal

Opened.

General Warde's (Yspitty) Canal

Charles Smith

Inherited this canal in joint ownership with his brother Henry.

Leicestershire & Northampton Union Canal

Completed to Debdale wharf about 6 miles from Market Harborough.

Lancaster Canal

Lune Aqueduct opened, 62 feet above the River Lune, built by Rennie.

Leek Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

Started around 1797.

Leeds & Liverpool - Springs Branch

Opened.

Melton Mowbray Navigation

Opened.

Monmouthshire Canal

Promoted by Act.

Montgomeryshire Canal

John Dadford

He resigned as engineer and went to America.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

Following the resignation of his brother, John, he suggests his father as a replacement.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Thomas Dadford senior

He became engineer following the resignation of his son John.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Frankton Locks built as two rise staircase.

Oakham Canal

William Dunn

Replaced Christopher Staveley as engineer and completed the canal.

Polbrock Canal

Authorised by an Act but no work done.

Penrhiwtyn Canal

Became part of the Neath Canal.

Shrewsbury Canal

Henry Williams

He was appointed engineer and superintendent while continuing to be employed by the Shropshire Canal company.

Shrewsbury Canal

Opened.

Shropshire Union Main Line

Northgate Staircase Locks constructed between 1775 and 1797.

Trent and Mersey Canal

Leek and Uttoxeter branches promoted by two Acts.

River Tern

May have been used until 1797 when part of its entrance lock to the Severn was removed.

Wisbech Canal

Opened.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Opened to Garthmyl.

Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes

Robert Whitworth

Having looked at John Sutcliffe's plans he approved the line although it "is a rugged one; I never before saw a good line like it; yet so far as I can discover, I believe it is the best the country affords: It is certainly practicable, and I have no doubt but that a good and useful canal may be made (with some variation) upon it; but it will be exceedingly expensive: I am, however, told the trade that will come upon this canal will fully answer that expence, even were it twice as much.".

Rochdale Canal

Thomas Townshend

He is appointed resident engineer.

Montgomeryshire Canal

William Jessop

He was called in to examine the engineering following the collapse of an arch on the Vyrnwy Aqueduct, which he considered a normal teething trouble.

Oakham Canal

Christopher, junior Staveley

He left his post as engineer.

Warwick & Birmingham Canal

William Felkin

He left his post following an investigation of his accounts that revealed he was paying contractors more than they were due.

Warwick & Birmingham Canal

Philip Henry Witton

He added the post of engineer to his existing job as clerk-accountant.

Durham Canal project

Robert Whitworth

He reported on Ralph Dodd's line for the canal which he accepted with some alterations. The main changes were to save two locks by dropping the summit level of the Wear-Tyne Canal, to bring the branch in at the summit level so its water could be used for both ends of the canal, and to use larger craft on theWest Kyo inclined plane section.His estimates were for 21,281 on the Wear, 33,497 for the main line, and 24,280 for the branch, giving 79,058 in total.

Grantham Canal

William King

He reported that the eastern section was navigable.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Robert Whitworth

His services and those of his son were teminated although it was agreed that they could be employed on a daily basis.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Robert, junior Whitworth

He was reported to be ill the previous month and now his services and those of his father were teminated although it was agreed that they could be employed on a daily basis.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

Robert Whitworth

He recommended a dam across the river at Over to prevent silt getting into the canal.

Mersey & Irwell Navigation

Thomas, junior Morris

His plan and estimate for a canal from above Warrington to Hempstones, just above Runcorn, was approved.

Sankey Brook Navigation

John Smith

According to the Billing's Liverpool Advertiser, dated the 26th, his "vessel heavily laden with copper slag, passed along the Sankey Canal ... by the application of steam only ... it appears, that the vessel after a course of ten miles, returned the same eveningto St Helen's whence it had set out". This boat was powered by a Newcomen engine working a paddle crankshaft through a beam and connecting rod.

Keyingham Navigable Drains project

William Chapman

He reported that small 8 ton double-ended craft, 28 feet long by 7 feet wide should be able to use the drains to move about 9 miles inland. They would draw about 2 feet 6 inches and would be woked in pairs. A transhipment quay and basi should be built by the Humber. His estimate for the work was 1,500 pounds.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Thomas Newbold

Was appointed engineer for the canal.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Thomas Dadford senior

Appionted engineer, following his son John in the post.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Benjamin Outram

He reports that the Standedge tunnel contractor Thomas Lee could not complete his work under his present terms and would be ruined if he was not given some allowance for the unforseen dificulties encountered. The committee increased his rate for the contract and allowed him an extra year.

Neath Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

Surveyed the line for an extension of the canal to Giant's Grave near Briton Ferry.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Robert Mylne

He made visits to the canal in September and October and in response to C B Trye's criticism that he spent too little time on the canal he agreed to be paid 4 guineas a day plus travelling expenses.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

James Dadford

Took over the role of engineer about this time following Robert Mylne's departure. He was ordered to consider the shortening of the canal by bringing it out into the Severn at Hock Crib near Frampton.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Robert Mylne

He ceased to be engineer following some quarrel with James Dadford.

1798

Ashton Canal

Promoted under Acts of Parliament

Dudley Canal Line No 2

This extension to the Dudley Canal was completed.

Crinan Canal

John Rennie

He thought that the canalwould be used not only by busses and fishing boats but also, because of the war, by vessels returning from the Baltic to the ports of the English Channel.

Driffield Navigation

William Jessop

Acting as engineer for the drainage authorities he reached an agreement with the navigation company over water level maintainance clauses to be included in the Beverley & Barmston Draiage Bill.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal

John Rennie

He reported on the two lines being considered at the time - his northern route and the Baton-moss line that ran by Ratho, Midcalder, Baton-moss and Cleland. He supported the Baton-moss line which was claimed to have inexhaustible supplies of coal.

River Gipping

Completed.

River Hull

William Chapman

A land drainage Bill based on his 1796 report was taken through Parliament (by William Jessop).

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

John Evans

He left his job working on Standedge Tunnel.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Promoted by a further Acts.

Neath Canal

In May 1798 an Act of Parliament passed to extend the canal by 2 1/2 miles to near Briton Ferry.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Junction Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation

Promoted by an Act.

Swansea Canal

Completed.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Crinan Canal

John Rennie

He reported that bacause of lack of money he could not fix a completion date. The dimensions of the canal were to vary according to the ground conditions the width varying from 48 to 84 feet at the surface, 25 to 48 feet at the bottom and the depth from 13 to 14 feet.

Peak Forest Canal

Benjamin Outram

His estimate for a tramroad at Marple, to connect the upper and lower pounds without locks, was accepted.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

John Rennie

He was called in to inspect the Southampton tunnel which had 200 yards cut. He wrote that 'those parts that are likely to stand are ill formed and seem to have been done with little care or Judgement'.

Neath Canal

Edward Price

He was engineer for the construction of the 2½ mile extension of the canal from near Melincrythan pill to Giant's Grave near Briton Ferry.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

John Rennie

He inspected the whole line and reported that the works 'are generally proceeding in a workmanlike manner'.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Benjamin Outram

He was asked to report on the feasibility of building tramroads to Ticknall and Cloud Hill instead of canals. He reported in favour of tramroads.

Ashton Canal

Benjamin Outram

Acting as contractor to the company he was building the basin at Piccadilly.

Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

His role as engineer changed from part-time to full-time.

1799

Aire & Calder Navigation - Wakefield Section

Elias Wright

As company engineer he proposed building a depot and workshops at Lake Lock on the Calder below Stanley Ferry.

Ashton Canal

Main line completed.

Digbeth Branch Canal

Completed.

Walsall Canal

Reached Walsall.

Bridgewater Canal

William Sherratt

His engine was used in a steamboat tried by the Duke of Bridgewater at Worsley.

Barnsley Canal

Opened to Barnsley.

Croydon Canal

Ralph Dodd

He produced a plan for a 12 mile canal from Croydon to Rotherhithe. It was to be a small canal taking boats of 10 to 20 tons, 24 feet wide and 3 feet 6 inches deep with two inclined planes and he estimated it would cost 25,000.

Fletcher's Canal

Benjamin Outram

He advised the company that a second lock with a small rise would be needed at the junction with the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal to avoid taking too much water.

Grand Junction Canal

William Jessop

He designed a three ached masonry aqueduct to cross the Ouse and replace the locks on either side of the crossing down to and up from the river.

Grand Union Leicester Section

James Barnes

Took charge of repairs on a burst reservoir on the Leicester Navigation. Surveyed a line to link the navigation to Braunston.

Grand Union Wendover Branch

Wendover Branch was fully open.

River Hull

William Chapman

He starts work on the River Hull land drainage scheme.

Isle of Dogs Canal

Authorised by the West India Dock Act.

Kennet and Avon Canal

John Rennie

The canal committee received complaints about the management of the company affairs which developed into an attack on Rennie. He was later exonerated.

Lancaster Canal

William Cartwright

He advises the canal committee to build a 5-mile tramroad from the South End at Clayton Green to Preston and to make a short extension to the North End of the canal from Spital Moss, thus connecting the two portions of the canasl across the Ribble.

Lancaster Canal

Archibald Millar

His contract was not renewed.

Monmouthshire Canal

Benjamin Outram

Recommends the conversion of the company's cast-iron edge-rails to plateways.

Monmouthshire Canal

The Crumlin branch opened.

Neath Canal

On 29 July 1799 the canal, extended to the Giant's Grave was opened.

Oxford Canal

Promoted by Act.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Thomas Dadford junior

Took part in arbitration on behalf of the contractors in a dispute with the canal company.

River Severn

Promoted by Act.

Somerset Coal Canal

William Whitmore

He and his partner, Norton, offered to build a balance (or geometrical) lift without payment, on condition that if successful they were to have 17,300 and a royalty of 4 pence per ton of goods passed.

Stratford upon Avon Canal

Samuel Porter

He was engineer when cutting restarted, having previously been Josiah Clowes assistant.

Stratford upon Avon Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Thames & Medway Canal

Ralph Dodd

Published a pamphlet advocating the canal.

Warwick & Napton Canal

Formally opened on 19 December 1799.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Nicholas Brown

With Standedge tunnel the only remaining major work to be completed, his job came to an end.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Benjamin Outram

At the request of the company he gave his opinion on a proposal that the line to Worcester should be completed as a tramroad.

Leven Canal

William Jessop

He was employed by Mrs Bethell to do a survey.

Thames & Medway Canal

Ralph Dodd

He estimated the cost of the 47 mile canal, 48 feet wide and 7 feet deep, at 24,576 and thought it could be built in two years.

River Lee

John Rennie

He was asked to survey the river to see if it could be flooded as a defence against an invasion by Napoleon. He raised a number of objections to such a scheme but the government went ahead with the works although they were never completed.

Leicester Navigation

William Jessop

The reservoir on the Forrest line of the canal burst and he estimated the cost at 6,193 for repairs and compensation.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

James Hollinsworth

He measured the work actually done on the canal and compared it to money paid out. This was done on behalf John Rennie who reported to the company in May.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Joseph Fletcher

Was given the job of assisting his brother Samuel on the section of canal to Enfield (Clayton-le-Moors).

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Samuel Fletcher

Was placed in charge of the section of canal to Enfield (Clayton-le-Moors).

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Joseph Hill

He was severely criticised by John Rennie in his report on the canal works.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

John Rennie

Having employed James Hollingsworth to measure the work actually done in comparison to the charges made he reported to the company criticising both their engineer Joseph Hill and the contractors.

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

John Rennie

Following complaints about shoals appearing after every flood he surveyed the navigation. In his report of 5th June he offers to contribute his time to rectify defects in the navigation.

Glamorganshire Canal

George Overton

He was appointed engineer for the 9½ mile Penydarren tramroad (opened in 1802) from Merthyr to Abercynon.

Somerset Coal Canal

William Smith

He was dismissed from his post of surveyor.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

William Jessop

He and John Rennine arbitrated on behalf of the company in a dispute with the contractors.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

John Rennie

He and William Jessop arbitrated on behalf of the company in a dispute with the contractors.

Lancaster Canal

William Cartwright

As resident engineer for the whole canal he reported that the canal was now open for 12 miles to Johnson's Hillock and almost ready to Clayton Green except for Whittle Hills Tunnel.

Lancaster Canal

Henry Eastburn

His contract was not renewed and by this date he was no longer a resident engineer on the canal.

Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal

Benjamin Outram

Recommends the conversion of the company's cast-iron edge-rails to plateways.

Horncastle Canal

John Rennie

He reported that on the previous day he had carried out a survey and that the navigation between Dalderby and the Witham was crooked and imperfect. He recommended retaining the navigation on the West side of the Bain and making an independent cut 30 feet wide at the surface, 28 feet wide at the bottom and 3½ feet deep at the estimated cost of 8,291.

River Derwent

William Chapman

Asked to report on the drainage and navigation proposals with the assistance of Isaac Milbourn.

River Derwent

Isaac Milbourn

He was asked to assist William Chapman to report on drainage proposals for the river.

1800

Ashton Canal

Promoted under Acts of Parliament

Dudley Canal Line No 1

James (Birmingham) Green

Was working as engineer.

Daw End Branch Canal (BCN)

Completed.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

William Jessop

Around this date he gave up his interest in the dry-dock business on Mirfield cut.

Cassington Cut

This private cut of the Duke of Marlborough's started around 1800.

Caistor Canal

Closed.

Dorset & Somerset Canal

James Fussell

Tests on his vertical boat lift were made and proved successful.

River Don

William Jessop

He was invted to survey the river, consider the surveys made by Benjamin Outram in 1795 and Robert Whitworth in 1797 and propose improvements.

Exeter & Crediton Navigation

Robert Cartwright

Surveyed the line of the proposed navigation in preparation for the Bill to be presented to parliament.

Ellesmere Canal

William Jessop

In his report for the year he says it "wholly inadvisable to execute a Canal between Pontycysyllte and Chester" partly because of the opening of new collieries and a reduction in the price of coal at Chester.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

James Dadford

Was dismissed as engineer.

Glasgow, Paisley & Johnstone Canal

William Jessop

It was reported that he was employed to report on the scheme.

Glasgow, Paisley & Johnstone Canal

John Rennie

He made a survey, plan and report on Saltcoats Harbour and gave his authority to the canal scheme.

Horncastle Canal

Authorised by an Act to raise extra funds.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

John Varley

He was doing some flood repair work for the company and they considered him for work on the Standedge Tunnel. They were satisfied with his character but all his sureties backed out (his engineering reputation was not the best) so he was only used for some limited tunnelling work.

Knarsborough Canal Schemes

Ralph Burton

Took the levels for William Chapman's proposed route.

Lancaster Canal

Promoted by Act.

Monmouthshire Canal

Benjamin Outram

He produced plans for a tramroad from the canal at Risca to the Tredegar works.

Neath Canal

Thomas Cartwright

Surveyed the line for a tramroad on behalf of the company.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal

Completed in about 1800.

River Ouse (Sussex)

Promoted by Act.

Peak Forest Canal

Opened with a connecting tramroad at Marple.

Whaley Bridge Branch

Opened on 1 May 1800.

Rochdale Canal

Promoted by an Act.

Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Joseph Hill

He left the company in dispute and unpaid.

Somerset Coal Canal

Benjamin Outram

He advocates the rebuilding of colliery railways as plateways to take 2-ton waggons replacing the 10 -14 hundred-weight trucks using edge-rails. The trucks would then be run on to rafts and horse-towed up two inclined planes.

Stourbridge Canal

James (Birmingham) Green

Was appointed engineer.

Stourbridge Canal

Abraham Lees

He was replaced as engineer by James Green.

River Tees

George 2 Atkinson

Surveyed the route for a narrow canal from the River Ure, near Boroughbridge, to Piercebridge on the River Tees

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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