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William Jessop 23 1745 - 18 1814

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William Jessop 23 1745 - 18 1814

Canal Engineer of great repute.

Relationships: Assistant to John Smeaton, woked with James Creassy, assisted by William, Senior Crosley, assisted by Thomas Dadford junior, was assisted by John Duncombe, was assisted by Samuel Hartley and worked with John Hudson.

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30 May 1767Ripon CanalThe Act for the Ure and Ripon Canal was passed based on his survey.
30 May 1767River UreThe Act for the Ure and Ripon Canal was passed based on his survey.
1770Ripon Canaldid a survey for the canal and the Ure navigation while working for Smeaton.
1772Aire and Calder Navigation and River AireHe surveyed the river on behalf of John Smeaton and recommended a 7.25 mile canal between Haddlesey and Newland near the mouth of the Aire.
1772Leeds and Liverpool CanalHe was called in check John Longbotham's levels between Shaw Green and Liverpool.
1773Aire and Calder Navigation and River AireHe surveyed the whole river and accepted John Smeaton,s proposals between Leeds and Castleford and drew up new proposals under Smeaton's direction for the rest of the river.
1773Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby SectionUnder the direction of John Smeaton he drew up plans for a 5.25 mile canal between Haddlesey and Selby.
Early 1775Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby SectionCutting of the Selby canal began under his direction as engineer at 250 a year.
December 1775Calder and Hebble NavigationHe was engaged to build Mirfield cut with John Pinkerton as contractor.
1777Leeds and Liverpool CanalHe was called in to advise on the canal line below Armley.
1777Market Weighton CanalHe was asked to measure the work done by the Pinkerton's so that their account could be settled.
Late 1777Loughborough NavigationHe was called in to suggest improvements to the navigation and advised the building of a new lock at Redhill and the deepening of the upper canal to act as a reservoir.
1779Aire and Calder Navigation and River AireHe was not regularly employed by the company after this date but was sometimes consulted.
1779Calder and Hebble NavigationHe reported on and approved John Smeaton's proposals for improvements to the navigation.
1779Greasbrough (Park Gate) CanalHe altered John Smeaton's plan to allow for a reservoir and four broad locks before starting to build the canal. He probably completed it the next year.
After 1779Calder and Hebble NavigationHe and John Pinkerton started three businesses which took advantage of the new Mirfield Cut, lime-burning, a colliery and a dry dock.
1780Calder and Hebble NavigationHe started work on improvements at Kirklees and a new cut at Brighouse.
1782River TrentHe was asked to survey the river to see what improvements to navigation could be made without building locks. He listed 67 shoals and thought that dredging to acheive a minimum depth of 2 feet was possible where there was a hard bed to the river. He also recommended several new cuts.
1783River Rother (Western)He reported on the lower river to Petworth Mills.
Early 1783River TrentHe was employed to survey the Trent above Burton and the rivers Tame and Anker and reported that they could be made navigable to Birmingham for wide boats at much less cost than the projected Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
24 June 1783River TrentHe was appointed engineer to the new company set up by an Act just passed. He was to be paid 675 by instalments to complete authorised works.
1784Alford Canal projectHe and John Hudson prepared a plan and estimate for a canal with the outfall at Anderby.
1784River SevernHe was commissioned by the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Company to estimate the cost of removing shallows in the river, making a horse towing path and other navigation improvements.
August 1784River SevernHe recommended that the river be made navigable from from Meadow Wharf at Colnbrookdale to Diglis below Worcester. By building 13 or 14 locks and weirs and other works it would be possible for craft drawing up to 4 feet to navigate in all seasons.
1785Calder and Hebble NavigationBattye Ford cut is extended to his plans.
1785Flint Coal CanalHe surveyed a proposed line for the canal.
1785Oakham CanalHe is commissioned to do a survey for the canal although the work was done by Robert Whitworth.
1786Leven CanalHe was asked "to take a view of the works of the drainage, and of the River Hull, and to report what measures (in his opinion) ought to be pursued to give the best effect to the undertaking; what will be the probable expense of those measures, whether a navigation be compatible with the drainage, and if it be, what additional expense would be required to effect a navigation (as well as drainage) from the outfall to Monk bridge."
July 1786Leven CanalHe reports that a navigation "will by no means be incompatible with drainage, but rather an advantage to it, if properly executed".
1787Basingstoke CanalHe was appointed engineer and did the final survey.
March 1787River ThamesHe completed a survey and reported on the river from Oxford to Lechlade.
July 1787Dudley Canal Line No 2It was agreed that he would be released from from his bond and that John Pinkerton should pay the company 2,000 by instalments which jessop was to guarantee with others.
4 September 1787River TrentThe navigation works were considered complete and he was paid the balance of his fee and appointed engineer at 100 a year.
1788River Ouse (Sussex)He made a survey and estimated that it would cost 14,400 to make the river navigable for 30-ton craft from Lewes to Pilstye Bridge just past the Cuckfield to Balcombe road. The estmate was for a navigation with 25 locks but a shorter navigation from Lewes to Lindfield with 18 locks was estimated at 9,271.
1788Shropshire CanalHe gave evidence in London to support the Bill authorising the canal.
25 March 1788Dudley Canal Line No 2He stood surity for a 4,000 bond which John Pinkerton took as contractor cutting the canal.
December 1788Cromford CanalHe presented his estimate of 42,697 for building the canal at a meeting in Alfreton.
1789Cromford CanalHe was appointed engineer at 350 a year plus expenses and was to give a third of his time to the works.
1789River GippingHe was commissioned by several landownwers to survey the River Gipping valley with a view to making the river navigable.
July 1789River TrentHe made a suvey of the river at Sawley to estimate the cost of a side-cut. He recommended a cut and a lock.
1790Melton Mowbray NavigationHe oversaw the survey by Christopher Staveley.
1790River Ouse (Yorkshire)He reported that he was told that there were not more than three seagoing craft a week going above Selby and that this figure included Hull Sloops and small vessels from Gainsborough and Rotherham.
1790River Rother (Western)He reported on the lower river to Midhurst.
Late 1790Nottingham CanalHe was asked to survey the canal and a branch from Lenton to the Trent at Beeston. He started his survey and found that the line suggested by Lord Middleton was impracticable because it needed tunnelling and deep cuttings but then he fell ill and suggested that James Green should complete the survey.
March 1790River GippingHe gave evidence to the parliamentary committee considering the Bill.
19 April 1790River GippingHe was asked to prepare detailed drawings and specifications to be used as the basis for tenders.
12 July 1790Leicester NavigationHe was asked to make a survey for the line of the proposed canal.
Autumn September 1790Leicester NavigationHe and Christopher Staveley proposed a canal and river line to Leicester, the canalisation of the Wreak to Melton Mowbray and a rail and water line to the Leicestershire collieries.
1791Calder and Hebble NavigationAround this date he gave up his interest in the lime-burning and colliery business on Mirfield cut.
1791Fossdyke CanalHe was commisioned to survey the canal and its junction with the River Witham.
1791River Witham NavigationHe was commisioned to survey the river and its junction with the Fossdyke. He suggested either a line round the south of the city along the Sincel Dyke or to increase the depth of navigation below High Bridge, which was only 18 inches below the minimum surface water level.
Early 1791River ThamesHe was asked to survey the upper river but was too busy.
April 1791Rochdale CanalHe was asked to do a survey for the canal but could not find the time.
May 1791Leicester NavigationHe was appointed engineer at 300 a year.
June 1791Nottingham CanalHe has been ill for six months and the committee now agree that James Green should do the survey under Jessop's supervision. He says "I am still confined but hope next week to be able to get out with my head wrapped up".
30 June 1791Horncastle CanalHe wrote a report considering either, taking the navigation from Horncastle down the River Bain to Tattershall and then through a new cut to the River Witham, or a new canal to join the river at Kirkstead which is 4 miles nearer to Lincoln. His estimates were 12,233 and 12,544 respectively.
Summer June 1791Grantham CanalHe carried out a survey for the canal.
September 1791Nottingham CanalHe submitted his estimate for the canal.
November 1791River FossHe reported on the river navgation but saw the main advantages of improvements coming from better drainage which would open up land for development. He proposed buying out Castle mills and having an entrance lock with a rise of 4 feet 4 inches. He estimated the cost as 16,274.
25 November 1791Sleaford NavigationHe and John Hudson reported that the Slea and Kyme Eau could be made navigable for 9,979.
1792Barnsley CanalBecame engineer for the canal.
1792Calder and Hebble NavigationHe was not employed as consultant after this date when Thomas Bradley became the canal engineer.
1792Nottingham CanalHe is appointed engineer at 3 guineas a day.
1792Oakham CanalHe did a general survey for the line of the canal.
Early 1792Aire and Calder Navigation and River AireHe was asked to survey the navigation and recommend improvements but was probably too busy to undertake the task.
Early 1792Cromford CanalThe Amber Aqueduct partially failed and he voluntarily paid the 650 repair cost. He also offered to forgo his salary for the past six months and until the completion of the canal but this offer was not accepted.
Late 1792Barnsley CanalHe revised his estimate to 82,080 due to the new Haigh bridge branch, a reservior replacing steam engines and higher land costs among other factors.
Late 1792Derby CanalHe re-surveyed Benjamin Outrams proposed route and suggested a terminus at Little Eaton instead of Denby and a tramroad from there to the collieries.
Spring March 1792Horncastle CanalHe gave evidence to the parliamentary committee considering the Bill.
June 1792Leicestershire & Northampton Union CanalHe commented on the extension of the line from Market Harborough to Northampton and was later appointed engineer.
Summer June 1792Barnsley CanalHe was asked to survey the line for the canal but was too busy.
Summer June 1792Dearne and Dove CanalHe was asked to survey the line for the canal but was too busy.
3 July 1792Caistor CanalIt was decided to ask him to carry out a survey and prepare a plan.
August 1792Ellesmere CanalHe was called in because the company wanted "as engineer of approved character and experience" to consult and he recommended the original western route for the canal. However he did suggests some changes including a higher aqueduct at Pontcysllte to reduce the length of the proposed 4,607-yard tunnel at Ruabon. His estimate for the main line was 179,898 plus 17,000 for branches at Holt and Llanymynech.
September 1792Barnsley CanalHe reported that he had looked at the various lines surveyed by William Martin, John Gott and Elias Wright and had concluded that a line from near Wakefield to Barnsley and Silkstone was best and could be built for 50,000.
Autumn September 1792Ashby de la Zouch CanalHe checked Robert Whitworth's line for the canal.
Autumn September 1792Grand Junction CanalHe resurveyed the route that James Barnes proposed and found little to change.
October 1792Barnsley CanalHe and Robert Mylne for the Dearne & Dove Canal jointly planned a level junction lock to ensure that neither canal lost water.
3 October 1792Caistor CanalHis report was considered at a meeting of the Ancholme Navigation Commissioners who were concerned about the effect the proposed navigation would have on drainage.
November 1792Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby SectionHe came to examine William Martins Plans for a Dock and other facilities at Selby following a request to him in August. He recommended that work start immediately when he reported in January 1793.
1793Barnsley CanalHe took part in the survey and estimate of 72,115 for the 6 mile Haigh bridge branch.
1793River FossHe supervised an amended survey by Robert Gilson that proposed 5 locks above Sheriff Hutton and 9 below.
1793Gloucester & Sharpness Ship CanalHe was asked to resurvey the canal but did not respond.
1793Grantham CanalHe was employed to check progress of the works from time to time.
1793Nutbrook CanalHe was paid for the preliminary survey of the canal.
1793Somerset Coal CanalHe made a report on the proposed canal, assisted by William Smith, and was paid 75.
Spring March 1793Grand Junction CanalHe was appoined to take charge of construction.
8 July 1793River TrentHe and Robert Whitworth reported on the on the state of the navigation and recommended improvements in preparation for a new navigation Act.
Autumn September 1793Bristol & Taunton CanalHe checked the Bristol & Western Canal Line.
Autumn September 1793Cromford CanalThe Derwent Aqueduct cracked and he blames himself for the want of sufficient strngth in the front walls.
Autumn September 1793Taunton - Uphill Canal projectHe checked a survey made by Josiah Easton.
28 November 1793Grand Western CanalHe gave his report on the lines proposed by Robert Whitworth and John Longbotham, favouring the shorter line of Longbotham but not his Tiverton and Cullompton branches. He also recommended a navigation that would take 50 ton barges.
1794River TrentHe was continued as engineer by the new Trent company.
Late 1794Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemesHe was associated with William Chapman in his survey of the route and plans for the canal.
January 1794Rochdale CanalAbout this time though "so much engaged" he found time to survey parts of the canal where water supplies were giving concern to mill owners.
May 1794Ashby de la Zouch CanalThe Act was passed based on his and Robert Whitworth's estimate of 138,238 for the 30 miles and 3 fulongs canal.
June 1794Barnsley CanalHe decided to replace the planned embankment and culvert to cross the River Dearne with a five-arched masonary aqueduct.
17 June 1794Rochdale CanalHaving been over the line layout by William Crosley and proposed the elimination of the planned tunnel by the addition of 14 locks, thus saving 20,000. His canal was to be 42 foot wide, except on embankments or in cuttings, and 5 feet deep and he specified postions for each of the locks.
October 1794Nottingham CanalThe committee criticise him for not paying enough attention to the canal.
1795Petworth CanalHe surveyed a line for the proposed canal.
14 July 1795Ellesmere CanalHe 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.
August 1795Ellesmere CanalHe approved Thomas Telford's plans for the revised line between Ruabon and Chester.
26 October 1795Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemesHe 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.
1796Gloucester & Sharpness Ship CanalHe and Robert Whitworth were consulted about changes to the line.
Spring March 1796Rochdale CanalHe inspected the works and reported favourably on what had been done.
Before October 1796Commercial Canal projectHe re-surveyed the proposed route.
Late 1797Montgomeryshire CanalHe was called in to examine the engineering following the collapse of an arch on the Vyrnwy Aqueduct, which he considered a normal teething trouble.
1798Driffield NavigationActing 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.
1799Grand Junction CanalHe 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.
Late 1799Leven CanalHe was employed by Mrs Bethell to do a survey.
February 1799Leicester NavigationThe reservoir on the Forrest line of the canal burst and he estimated the cost at 6,193 for repairs and compensation.
Summer June 1799Salisbury & Southampton CanalHe and John Rennine arbitrated on behalf of the company in a dispute with the contractors.
1800Calder and Hebble NavigationAround this date he gave up his interest in the dry-dock business on Mirfield cut.
1800River DonHe was invted to survey the river, consider the surveys made by Benjamin Outram in 1795 and Robert Whitworth in 1797 and propose improvements.
1800Ellesmere CanalIn 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.
1800Glasgow, Paisley & Johnstone CanalIt was reported that he was employed to report on the scheme.
March 1800Leven CanalHe reported the results of his survey and estimated the cost of the canal as 4,041.
1801River DonHe reported in February and more fully in the summer proposing new cuts and locks at Doncaster and Conisbrough as well as supporting earlier proposals for a cut with 2 locks at Eastwood.
1801Ellesmere CanalHe left the post of consultant engineer.
1801Leven CanalThe authorising Act required him to agree with James Creassy the width, depth and size of lock before work began.
1801River NeneThe Deeping Fen Act was passed based on two reports, one of which he prepared with John Rennie.
March 1801Sheffield CanalIn a letter to the River Don company he suggests that an extension to Sheffield could be included in the River Don Improvement Bill. On the basis of a quick survey he thought locks should be grouped at Tinsley as back pumping would be needed and the cost of maintaining a steam engine may be too much.
May 1801Lancaster CanalHe and John Rennie reported on the schemes for crossing the Ribble and recommeded a 640-feet long aqueduct 57 feet high with three 116-feet elliptical arches.
1802Grand Surrey CanalHe reported on the state of the canal works following a dispute between Ralpph Dodd and John Rowe.
Early 1802Barnsley CanalHe reported that the canal was complete.
1803Caledonian CanalHe was appointed consulting engineer for the project.
Late 1803River DonA parliamentary Bill was introduced for improvements based on his 1801 report.
1804Sheffield CanalHe was asked by the River Don company to report on the possibility of a railway instead of a canal on the route.
April 1804Caledonian CanalHe estimated the cost of the canal as 474,500 excluding land purchase.
Summer June 1804Caledonian CanalHe advised Thomas Telford to appoint two resident engineers or superintendents.
1805Caledonian CanalHe and Thomas Telford decided that a basin should be made for Corpach sea-lock and that the locks should be arranged as staircase flights to save expense.
1805River ThamesHe and John Rennie surveyed the river from Kew to Boulter's Lock and recommended contracting and deepening the channel or preferably the building of long cuts and 5 pound-locks.
1805River WyeHe made a survey of the river and notice of a Bill for improvement of the navigation was made.
1807River DonHe was asked whether any of his 1801 proposals needed to be altered but it seems he confirmed his original report.
1808Calder and Hebble NavigationHe was consulted by the company concerning a dispute with Sir Thomas Pilkington over the building of new locks at Fall Ing.
January 1809River Avon (Bristol)Water was diverted into the new cut from the floating harbour to the Avon so completing his 600,000 scheme for the docks at double his original estimate.
1810Gloucester & Sharpness Ship CanalHe and John Hodgkinson were asked to report on the canal and the proposd line to Hock Crib.
February 1811Worcester and Birmingham CanalHe was called in to advise about the decision to abandon the idea of using boat lifts at Tardebigge. He favoured the lift because of his doubts about water supply and the high costs of pumping.
1829Bridgwater and Taunton CanalHe proposed a ship canal from Comwich to Bridgwater.

 

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