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

Top 100 Sites

This Book "Priestley's Navigable Rivers and Canals" by Joseph Priestley was previously published in April 1831. NOTE: Oringinally called "Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways, of Great Britain".
For more information see About this Book

Index Page Link to Previous Page 219

page 220

TONNAGE RATES OF 12 GEORGE I.

Lead or Lead.ore 2s 6d per Fodder.
Iron, Steel, Horns, Hoofs, Bones and Box-wood 3s 0d per Ton.
Deals, Boards, or Foreign Timber, Cheese, Salt, Corn, Cutlery Wares, Iron Wares, Groceries or other Merchandize 3s 6d ditto.
Lime or Lime-stone brought up to Rotherham or Aldwark Wash 0s 6d ditto.
Lime or Lime-stone brought up to Tinsley 0s 9d ditto.
Ditto carried up or down the said River, to Doncaster Wash, or any other Place between Aldwark Wash and Doncaster 0s 3d ditto.
Coal, Stone, Iron, Sough, Metal, and Foreign Timber, from Tinsley down to Holmstile or Doncaster, or vice versa 2s 6d ditto.
Wood and English Timber from Tinsley to Doncaster, and vice versa 1s 6d ditto.
Ditto, from Rotherham to Holmstile 1s 0d ditto.
Coal, Stone, Iron, Sough, Metal, and Foreign Timber, from Rotherham to Holmstile 2s 0d ditto.
Ditto, from any Place between Rotherham and Kilnhurst Works; and from thence to Denaby, Mexbrough, and Conisbrough 1s 6d ditto.
Or on any part of the Navigation between Cooisbrough and Holmstile 1s 0d ditto.

In addition to these, is a Toll of One Penny for every customary Ton of Goods carried upwards or downwards through the Township of Tinsley, to be applied to the making and repairing of the Road between Tinsley and Sheffield.

There is also another Toll of One Penny for every customary Ton of Twenty-five Hundred Weight, which shall be brought to, or carried from, any Wharf at or near Tinsley, to be carried up or down the said River.

The year following the passing of the above-recited act, the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses of the borough of Doncaster, obtained an act, entitled, 'An Act for improving the Navigation of the River Dun, from a place called Holmstile, in the township of Doncaster, in the county of York, to Wilsick House, in the township of Barmby Dun, in the said county,' by which they are appointed undertakers of this part of the navigation.

In addition to the tonnage rates granted for the lower part of this navigation, certain duties are directed to be paid to the corporation of Doncaster, as a remuneration for the expenses they are at in maintaining three draw bridges over the Dutch River, which are by this act granted to them, besides the annual sum of £20, payable by the participants and owners of lands in the level of Hatfield Chase.

Under the powers of the above-recited acts, the two navigation companies together expended, in the necessary works, the sum of £17,250, but on finding it would be to their common advantage to unite into one company, an act was obtained in the 6th George II. for this purpose, which is entitled, 'An Act to explain and amend Two Acts of Parliament, one made in the Twelfth and the other in the Thirteenth Years of his late Majesty's Reign, for

page 221

'making navigable the River Dun, in the county of York, and for the better perfecting and maintaining the said Navigation, and for uniting the several Proprietors thereof into one Company.'

It was accordingly divided into one hundred and fifty shares, being at the rate of £115 per share on the amount expended. The proprietors of the upper part consisted of forty-nine persons, besides the cutlers' company; and the ownership of the lower part was vested in the corporation of Doncaster, and twenty other persons. These several parties are therefore incorporated in one company, by the name of "The Company of Proprietors of the Navigation of the River Dun ;" and the several tonnage rates, and other duties, hitherto received by either party, is hereafter to form one fund, (except the duty of one penny a fodder for lead, and two-pence a ton for other goods and merchandize, except lime and limestone to be converted into lime,) which the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses of the borough of Doncaster, are empowered to take, by virtue of the act of 12th of George I. in lieu of an ancient toll. Of the one hundred and fifty shares of which the navigation consists, ten are, by this act, appropriated to the corporation of Doncaster, six to the cutlers' company, ten to seven persons as trustees to the town of Sheffield, and the remainder among private individuals.

ADDITIONAL TONNAGE RATES.

For any Goods or Merchandize which shall be landed or loaded from off or upon any Wharf or Place on the South Side of the River Dun, or Cheswould, between Holmstile and Fryers Bridge, which shall not pass, or shall not have passed, the Lock at Doncaster Mill 2d per Ton, of 2,500 lbs.

The navigation is directed to be made to the farthest part of the township of Tinsley, westward, for vessels of twenty tons burthen; and if not done within the space of two years from the passing of this act, the cutlers' company are authorized to do it at their own expense, and to collect, for their own use, all the duties which may arise upon any part of the river between Mexbrough and Tinsley. The navigation company have, by this act, jurisdiction only as far down the river as Wilsick House; below that place to New Bridge it is subject to the commissioners of the level of Hatfield Chase; and the New or Dutch River, to the mayor and commonalty of the city of York, as conservators of the Ouze.

page 222

In 1739 a fourth act was obtained, entitled, 'An Act for the more effectual improving the Navigation of the River Dun, from a place called Wilsick House, in the parish qf Barmby Dun, in the county of York, to Fishlock Ferry, in the same county,' in consequence of the imperfect state of the river between the above-mentioned places, which, in dry seasons and neap tides, was impassable. The improvements, authorized by this act, have been carried into effect, by making a canal from Bramwith to Stainforth, and by deepening the channel from the west end of this cut to Wilsick House.

ADDITIONAL RATES ALLOWED BY THIS ACT.

Coal and Bark, Lime, Stone, Wood and Timber of English Growth, passing up or down the River Dun, through the lower End of the Cut at Barmby Dun, and by the new proposed Stainforth Cut 2d per Customary Ton of 25 Cwt.
All other Goods, Wares, or Merchandise 4d ditto.

EXEMPTION.

All Goods and Commodities whatsoever, the Produce of the Neighboorhood between Goole and the lower End of the Cut at Barmby, which shall be shipped between these Places, and which shall be carried above the lower End of the Barmby Cut.

Any Goods passing down the Dun, and landed anywhere between the Barmby Cut and Goole, and not shipped again, are also exempted from the above Toll. Grain put on board below Doncaster Mill Dam. to go down the River, is also free of the Duties chargeable under this Act.
All Goods belonging to the Inhabitants of Doncaster, or any Inhabitant of the Country between that Place and Goole, passing through the Stainforth Cut 2d per Ton.
And, under the Act of the 13th George I. the further Toll only of 2d ditto.

For the purpose of repairing the Roads between Sheffield and Tinsley, a Toll of One Penny per Ton is to be levied on all Goods brought to the Wharf at Tinsley to be shipped on this Navigation.

From the date of the last-recited act, a period of eighty-two years elapsed before any additional parliamentary enactment was passed relative to this navigation; but, in consequence of the delays to which the increasing trade of the country were subjected by the shallows in the river below Sandall Lock, an act was passed to enable the company to avoid them, by making a new canal from Sandall to the west end of the Stainforth Cut; which act is entitled, 'An Act for improving the River Dun, and for altering the Course thereof, by making certain new Cuts or Canals from the same, and for amending, altering, and enlarging the Powers granted to the River Dun Company, by several Acts relating to the said Navigation.' The proprietors are further authorized to

page 223

make two short cuts, or a new river channel, four hundred and seventy-three yards in length, in Arksey Ings, for the purpose of cutting off two considerable bends in the river; also a new channel for the river at Sandall, six hundred and sixty yards in length. To carry these into execution, the proprietors of the navigation are empowered to borrow the sum of £40,000, on the credit of the undertaking.

ADDITIONAL RATES ALLOWED BY THIS ACT.

Lead, Iron, Iron-castings, and Steel, Horns, Hoofs, Bones, Box-wood, Timber, Broken and Unbroken Deals, Boards, Cheese, Salt, Cutler's Wares, Iron Wares, and all other Merchandize, Conveyed along all or any of these proposed Cuts 10d per Ton.
Metal Iron for Ballast 6d ditto.
English Pig-iron 8d ditto.
Corn, Grain, or Malt (per Eight Bushels Winchester) 1d per Quarter.
Lime or Lime-stone (except from Conisbrough, Warmsworth, Sprotbrough, Cadeby, and Newton) 2d per Ton.
Stone 6d per Ton, of 18 Cubic Feet.
Ditto, put on Board between Barmby Dun and South Bramwith, and going down the River 3d ditto.

Coal is exempted from any additional Toll; but the Act determines that the customary Ton thereof shall not in future exceed Forty-five Hundred Weight, or Five Thousand and Forty Pounds.

The last act relating to this navigation, received the royal assent on the 26th of May, 1826, and is entitled, 'An Act for improving the Navigation of the River Dun, and for altering the Course thereof, by making certain new Cuts or Canals from the same; and for amending, altering, and enlarging the Powers granted to the Company of Proprietors, by several Acts now in force.'

The improvements here contemplated, were designed by Mr. G. Leather, and consist chiefly of five new cuts, which considerably shorten, and otherwise improve this important navigation. They are two miles and a half in length, and are particularly described at the beginning of this article. The estimated cost is £64,000.

To carry these alterations into effect, the act empowers the company of proprietors to borrow the amount of the estimate, on mortgage of the rates and duties arising on this navigation. Ten years are allowed for the completion of the works hereby authorized to be made.

page 224

ADDITIONAL RATES GRANTED BY THIS ACT.

For every Vessel, either empty or containing less than Four Tons of Twenty-five Hundred Weight, and passing through the Mexbrough New Cut 3d.
For every Vessel loaded solely with Coal, Stone, or Lime-stone 7½d.
For all other Goods, Wares, or Merchandise (but not exceeding Two Shillings per Vessel) ¾d per Ton, of 25 Cwt.

The same Rates for all Vessels, empty or loaded, as above, which pass the New Cut or Canal to be made at Eastwood.

Note - That if empty Vessels, which have paid the above Rate, should return laden with Lime-stone from the Parishes of Doncaster, Warmsworth, Conisbrough, or Sprotbrough, the Rate so levied shall be returned.

The two tolls of one penny each, which were levied for the purpose of keeping in repair the road from Tinsley to Sheffield, is, by an act of the 55th George III. entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from Sheffield to Tinsley, in the West Riding of the county of York,' vested in the company of proprietors of the Sheffield Canal.

By an act of 33rd George III. cap. 117, for making the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, it is enacted, that all vessels which turn out of the Dun Navigation Cut, and pass down this canal, shall pay to the Dun Company the same rates as though the vessel passed through the lock near the junction.

The Dun Navigation is of the utmost importance for exporting the produce of the extensive coal and iron works which abound at its western extremity; also the vast quantity of manufactured iron goods and cutlery which is annually produced in the populous town and neighbourhood of Sheffield. The trade of Rotherham, the limestone and plaster at Sprotbrough, and other places in the line, together with the agricultural produce of the neighbourhood of Doncaster, constitute a considerable branch of traffic on this navigation. The imports consist of every article requisite for the supply of an extensive, populous, and manufacturing district.

EDEN RIVER.

8 George I. Cap. 14, Royal Assent 12th February, 1721.

THIS river rises near Pendragon Castle, in Westmoreland, and among that range of hills on which Shunnor Fell stands conspicuous, at an elevation of 2,329 feet above the level of the sea. Its

page 225

course is northerly, by the town of Kirkby Stephen, and near to the town of Brough, and thence, in a north-westwardly direction by Appleby to Edenhall Hall, near which it is joined by the River Eamont, which flows from the beautiful lake of Ulles Water; and by Penrith, and at the same time, forms the division between the counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland. From the junction above-mentioned, it winds through a fine country, by the town of Kirkoswald, Armathwaite, and Corby Castle, to Warwick Hall, where it receives the waters of the Little River Irthing. From this place it runs westward, by a winding course, to the city of Carlisle, at the bridge of which place the navigation commences. From Carlisle its course is very circuitous, passing Grinsdale, Kirkandrews, Beaumont, and Rockcliff, to Burgh Marsh Point, where it falls into the Solway Firth. Its length is ten miles and a quarter; the tide flows the whole distance, and it was made navigable under authority of an act of 8th George I. entitled, 'An Act for making the River Eden navigable to Bank End, in the county of Cumberland.'

This river was chiefly used for importing supplies to the city of Carlisle, and to export its various manufactures; but since the opening of the Carlisle Canal, the transit of merchandize has been principally through the latter channel; and, consequently, the navigation of the river has been nearly superseded.

EDINBURGH AND DALKEITH RAILWAY.

7 George IV. Cap. 98, Royal Assent 26th May, 1826.

10 George IV. Cap. 122, Royal Assent 4th June, 1829.

THIS railway commences on the south side of the city of Edinburgh, near Salisbury Craigs, from whence it proceeds in an eastwardly direction, skirting the King's Park; thence, on the south side of Duddingston House, and by the village of Hunters Hall, to Redrow, where it communicates with the Edmonstone Railway. It afterwards takes a southerly course by Miller Hill Row, to within half a mile of the west side of the town of Dalkeith, where it crosses the North Esk River; thence, to the banks

page 226

of South Esk River, at Dalhousie Mains, near Newbattle Abbey, from whence, the last act enables the company to extend it to Newton Grange.

There is a branch from Wanton Walls to Fisher Row Harbour, in the Firth of Forth; another from Cairney to the collieries situate on the east side of the Esk, at Cowpits, near Musselburgh; and another by a subsequent act, which extends to Leith Harbour.

The main line of this railroad, with the extension to Newton Grange, to be made under powers of the act of 10th George IV. is ten miles and three quarters; the first three furlongs of which, from the depot at Edinburgh, is level; it then descends 130 feet, by an inclined plane five furlongs in length, in which distance it passes through a tunnel of six hundred yards. From the end of the inclined plane, it continues level for three miles; when there is a rise of 150 feet to its termination, which is at an elevation of 280 feet above the level of the sea.

The branch to Cowpits is one mile and a half in length, and that to Fisher Row Harbour one mile and a quarter. Other branches to Duddingston, Salt Pans, and Portobello, were in contemplation before the first application to parliament, but were subsequently abandoned. Mr. James Jardine, of Edinburgh, projected this railway, and estimated the cost at £70,125; of which sum, £56,150 was subscribed at the time the act was obtained.

The first act relating to this railway received the royal assent on the 26th of May, 1826; it is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a Railway from Edinburgh to the South Side of the River North Esk, near Dalkeith and Newbattle, with Branches therefrom, all in the county of Edinburgh.' The subscribers to this undertaking, at the time the above act was obtained, were eighty-seven in number, amongst whom were the Duke of Buccleugh and Queensberry, Marquis of Lothian, Earl of Wemyss and March, Earl of Roseberry, Viscount Melville, Sir J. H. Dalrymple, Sir John Hope, Sir Hugh Innes, Sir Robert Keith Dick, Admiral Sir P. C. H. Durham, Baronets, the Lord Provost and Corporation of the city of Edinburgh, and the Magistrates of the town of Musselburgh. They were incorporated by the name of "The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Company," with power to raise among themselves the amount of the estimate, in shares of

page 227

£50 each; and they may borrow the additional sum of £20,000, if necessary, on the credit of the undertaking. The concerns of this company are to be managed by a committee of nine or more persons, possessed of ten shares each at the least, and of whom three is at all meetings to be a quorum.

TONNAGE RATES.

Stone for the repairs of any Roads or Bridges, (not being in the Dalkeith District) Coal, Coke, Culm, and for all Stone, (except Stone for the repair of the Roads in the Dalkeith District,) Cinders, Chalk, Marl, Sand, Lime, Clay, Ashes, Peat, Lime-stone, Pitching and Paving-stone, (not being for the repair of Public Roads,) Iron-atone, or other Ore or Minerals, Bricks, Tiles, Slates, and all Gross and Unmanufactured Articles, Building Materials, and for all sorts of Manure and Grain, Flour, Meal, Potatoes, Hay, and Straw 4d per Ton, per Mile.
For every Carriage conveying Passengers, or Goods or Parcels not exceeding Five Hundred Weight 6d ditto. ditto.
For the Carriage of Small Parcels (not exceeding Five Hundred Weight) 1d per Mile, per Cwt.
For all other Goods, Wares, or Commodities 1d ditto. ditto.

ADDITIONAL RATES ON THE INCLINED PLANES.

For every Article which shall pass the Inclined Planes, by means of Stationary or Locomotive Engines (provided that not more than Two Inclined Planes be constructed between Edinburgh and the village of Hunters Hall) 1s 0d per Ton, for each Plane.

Fractions to be paid as for a Quarter of a Mile, and as for a Quarter of a Ton.

PONTAGE RATES IN ADDITION.

For every Article carried across the Railway Bridge; to be erected over the North Esk River at Eskbank 4d per Ton.

Which Rate is to be levied only for the Purpose of repaying the original Cost, with Interest; and for the future Maintenance of the same.

For the Bridge to be erected over the Railway Branch, which crosses the Esk near Cowpits, the same Rate is to be levied as on that over the North Esk as above, and with the same Object.

WHARFAGE RATES.

For all Coal Carried to Fisher Row 1d per Ton.

Private wharfs may be erected by owners of lands, or by the company if they neglect to do so, and for which the following rates are allowed.
Coal, Culm; Lime, Lime-stone, Clay, Iron, Tin Plates, Iron-stone, Lead or other Ore, Timber, Stone, Bricks, Tiles, Slate, Gravel, Hay, Straw, Corn in the Straw, or Manure, which does not remain more than One Calendar Month ¼d per Ton.
For any other Goods, Wares, or Merchandise, if they do nut remain more than Six Days ½d ditto.
For any Articles which may remain fur the Space of Six Days over and above the time hereby limited for the same respectively 1d ditto for such Six Days.

And One Half-penny per Ton for every further Day.

page 228

Six years are allowed for the execution of this railway and branches, and if not then made, the power granted under this act will cease, except as to such part as may have been completed.

Among the clauses relative to private property, is one which compels the company to execute that part of the railway which is intended to pass over the estate of Sir Robert Keith Dick, Bart. within eighteen months from the commencement of the works on the estate, or suffer a penalty of £20 for every succeeding month which it may remain unfinished. And as a way-leave, an annual payment is to be made, (over and above the value of the land) of a sum not exceeding £990, nor less than £490, which payments are to be regulated by the average daily amount of tonnage passing along the railway through his estate.

If the Average be Nine Hundred Tons daily, the Annual Payment to be £990
If less than Nine Hundred, and not less than Eight Hundred Tons 890
If less than Eight Hundred, and not less than Seven Hundred Tons 790
If less than Seven Hundred, and not less than Six Hundred Tons 690
If less than Six Hundred, and not less than Five Hundred Tons 590
If less than Five Hundred, the Annual Paymeot to be not less than 490

And should the Company ever abandon the Railway through Sir Robert Keith Dick's Estate, they shall be quit of the above Obligation, on Payment of the Sum of £1,830.

For Compensation to Andrew Wauchope, of Niddrie Marischall, Esq. for passing through his Estate, (in addition to the Value of the Land so to be occupied,) the Company agree to pay One Half-penny per Ton for every Article passing over his Estate, except the Produce thereof; with the Privilege of enjoying the use of the Railway which passes over his Estate, free of Toll, for the Produce of his Estate, or for any other Articles intended for his own use, or that of his Tenants.

To John Wauchope, of Edmonstone, Esq. the Sum of £670 is directed to be paid (in addition to the Value of his Land,) for the Privilege of carrying the Railway across his Estate, together with the Rate of One Half-penny per Ton, under the Provisions and with the same Privileges as are enjoyed by Andrew Wauchope, Esq.

On the 4th of June, 1829, the royal assent was given to another act, entitled, 'An Act to enable the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Company, to raise afurt her Sum of Money to make a Branch from the said Railway to Leith, and for other Purposes relating thereto.' The extension here contemplated is from Niddrie North Mains, by Portobello, to Leith Harbour, the length being three miles, six furlongs and four chains, with a fall, to the Forth, of 130 feet.

The main line is also to be extended five furlongs, from Dalhousie Mains to Newton Grange.

Mr. Jardine also made the estimates for the Leith Branch and Extension. For the branch, if a double road, £29,628; but if

page 229

single, £22,260; and for the extension of the main line to Newton Grange, £7,815; towards which, the Marquis of Lothian subscribed £1,000.

By the second act, the branch to Fisher Row Harbour is, in future, to be accounted a portion of the main line; for the purpose of completing which, power is given to raise, in addition to the several sums of £57,695 and £4,136, which had already been expended, any sum not exceeding £54,875, which is directed to be raised by creating new shares of £50 each; and an additional sum of £10,000, over and above the £20,000 which they were empowered to borrow by the last-recited act. For the Leith Branch, a new list of subscriptions is to be raised by a company who may act independently of the shareholders on the main line, by appointing their own committee of management, as well as possessing the power to make separate dividends of the proceeds of this branch.

The subscribers are empowered to raise among themselves the sum of £25,700, in one thousand and twenty-eight shares of £25 each, (of which sum, £19,600 was subscribed before this act was obtained) and a further sum of £10,000, on assignment of the rates as a security.

This branch crosses the estate of the Marquis of Abercorn, who has the privilege of a way-leave for himself and tenants free of charge, and is entitled to make branch railways to connect with this.

William Miller, Esq. another considerable landed proprietor, has obtained the same power and privileges as the above-named nobleman, by obtaining the introduction of a similar clause.

With respect to the extension of the main line to Newton Grange, it is enacted, that, should the Marquis of Lothian think proper to do it at his own expense, the pontage rates which the company are authorized to demand for all articles crossing the North Esk Bridge, shall not be collected.

The principal object of this railway and branches, is to open more effectually, a better and cheaper communication between the city of Edinburgh and the port of Leith, with the valuable collieries and limestone quarries that abound in the rich mineral district to which they extend.

page 230

EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW UNION CANAL.

57 Geo. III. C. 56, R. A. 27th June, 1817.

59 Geo. III. C. 29, R .A. 19th May, 1819.

1 & 2 Geo. IV. C. 122, R. A. 23rd June, 1821.

4 Geo. IV. C. 18, R.A. 12th May, 1823.

7 Geo. IV. C. 45, R. A. 5th May, 1826.

THE Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal commences from the sixteenth lock of the Forth and Clyde Navigation, about two miles west of Falkirk, in the county of Sterling, whence it takes an eastwardly course on the south side of the above-mentioned town, by some collieries; thence, through Black Hill Tunnel, and across the Glen Water, on which stream, at a short distance to the southward, is constructed a considerable reservoir. Its line hence is by Brighton Freestone Quarries, and about a mile north from Park Hill Colliery, to the Avon River, over which there is an aqueduct conveying the canal at an elevation of 80 feet above the surface of the river. The canal here enters the county of Linlithgow, and passes within a mile and a half on the south side of its capital, to Craighton House, where its course is more southerly and circuitous, to the River Almond, near Clifton House, where it crosses into Edinburghshire, by means of an aqueduct. Its course hence is by Ratho House, and across Leith River, to the city of Edinburgh, where it terminates by a basin at the Lothian Road, about half a mile south-west of the castle. The length of the canal is thirty miles, the depth of water 5 feet, and is on one level from Edinburgh to its western extremity, where it falls 110 feet, in one series of locks, into the Forth and Clyde Canal.

This navigation is supplied by feeders from all the streams it crosses, and from reservoirs constructed for that purpose; one of which is at Barbauchlay, in the parishes of Torphichan and Shotts, and in the counties of Linlithgow and Lanark; another at Loch Coat, in the parish of Torphichan, and another at Cobbinshaw, in the parish of West Calder. There is a feeder of more than three miles in length, taken from below the junction of the Linhouse and Almond Rivers, which crosses the latter river by a suspension aqueduct; and between which and the aqueduct over the Almond River there are three tunnels, one of which is more than half a mile in length; there is also another feeder from the Avon River.

page 231

There are two other canal aqueducts besides those above-mentioned; one over the Gogar Burn, and another over the Murray Burn.

This undertaking was designed by Mr. Thomas Telford and Mr. Baird, who estimated the cost at £240,468, 17s. 2d.; of which sum £198,650 was subscribed before going to parliament. The first act of parliament, relative to this canal, passed in the 57th George III. and is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the Lothian Road, near the city of Edinburgh, to join the Forth and Clyde Navigation near Falkirk, in the county of Stirling.' The company of proprietors consisted, at the time the first act was obtained, of three hundred and eighty-four persons, amongst whom were the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Forbes, Sir John Hay, and Sir John Marjoribanks, who were incorporated by the name of "The Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal Company," with power to raise £240,500, in four thousand eight hundred and ten shares, of £50 each, and a further sum of £50,000, either among themselves, by the admission of new subscribers, or on mortgage of the undertaking.

TONNAGE RATES.

Lime-stone, Iron-stone, Stone for Building, Paving-stone, Flags, Coal, Coke, Culm, Lime, Bricks, Tiles, Slates, Ores, Dung, Earth, Sand, Clay, Peat Moss, Marl and Manure 2d per Ton, per Mile.
Timber, Deals, Bark, and Wood of every Kind 3d ditto. ditto.
Corn, and all other Goods, Wares, and Merchandise 4d ditto. ditto.
For Empty Vessels, or in Ballast, or with less than Fifteen Tons 4d ditto. ditto. on 15 Tons.

But if such Vessel return loaded within less than Fourteen Days, deduction will be made from the above Charge, in Proportion to the Distance they have carried the new lading.

Boats under Fifteen Tons not to pass Locks without consent, unless Tonnage to that Amount be paid.

Fractions to be taken as for a Quarter of a Mile, and as for a Quarter of a Ton.

WHARF AND BASIN DUES.

For every Vessel loading or unloading at any of the Wharfs or Basins belonging to the Company 2d per Ton.

If Goods remain on the Wharfs more than Twenty-four Hours, such additional Rates to be paid as the Committee may deem reasonable.

The Company are directed to indemnify the Magistrates and Town Council of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow for any Diminution of the Customs upon Cattle, Carriages, or Goods carried over the Avon at Torphichan Mill; also to secure to the Magistrates and Town Council of the City of Edinburgh the Rate of One Penny per Ton on all Goods, Wares, or other Things (except Manure,) shipped or unloaded at any of the Wharfs and Basins, in lieu of certain Rates, Dues, Causeway, Mail, and Petty Customs, which they are now entitled to; as it appears that, by a Charter or Gift of Charles the First, dated 17th May, 1636, the

page 232

Ministers of Edinburgh are entitled to a Duty or Custom of Thirteen Shillings and Four-pence Scots, upon each Ton or Pack of Goods imported to Edinburgh, Leith, or Newhaven. The Company are therefore directed to pay the same on all Goods which may be imported by this Navigation. They are also bound to indemnify the Edinburgh Road Trustees, the Bathgate, and another Trust, in any Diminution of Tolls arising from these Turnpike Roads, which may be affected by their Canal.

The act of the 59th George III. entitled, 'An Act for altering and amending an Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the Lothian Road, near the city of Edinburgh, to join the Forth and Clyde Navigation near Falkirk, in the county of Stirling,' was obtained chiefly for the purpose of making some alterations in the line in the parishes of Ratho, Kirkliston, and Falkirk. The company are, however, by this act enabled to anticipate two calls of ten per cent, each, by borrowing the sum, which amounts to £48,100, and which was rendered necessary by the works proceeding with greater rapidity than they were calculated to do at the outset.

The royal assent was given to a third act on the 23rd June, 1821, which is entitled, 'An Act for amending certain Acts for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the Lothian Road, near the city of Edinburgh, to join the Forth and Clyde Navigation near Falkirk, in the county of Stirling, and giving Power to borrow a further Sum of Money on the Credit of the Tolls granted by the said Acts;' by which power is given to raise the further sum of £50,000, either by the creation of new shares, or on the credit of the undertaking. In the preamble it is stated, that the whole of the monies they were authorized to raise under the preceding acts, had been expended, besides the sum of £50,000, which the Commissioners for issuing Exchequer Bills, under the authority of two acts of the 57th George III. and 1st George IV. had advanced to this company on the 1st of June, 1820.

In the preamble of an act of the 12th of May, 1823, entitled, 'An Act to enable the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal Company to borrow a further Sum of Money,' after reciting the previous acts, and stating that the whole of the sums granted had been expended on the works, it is stated, that a further sum was required in consequence of claims for extra work and awards of arbitrators, &c.; they are, therefore, empowered to raise a further sum of £60,000, either by the creation of new shares, or by

page 233

borrowing the same on security of the works. In this act power is given to the Exchequer Bill Commissioners to advance the further sum of £50,000, in part of the sum of £60,000 the company is authorized to borrow by this act.

The last act relating to this navigation received his Majesty's assent on the 5th of May, 1826; and it is entitled, 'An Act to alter and amend the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal Acts, and to enable the Company to borrow a further Sum of Money;' in the preamble of which it is stated, that they have opened the canal, but as the reservoirs, authorized by the first-recited act, are not yet entirely completed, and the restricted time for executing the above works being nearly expired, the acts are in consequence directed to be continued in force.

The power which was given in the act of 57th George III. to make a reservoir at Fannyside Loch, is hereby repealed, and authority given to make one in lieu of it, in the parishes of Torphichan and Slamanan; and the proprietors are allowed to raise the further sum of £60,000, either by the creation of new shares, or by borrowing on the credit of the funds and property of the company, who have power to allocate the whole debts of the company, by burthening each original share with its proportion of the debt; or they may divide the whole debt into new shares of £50 each; and it is enacted that no dividends shall be made until the debt be reduced to £100,000.

The primary object of this navigation was to effect an inland communication between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow; to the former of which it must be essentially serviceable, in consequence of the increased facilities afforded to the transit of lime, coal, stone, &c. which abound in its course.

ELLESMERE AND CHESTER CANAL.

12 Geo. III. C.75, R. A. 1st Apr. 1772.

17 Geo. III. C. 67, R. A. 2nd June, 1777.

18 Geo. III. C. 21, R. A. 27th Mar, 1778.

33 Geo. III. C. 91, R. A. 30th Apr. 1793.

36 Geo.III. C. 71, R. A. 26th Apr. 1796.

36 Geo. III. C. 96, R. A. 14th May, 1796.

41 Geo. III. C. 70, R. A. 20th June, 1801.

42 Geo. III. C. 20, R. A. 15th Apr. 1802.

44 Geo. III. C. .54, R. A. 29th June, 1804.

50 Geo. III. C. 24, R. A. 6th Apr. 1810.

53 Geo. III. C. 80, R. A. 21st May, 1813.

7 & 8 Geo. IV. C. 102, R. A. 21st June, 1827.

11 Geo. IV. C. 51, R. A. 29th May, 1830.

THIS canal commences from the tideway of the River Mersey, at Ellesmere Port, about two miles east of Hooton Hall, the seat

page 234

of Sir Thomas S. Massey Stanley, Bart. and ten miles south-east of the port of Liverpool. Its course is south by Stoke, Wervin, and between Moston and Mollington Hall, to Chester, where there is a short branch which locks down into the River Dee. Hence its course is eastwardly, skirting the north wall of the city, by the shot manufactories; thence more southerly, passing Christleton, Waverton, Beeston Castle, to Wardle Green, from whence a branch proceeds to join a branch of the Trent and Mersey or Grand Trunk Canal at Middlewich. The main line proceeds for about one mile and a half from Wardle Green to near Hurleston, where another branch proceeds to near Darfold Hall, about three quarters of a mile west of Nantwich, where it connects with the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, now in course of execution. From Hurleston the main line proceeds southward by Burland to Woodcot, and thence westward by Wrenbury and Tushingham, near Whitchurch, where the canal enters the county of Salop. Hence its course lies on the west side of the town of Whitchurch, to which there is a short branch; thence it skirts the boundary of a detached portion of the county of Flint to The Cottage, where there is a branch to a wharf near Edstaston. The main line proceeds in a westwardly direction, crossing a point of Flintshire, and by Welsh Hampton to the south side of Ellesmere, to which town there is a short branch; hence its course is more southerly, by Tetchill to Francton Common, where the Llanymynech Branch proceeds from it. The main line continues from the last-mentioned point in a westwardly direction, by Halston Hall and Belmont, and across the River Ceiriog, by a fine stone aqueduct; thence through Chirk Tunnel to the River Dee, over which it is carried by means of the famous cast iron aqueduct at Pont-y-Cysylte. From this aqueduct a navigable feeder is made along the north bank of the Dee to Llantysilio. There is also a railway from the same place to Ruabon Brook Collieries, which also belongs to the proprietors of this navigation.

The Lmanymynech Branch takes a south-westerly course from Francton Common by Wood House and Crickheath Hall, to near Llanymynech, where it forms a junction with the Montgomeryshire Canal, in the township of Careghofa, in the county of Salop.

page 235

Out of the last-mentioned branch, near the village of Hordley, a collateral cut proceeds by Bagley and Shire Oak, to Weston Wharf; near Weston Lullingfield, where it terminates. The total length of the main line from Ellesmere Port to the Montgomeryshire Canal, is sixty-one miles; viz, from the first-mentioned place, to the cut which connects with the Dee at the city of Chester, is eight miles and three quarters, with a rise, from low water mark in the Mersey at Liverpool, of 46 feet, which rise takes place at its commencement, from whence it is level to Chester. From Chester to the Hurleston Locks, and where the Nantwich Branch proceeds from it, is fifteen miles and three quarters, with a rise of 131 feet, by means of eleven locks, five of which are within a mile of Chester. The branch to meet the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal is two miles in length, and level. The main line from the Hurleston Locks to Francton Common is twenty-five miles, with a rise of 115 feet. The branch to Edstaston Wharf from The Cottage, upon this part of the main line, is nearly three miles in length. The branch towards the town of Ellesmere is about a furlong in length only. From Francton Common it is eleven miles and a half to its termination in the Montgomeryshire Canal, with a fall of 52 feet. The branch to the Ruabon Brook Railway, near the Pont-y-Cysylte Aqueduct is little more than eleven miles, with a rise of 13 feet.

The railway which proceeds from the end of the canal at Cysylte, through an extensive coal field to Ruabon Brook, in the county of Denbigh, is three miles and a quarter; and the navigable feeder, which comes from the Dee at Llantysilio, and falls into this canal at the aqueduct above-mentioned, is nearly six miles in length; and the branch from near Hordley to Weston Wharf, is five miles and a half in length. The branch from Wardle Green to join the Grand Trunk Canal at Middlewich, takes a westwardly course by Cholmondeston Hall, and across the River Weaver, near Wades Green; thence northwardly, and runs in a parallel course on the east side of that river, by Minshull Vernon and Lea Hall; thence eastwardly to the south side of the town of Middlewich, where it forms the junction above-mentioned. Its length is nearly ten miles, with a fall to the Grand Trunk of 44 feet 4 inches, by four locks.

page 236

The necessary powers for making and perfecting this navigation are contained in thirteen acts of parliament, but as by the act of 7th and 8th George IV. all the former ones are repealed, we shall but briefly notice the chief provisions. The first act occurs in the 12th George III. and is entitled, 'An Act for making a navigable Cut or Canal from the River Dee, within the liberties of the city of Chester, to or near Middlewich and Nantwich, in the county of Chester,' by which one hundred and nineteen subscribers, (amongst whom were the Honourable Wilbraham Tollemache,) are incorporated by the name of " The Company of Proprietors of the Chester Canal Navigation," with power to raise among themselves the sum of £42,000, in four hundred and twenty shares of £100 each; and an additional sum of £20,000, if necessary.

In the preamble of the act of 17th George III. entitled, 'An Act for varying and enlarging the Powers of an Act made in the Twelfth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, for making a navigable Cut or Canal from the River Dee, within the liberties of the city of Chester, to or near Middlewich and Nantwich, in the county of Chester,' it is stated, that considerable progress had been made in the works, and that the sums of £42,000, and £19,000 of the £20,000 authorized by the preceding act, had been expended; and as more money was required, the act enabled the company to raise the further sum of £25,200, by a call of sixty per cent, on the original stock of £42,000; and an additional sum of £30,000, on security of the rates and duties. This act enables the company to change the course of the Middlewich Branch; but, by a clause which is here introduced for the purpose of protecting the interests of the Duke of Bridgewater and the Grand Trunk Canal Company, they are restricted from approaching nearer than one hundred yards to the last-mentioned canal.

The third act, which was obtained in the year following the preceding act, was to enable the company to make a call of eighty per cent. on the original stock of £42,000, in consequence of having failed to raise the sums wanted, in the manner prescribed by the preceding act; it is entitled, 'An Act for the more effectually carrying into Execution the Powers contained in two several Acts of Parliament, the one made in the Twelfth Year of his present Majesty's Reign, for making a navigable Cut or Canal

page 237

'from the River Dee, within the liberties of the city of Chester, to or near Middlewich and Nantwich, in the county of Chester; and the other made in the Seventeenth Year of his said Majesty's Reign, for varying and enlarging the Powers of the said former Act.'

If the sum of £33,600, hereby authorized to be raised by the call above-recited, be insufficient for the purposes required, the company may borrow, on security of the tolls, the further sum of £10,000.

Under these several acts the canal from Chester to Nantwich was completed about 1780; but the branch to Middlewich, in consequence chiefly of the restrictive clause contained in the act of 17th George III. remained unexecuted until the present time, when the united companies of the Chester and Ellesmere Canals have, under new powers lately granted, commenced the undertaking under the skilful direction of Mr. Telford; and it is expected shortly to be opened. Mr. James Brindley was employed upon this canal as well as other engineers. So much was this concern depressed at the time it had no communication with other navigations, that it is said that shares were sold for one per cent. of their original value.

About fifteen years subsequent to the passing of the last-recited act, an act was obtained by a company consisting of twelve hundred and thirty-eight persons, (amongst whom were Sir Foster Cunliffe, Sir Richard Hill, and Sir Thomas Hanmer,) entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the River Severn, at Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, to the River Mersey, at or near Netherpool, in the county of Chester; and also for making and maintaining certain collateral Cuts from the said intended Canal,' by which they were incorporated by the name of "The Company of Proprietors of the Ellesmere Canal," and empowered to raise among themselves the sum of £400,000, and an additional sum of £50,000, if necessary; and, by mortgage of the tolls, the further sum of £50,000.

The line of this proposed navigation was from the Mersey along its present course to Chester, where it crosses the Dee, and thence by Wrexham and Poolmouth to the Pont-y-Cysylte Aqueduct, and thence along the present executed line by Francton Com-

page 238

mon, Hordley, and as far as Weston Wharf; thence through a tunnel to Shrewsbury, where it was intended to lock down into the Severn.

The length of the main line was fifty-six miles and three quarters, with a rise to Poolmouth of about 380 feet, and a fall to the Severn of 226 feet. The branches were to Llanymynech as at present; one to Brumbo, in the county of Denbigh, and another to Holt, in the same county; with one to Prees, in the county of Salop. Power is also given by this act to extend the Prees Collateral Cut from Fenshall to the Chester Canal, near Tattenhall, provided the land-owners' consent could be obtained; and another branch from the Llanymynech Branch to Morda Bridge, under the same conditions. Mr. William Jessop and Mr. Dadford were appointed the engineers to carry into execution the necessary operations.

In the preamble of an act of the 36th George III. cap. 71, entitled, 'An Act to explain and amend an Act, passed in the Thirty-third Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the River Severn, at Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, to the River Mersey, at or near Netherpool, in the county of Chester; and also for making and maintaining certain collateral Cuts from the said intended Canal; and for varying and altering certain Parts of the Whitchurch Line of the said Canal and collateral Cuts, and for extending the same from Francton Common to Sherryman's Bridge, in the parish of Whitchurch, in the said county of Salop; and for making and maintaining several other Branches and collateral Cuts to communicate therewith,' it is stated, that a part of the canal has been already executed, but that it would be more beneficial to the public, if the company were authorized to abandon the Whitchurch Line; and, instead of it, to make a branch from Francton to Sherryman's Bridge, near Whitchurch; and out of this last-mentioned line of canal at Whixall Moss, a collateral cut to Prees Higher Heath; also a short cut to Blackwater's Barn, near Ellesmere; which is accordingly granted.

By this act the Ellesmere Company were required, within two years, to apply for an act to effect a junction with the Chester Canal; and directions were therefore given to Mr. J. Fletcher,

page 239

as engineer to the Chester Canal Company, and Mr. J. Duncombe for the Ellesmere Canal Company, to examine the country between the Whitchurch Branch of the Ellesmere Canal and the Chester Canal at Stoke, and report upon the practicability of forming a junction; they did so; and their estimate for this purpose amounted to £36,478.

Eighteen days after the passing of the last-recited act, another received the royal assent, on the 14th May, 1796, entitled, 'An Act to explain and amend an Act, entitled, An Act to explain and amend an Act, passed in the Thirty-third Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the River Severn, at Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, to the River Mersey, at or near Netherpool, in the county of Chester; and also for making and maintaining certain collateral Cuts from the said intended Canal; andfor varying and altering certain Parts of the Course of the said Canal and collateral Cuts, between Ruabon and Chester, and for making and maintaining several other Branches and collateral Cuts, to communicate therewith,' by which, power is given to vary the original line, and make a new branch from near Pont-y-Cysylte, in the parish of Ruabon, to the parish of St. Mary on the Hill, in the city of Chester, with a collateral cut from the same on Cefn Common, to near Acrefair Coal Works, in the county of Denbigh; and another from the same branch, in the township of Gwersyllt, to Talwern Coal Works, in the parish of Mold and county of Flint; and one other collateral branch from the Broad Oak in the township of Burton, into the township of Allington.

It is by this act that the canal company are bound to make good any deficiency which may arise in the amount of tolls payable to the Dee Navigation Company, by reason of the Ellesmere Canal being made, in case the annual amount be less than £235. The discrepancy between the amount here stated and what appears in the account of the Dee Navigation, (page 193,) arose in consequence of the Dee Company having neglected to take into consideration the toll for and in respect of coal, which on the average amounted to £25 annually.

The act of the 41st George III. is entitled, 'An Act to authorize the Company of Proprietors of the Ellesmere Canal, to extend

page 240

'the said Canal from the Whitchurch Branch thereof, at or near certain Water Corn Mills, called the New Mills, in the parish of Whitchurch, in the county of Salop, to, and to communicate with, the Chester Canal, in the township of Stoke, in the parish of Acton, in the county of Chester, and for altering and amending the several Acts passed for making and maintaining the said Ellesmere Canal;' and under authority of which, this extension of the Whitchurch Branch, which is now part of the main line, was carried into execution.

In the year following the passing of the last-recited act, application was again made to parliament, when another was obtained, entitled, 'An Act for repealing so much of an Act passed in the Thirty-third Year of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the River Severn, at Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, to the River Mersey, at or near Netherpool, in the county of Chester; and also for making and maintaining certain collateral Cuts from the said intended Canal, as restrains the Company of Proprietors of the said Canal from taking Tonnage on Coals, Coke, Culm, Lime, or Limestone, upon any Part of the said Canal; and for authorizing the said Company of Proprietors to raise a Sum of Money to make up the Amount of their original Subscriptions, and for further amending the several Acts passed relative to the making of the said Canal;' in the preamble of which it is stated, that as a considerable portion of the shares which had been apportioned to the landholders had not been taken, and that as the present stock of the company was only £333,000, instead of £400,000, the proprietors were desirous of raising the deficiency among themselves, without having recourse to the powers contained in the 33rd George III. for raising two several sums of £50,000, which the company are permitted to do by the admission of new subscribers; or they may raise it on promissory notes under the common seal.

The act of the 44th George III. was obtained chiefly for the purpose of enabling the company to make the Ruabon Brook Railway, and the feeders from the Dee, at Llantysilio, and Bala Pool, in Merionethshire; it is entitled, 'An Act to enable the Company of Proprietors of the Ellesmere Canal, to make a Railway from Ruabon Brook, to the Ellesmere Canal, at or near the

page 241

'Aqueduct at Pont-y-Cysylte, in the parish of Llangollen, in the county of Denbigh; and also to make several Cuts or Feeders for better supplying the said Canal with Water;' and by which the company are restrained from taking more water from the Dee, by the feeder, than they can replace from Bala Pool. On the 6th of April, 1810, the royal assent was given to another act, for the purpose of making a short branch to the town of Whitchurch; it is entitled, 'An Act to enable the Company of Proprietors of the Ellesmere Canal, to extend the Whitchurch Line of the said Canal from Sherryman's Bridge to Castle Well, in the town of Whitchurch, in the county of Salop; and for amending the several Acts for making the said Canal.' This branch, (which is very short) and the basin and quays at its termination, were designed by Mr. Telford, whose estimate amounted to the sum of £2,284.

The act of the 53rd George III. was obtained for the purpose of uniting and consolidating the interests of the Ellesmere with the Chester Canal Company; it is therefore entitled, 'An Act for uniting the Interests and Concerns of the Proprietors of the Chester Canal and Ellesmere Canal; and for amending the several Acts of his present Majesty, relating to the said Canals,' in the preamble of which, after reciting the several acts relating to the two navigations, and another act of the 47th George III. cap. 3, entitled, 'An Act for continuing the Term and altering and enlarging the Powers of an Act of the Twenty-sixth Year of his present Majesty, for amending the Road from Flookersbrook Bridge to the South End of Wilderspool Causeway, and from the town of Frodsham to Ashton Lane End, in the county of Chester, so far as respects the Chester District of the said Roads; and for extendding the same from the present Termination thereof at Flookersbrook Bridge aforesaid, to the North End of Cow Lane Bridge, in the city of Chester, and for making a new Road from such proposed Extension of the said Road, to the North End of Queen Street in the same city,' the two canal companies are incorporated by the name of" The United Company of Proprietors of the Ellesmere and Chester Canals." By this act the proprietors of each share of the Chester Canal were, after the 30th of June in this year, admitted to one fourth of a share in the united navigation, making in the whole fifty of such shares.

Index Page Link to Next Page 242

 

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