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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 461

page 462

The company having nearly completed their first plan, applied in 1798 for 'An Act for extending the Neath Canal Navigation, and for amending an Act, passed in the Thirty-first of his present Majesty, for making the said Canal,' by which they had authority to continue the canal from the town of Neath to Giant's Grave Pill, in the parish of Briton Ferry, and to make and build all necessary inclined planes, collateral cuts, warehouses and wharfs, with certain restrictions, on behalf of certain proprietors of estates on the line. There is a remarkable clause in the act which is this, that the warehousing rates shall be the same as those charged by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Company at Stourport.

This canal commencing near Abernant, is about fourteen miles long; at its head there are two short railways, branching off to the mines on the east and west of Abernant House, which is situated in the fork made by them. The canal proceeds parallel to the River Neath in a south-west direction, leaving Maesgwn and Rheola on the west, and Melincourt Furnaces on the east; at the commencement it is considerably elevated, but falls considerably in its progress to Neath River Harbour. A few miles above Neath the canal has a branch to the west, with which the Aberdulais Railway communicates, as do also two other railroads from copper works on the same side of the canal. The main branch continues its course to Neath, where the two branches communicate and are crossed by the turnpike-road; they then run parallel on opposite sides of the river to their termination - the main canal in the Neath River, the branch to its union with the short canal called the Briton Canal, at Briton Ferry House, near Giant's Grave Pill. This canal was within two miles of its completion in 1798. Its object is the export of coals, iron, copper, limestone and other produce of the mines which abound in its vicinity.

The act for the Neath River and Harbour not coming within the design of an account of inland navigation, need not be noticed here, further than stating it to be the termination of the main line of the Neath Canal; the other branch ending at the Briton Canal, which communicates with Swansea Harbour.

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12 Anne, C. 7, R. A. 28th May, 1714.

11 Geo. I. C. 19, R. A. 20th Apr. 1725.

29 Geo. II. C. 69, It. A. 15th Apr. 1756.

34 Geo. III. C. 85, R. A. 17th Apr. 1794.

THE nature of the country through which this work is carried, and the multiplicity of small navigable cuts branching off in every direction, will render an inspection of the map more necessary than a detail of its course in these pages; we shall therefore content ourselves with giving a few of the leading points in the history of the navigation, and for a minute description of its course, refer our readers to the line laid down on our map.

The first attempt towards the object of the present account, was an act obtained in the reign of Queen Anne, entitled, 'An Act for making the River Nyne, or Nen, running from Northampton to Peterborough, navigable;' wherein certain commissioners were appointed to conduct the work, and to fix such rates and tolls for the navigation of the same, as they should from time to time judge necessary.

In the 11th of George I. a second act was obtained, in which it is recited that two clauses, in the former act, the one restraining the commissioners from making any part of the river navigable until they had agreed with some person or persons to complete the whole; the other compelling the said commissioners or contractors to make good any damage that might occur in endeavouring to render the whole navigable, but failing so to do, had been found so prejudicial, that no one would undertake the work, and in consequence nothing had been done. These clauses are therefore repealed, and leave is given to make any part navigable, and particularly that from Peterborough to Northampton. This act is entitled, 'An Act for making more effectual an Act passed in Parliament holden in the Twelfth Year of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne, entitled, An Act for making the River Nyne, or Nen, running from Northampton to Peterborough, navigable.'

In 1756 an act to amend and explain the two former was obtained under the title of 'An Act for explaining and amending and rendering more effectual, Two several Acts of Parliament,

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'one of them passed in the Twelfth Year of her late Majesty Queen Anne, for making the River Nyne, or Nen, running from Northampton to Peterborough, navigable; and the other made in the Eleventh Year of his late Majesty King George the First, for making more effectual the said former Act.' In this act it is recited that that part of the river between Peterborough and Thrapston Bridge has been made navigable, and distinguished by the name of "The Eastern Division of the Nyne or Nen Navigation;" in our map it is called "The Lower District;" and the other part of the navigation, that is, from Thrapston Bridge to Northampton, is distinguished in the act as "The Western Division;" in our map as "The Upper District;" and it appearing that the completion of this Upper District would be highly beneficial to the towns of Peterborough and Northampton, and to other places, commissioners are appointed for carrying the same into effect, and the clauses of the former acts are for this purpose extended and enlarged. It is required that the navigation be commenced in the first instance at Thrapston Bridge, and not in any other part of the river, and shall proceed upwards from that place towards Northampton. Locks are to be built, where required, and rates for passing them to be settled by a majority of the commissioners, who are to proportion the same according to the distance from Thrapston Bridge and to the expense of building the locks; and they are authorized to borrow money on security of such rates, in order to the more speedy completion of the work; the lenders of such money to be nominated proprietors of the navigation. Interest of the money borrowed is not to exceed four per cent, and when the tolls, after the interest is paid on all monies borrowed, shall exceed the expenditure, then the residue is to be applied towards paying off the principal.

Some difficulties still occurring, another act was obtained in 1794, as 'An Act to remove certain Difficulties in the Execution of the Powers vested in the Commissioners appointed by Two Acts, passed in the Twelfth of Anne and Eleventh of George the First, for making the River Nyne, or Nen, running from Northampton to Peterborough, navigable, so far as the same relates to the Navigation between Peterborough and Thrapston Bridge.' At this time it appears that the work from Peterborough to Oundle

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North Bridge was undertaken by certain persons contracting for the execution thereof, and the other part from the North Bridge in Oundle to Thrapston by another person, it is therefore in this act provided, that the commissioners shall appoint a clerk and overseers, whose salaries shall be paid, one moiety out of the tolls arising from the navigation between Peterborough and Oundle, the other from that between Oundle and Thrapston.

Commencing on the south side of Peterborough, the Lower District of the Nen runs for some distance in a crooked course towards the west, leaving Earl Fitzwilliam's noble seat at Milton on the north bank, and Overton Longville on the east; its direction then varies a little to the north, and after intersecting the turnpike-road between Stamford and Huntingdon, it takes an easterly course to its termination at Thrapston Bridge, passing Water Newton Lodge, Elton Hall, the town of Oundle, Lilford Hall, Barnwell Castle, Sadborough and Clapton in its course. The river is throughout very winding, and between Peterborough and Thrapston there are eight cuts to avoid bends and reaches in the river. At Thrapston the connection with the Upper District commences. This part of the line is not greatly elevated above the level of the sea; its direction is south-west, leaving Higham Ferrers on the east and Wellingborough on the west; running by Ecton Hall and various other seats of the nobility and gentry to Northampton, where it connects with the railway branch of the Grand Junction Canal.

This line of navigation is on many accounts highly beneficial; it supplies at an easy expense the towns and villages on the line with coals, wood and other articles of domestic consumption; whilst it affords equal facilities for the export of agricultural produce, making a link in the chain of communication between Lynn, Liverpool, Manchester, London, and a great number of other commercial places.

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27 George II. Cap. 12, Royal Assent 6th April, 1754.

THE original navigation from King's Lynn to Standground Sluice, near Peterborough, was carried from Salter's Load Sluice, through Well Creek and the River Nen to Flood's Ferry, and from thence through Ramsey, Ugg and Whittlesea Meres, a passage at all times tedious and frequently difficult as well as dangerous. An act was therefore obtained in the 27th of George II. entitled, 'An Act for improving and preserving the Navigation from Salter's Load Sluice, in the county of Norfolk, to Standground Sluice, in the county of Huntingdon; and from Flood's Ferry, in the Isle of Ely, in the county of Cambridge, to Ramsey High Load, in the said county of Huntingdon; and also the Navigation from Old Bedford Sluice, in the said county of Norfolk, to the River Nene, in the parish of Ramsey, in the said county of Huntingdon.' By this act certain persons are appointed commissioners for managing a new line from Salter's Load, through Well Creek to the town of Outwell; from thence, through the Nen by the towns of Upwell and March to Flood's Ferry aforesaid; and from thence to Ramsey High Load; and for preserving the navigation from Flood's Ferry, through Whittlesea Dyke to Standground Sluice, and also the navigation from Old Bedford Sluice through the Old Bedford River and the Forty Foot Drain, to the River Nen, in the parish of Ramsey. The inhabitants of Peterborough and other towns named in the act, are required to meet annually in their respective vestries on Easter Monday, to chuse commissioners for this act. The commissioners are empowered to demand rates at Salter's Load Sluice, Standground Sluice and Old Bedford Sluice, for the purpose of defraying the necessary charges.


For every Chaldron of Coals, Lynn Measure; Hundred of Battens; Half Hundred of other Deals; Load of Timber, at Forty Feet to the Load; Eight Packs of Wool, of Ten Tod to the Pack; Weigh of Salt; Load of Wheat, Rape, Lineseed, Coleseed, Barley, Rye, Peas or Beans, of Five Quarters to the Load; Last of Oats, or Barley Bigs; Two Thousand of Turf; Load of Reed, Sedge, Hay, Flax or Hemp, of Twenty Hundred weight to the Load; Last of Malt; Thousand of Tiles; Five Hundred of Bricks; Twenty Feet of Stone; and Chaldron of Lime 3d.
For every Ton of all other Goods, Wares, Merchandise or Commodities whatsoever 3d.

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Greater or less Quantities in Proportion. Pleasure Boats are exempted from this Rate, as also are all Manures and Compost, Malt Dust, Pigeons' Dung and Oil Cake, excepting that made of Lineseed.

The commissioners may borrow £3,000 on credit of the rates, and mortgage them as security for the same. The tolls of the different sluices to be kept separate, and the proceeds employed on the distance between them. There are several other clauses in the act, besides those which we have quoted, but they are not of general interest. This navigation is very convenient for the export of corn, and for obtaining coal, timber and groceries in return.


8 George IV. Cap. 85, Royal Assent 14th June, 1827.

10 George IV. Cap. 104, Royal Assent 1st June, 1829.

THE improvements which the acts, obtained as above, were intended to produce, are of a very important nature, as will appear from our map.

The cut which is to obviate the necessity of following the channel of the river from Kinderley's Cut to the Eye, begins at Gunthorpe Sluice, near the termination of Kinderley's Cut; intersecting in its course the Sutton Sluice, it passes by Sutton Wash to Crab Hole, in nearly a straight line. The depth from the low-water-level in the Eye to the surface of the water at Kinderley's Cut is 13 feet 8 inches; the bottom of the channel at Sutton Wash is 8 feet 6 inches. Mr. Rennie and Mr. Telford were both employed in forming the plan, and the estimate was £127,890. At Kinderley's Cut the high water is calculated to be 11 feet above low water. On one occasion, in 1810, the high water at Crab Hole was 25 feet.

The first act obtained for this improvement is entitled, 'An Act for improving the Outfall of the River Nene, and the Drainage of the Lands discharging their Waters into the Wisbech River, and the Navigation of the said Wisbech River, from the Upper End of Kinderley's Cut to the Sea, &c. &c.'

It recites various acts for the general improvement of this district, and then goes on to state the powers given to the parties

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interested in the present work. These are the making of a new cut from the north end of Kinderley's Cut, to be continued from thence to low water near Crab Hole, with proper banks and other works. They are to raise £130,000; and of this sum certain proportions named in the act, but not necessary here to be recapitulated, are to be contributed by certain districts, which will be benefited by the work. Commissioners are appointed for the execution of the undertaking, and the different places which contribute have their own commissioners.

They are to complete the works with as little delay as possible, and build the Cross Keys Bridge according to the plan of Messrs. Rennie and Telford. The building of this bridge and the other works are to proceed together.

The Cross Keys Bridge Company are to pay these commissioners £3,000, the amount of estimate under their own act, for building the bridge, or in default, the bridge-tolls are to be received by the commissioners. The burgesses of Wisbech are also to pay £30,000, by three instalments to the said commissioners for the said work, and are to receive an additional tonnage of 6d. per chaldron on all coals arriving in their port, exclusive of what they were before entitled to, under their own private act. The burgesses may borrow this sum of £30,000, or any part of it, on credit of the tolls directed to be received by their act, or the commissioners may do so, in default of the burgesses so doing, by mortgage of all duties mentioned in this act. After the £30,000 have been paid, the burgesses are to appropriate the surplus of their rates to the liquidation of the sums they have borrowed. The lands in the Hundred of Wisbech are to contribute £15,000; South Holland Hundred £7,000; Sutton St. Edmond's Hamlet £1,700; Sutton St. James' Hamlet £550, and in case they contract for the perpetual right of drainage, £600 additional. The commissioners may borrow money on mortgage or annuities, and the rates are to be reduced when mortgages are paid off and annuities redeemed. As the sands and marshes are embanked and made productive, it is ordered that when the commissioners shall receive any sums for sale, rent or profit of the same, after necessary repairs and current expenses have been paid, then the residue shall be applied to paying off borrowed monies; to forming a

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fund of £30,000, to be invested for maintaining the works; and to paying off, proportionably, the sums levied on the different places and hundreds before named.

Before the fund is raised, all costs and charges incident to the works and repairs shall be defrayed by an acre-rate upon the lands entitled to drain through the work to the sea, to be determined by a meeting of not less than forty of the commissioners; and in case of non-payment, the said commissioners have the power of levying a penalty on defaulters.

A second act was passed in 1829, entitled, 'An Act for altering, amending and enlarging the Powers granted by an Act passed in the Seventh and Eighth Years of tlse Reign of his present Majesty, for improving the Outfall of the River Nene, and the Drainage of the Lands discharging their Waters into the Wisbech River and the Navigation of the said Wisbech River, from the Upper End of Kinderley's Cut to the Sea, and for embanking the Salt Marshes and Bare Sands lying between the said Cut and the Sea.'

This act recites the progress of the work under the powers of the former act, and states the great improvement which would accrue to the lands and country generally from the adoption of a new line, which it is unnecessary here to describe, being laid down on the map; it- also authorizes the commissioners to take the improved line, and to erect light-houses or beacons without the sanction of the Trinity House. It gives them power to remove Gunthorpe Sluice and erect a new one, to be vested in the North Level Commissioners, who are to repay them all expenses attendant thereon, except £2,000 which the Nene Outfall Commissioners themselves agree to disburse. For carrying on the work, his Majesty is to have power to convey or sell to the said commissioners the sixth part of the sands, vested in the crown. They have power to make warping works, and to allow contiguous lands to be warped. They may borrow not more than £10,000 at any one time, as a temporary loan, on bond payable in two years; and they may also borrow on mortgage of certain lands vested in them. The rights of the Cross Keys Bridge Company, and of a great number of other public bodies and individuals, are saved by clauses in both acts, which on this account are of very great length.

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The work is one of infinite importance, whether considered as a drainage or as a ready means of communication between the country through which it passes, and other parts of the kingdom.


35 George III. Cap. 87, Royal Assent 2nd June, 1795.

THIS canal was projected for the purpose of supplying the potteries with coal from the mines near Newcastle, and for opening an easier transit for the limestone from Caldon Lowe, through the Trent and Mersey Canal. The act for this work is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal, from and out of the Navigation from the Trent to the Mersey, at or near Stoke-upon-Trent, in the county of Stafford, to the town of Newcastle-under-Lyne, in the said county,' and by it the proprietors, incorporated as "The Newcastle-under-Lyne Canal Company," are empowered to raise the sum of £7,000, in shares of £50 each, with an additional £3,000 on mortgage of the rates, if necessary, for completing the same. They have also power to collect the following


For all Coal, Lime-stone and Iron-stone 1½d per Ton, per Mile.
For all other Goods 2d ditto. ditto.
If less than a Ton in a Boat 6d per Mile.

The canal is about three miles long, in a direction nearly west, commencing at Stoke-upon-Trent, in the Trent and Mersey Canal, and ending at the town of Newcastle, in the Newcastle-under-Lyne Junction Canal.


38 George III. Cap. 29, Royal Assent 26th May, 1798.

THE act for making this canal, was obtained in 1798 under the title of 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal, and Inclined Plane or Railway, from and out of the Newcastle-under-Lyne Canal to the Canal of Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley, Bart. near the town of Newcastle-under-Lyne, and also another Branch of Canal, or Inclined Plane or Railway, from and out of the said

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'last-mentioned Canal, at or near Apedale, to certain Coal and other Works, all in the county of Stafford;' in which is pointed out the utility of a canal, with inclined planes or railways, from the Newcastle-under-Lyne Canal to that of Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley; as also of another, from the last-mentioned canal at Apedale to the works of Sir John Edensor Heathcote, Thomas Kinnersley and John Wedgwood, Esquires. A company is therefore incorporated, as "The Newcastle-under-Lyne Junction Canal Company," with power to execute the same, and to raise for that purpose £8,000, in shares of £50 each; and if needful, they may raise £4,000 additional, either by new shares, or by mortgage of the rates. For paying interest and other charges they are empowered to demand the following


For all Coal, Lime-stone. Iron-stone, Iron, Bricks, Sand, Clay and Furnace Cinders 2d per Ton, for the First Mile.
For ditto the whole Distance 4d ditto.
For all other Goods, Wares and Merchandize 3d ditto, per Mile.
For a less Quantity than a Ton 6d.

Fractions of a Mile to be considered as a Mile.

The company may convey water through Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley's Canal to supply their own, but are not to draw it down below the highest present level. The direction of the canal is north-west, commencing in the Newcastle-under-Lyne Canal at the south-east part of that town, and terminating in the south-west in Gresley's Canal; in which canal at Apedale its western part commences and extends to Partridge Nest and Bignel-End Collieries.


10 George IV. Cap. 72, Royal Assent 22nd May, 1829.

THE projectors of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Railway, foreseeing the advantages likely to arise from a communication between that place and Carlisle, applied to parliament for a legislative authority for the same, which was obtained under title of 'An Act for making and maintaining a Railway or Tramroad, from the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the county of the town of New-

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'castle-upon-Tyne, to the city of Carlisle, in the county of Cumberland, with a Branch thereout.' Commencing in a street called the Close, in the parish of St. Nicholas, Newcastle, this railroad proceeds in a winding course, occasionally bending to the north and south, but mainly westward by the side of the turnpike-road from Newcastle to Hexham, and nearly parallel to the River Tyne, passing on its way many collieries and mines with which the district abounds. At Hexham it makes a curve to the north to a little beyond Acomb Hermitage, still continuing near and parallel to the Tyne, which river it follows in its westerly direction to Thropwood House; here it crosses the turnpike-road and runs close to the southern side thereof as far as Haltwhistle; it then diverges to the south-west for a short distance, when turning again towards Green Head on the north of the turnpike-road, which it again crosses, it leaves the Tyne. From Green Head the direction is south-west, again crossing the turnpike-road at Naworth Castle; this direction it keeps to the town of Carlisle, where it terminates in the Carlisle Canal, 75 feet above the level of the sea. The branch is from Elswick Dean in the township of the same name, in the parochial chapelry of St. John and that part of the parish of St. Nicholas terminating at the west side of Thornton Street, in Westgate, in the county of Northumberland.

The extent of the undertaking may be estimated from the circumstance of having authority to raise £300,000, in shares of £100 each; and in case this should not prove sufficient to meet the expenses, £100,000 may be raised in addition by way of mortgage on the works. The main line of this intended railway is sixty-two miles, one furlong; the Thornton Street Branch is near a mile in length, with a rise of 114 feet 6 inches. From Newcastle the main line proceeds in nearly one regular inclination for forty-two miles and three quarters, rising 437 feet 6 inches. From the summit level there is a fall of only feet 6 inches, in six miles and a quarter; the remaining distance of thirteen miles and one furlong is divided into several planes of various inclinations, and altogether descending to the London Road at Carlisle, which is 45 feet higher than the commencement at Newcastle, 392 feet 6 inches. At thirteen miles from Carlisle the line crosses a private colliery railway belonging to the Earl of Carlisle. The survey

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for this undertaking was made by Mr. J. 0. Blackett and Mr. J. Stedholme, under the direction of Benjamin Thompson, Esq. who estimated the cost at £272;633, 0s. 10d.; of which the item for bridges alone amounts to £49,950, 3s. 9d.

The subscribers are to be allowed £4 per cent, as interest on the sums advanced, till the annual dividends shall amount to that sum per cent. The usual clauses are inserted in this act, and the tonnage rates are declared as below.


For Dung, Compost, Lime and all other Manure 0s 1d per Ton, per Mile.
For Coal, Lime.stone not used as Manure. Iron-stone, Iron and other Ores, Timber, Deals, Building, Pitching and Paving-stones, and Clay 0s 1½d ditto. ditto.
For Coke, Culm, Charcoal, Flags, Bricks, Tiles, Slates, Lead, lion and other Metals 0s 2d ditto. ditto.
For Corn, Grain, Flour, Hay and all other Agricultural Produce 0s 2½d ditto. ditto.
For Sugar, Dye.woods, Groceries, Cotton and other Wool, Hides, Drugs, Manufactured Goods, and all other Wares, Merchandize, Matters or Things 0s 3d ditto. ditto.
For all Persons Travelling on the Railroad in any Coach, Waggon or other Carriage, not more than Five Miles 0s 6d each.
For ditto above Five Miles and not exceeding Ten 1s 0d ditto.
For ditto above Ten Miles and not exceeding Fifteen 1s 6d ditto.
For ditto above FifteenMiles and not exceeding Twenty 2s 0d ditto.
For ditto above Twenty Miles and not exceeding Twenty-five 2s 6d ditto.
For ditto above Twenty-five Miles and not exceeding Thirty 3s 0d ditto.
For ditto above Thirty Miles and not exceeding Forty 3s 6d ditto.
For ditto above Forty Miles and not exceeding Fifty 4s 0d ditto.
For ditto any Distance exceeding Fifty Miles 5s 0d ditto.
For all Horses, Mules, Asses, Beasts of Draught or Burthen, and for all Oxen, Cows or Neat Cattle carried in such Carriage, not exceeding Fifteen Miles 2s 6d ditto.
For ditto not exceeding Forty Miles 4s 0d ditto.
For ditto above Forty Miles 6s 0d ditto.
For every Calf, Sheep, Lamb or Pig, any Distance 0s 9d ditto.
For all Lime-stone, Lime, Ironstone, Iron and other Ores; all Sorts of Dung, Compost and Manure; all Materials for repairing Roads; all Stone, Sand, Clay, Building, Pitching and Paving-stones, Tiles and Slates; all Timber, Staves and Deals carried on the Road by the Company 12s 0d per Ton.
For all Sugar, Corn, Grain, Flour, Dye-woods, Lead, Iron and other Metals ditto 14s 0d ditto.
For all Cotton and other Wool, Hides, Drugs, Groceries and Manufactured Goods ditto 16s 0d ditto.
For all Wines, Spirits, Vitriol, Glass and other Hazardous Goods ditto 20s 0d ditto.
For all Coal, Coke, Culm, Charcoal and Cinders 0s 3d ditto, per Mile.

For all Persons, Cattle and other Animals, according to such Rates as the Company shall determine.

The company, if they should build bridges at Corby and Scotswood, which under certain restrictions they may do, are entitled to receive, in addition to the above tonnage rates, a pontage on

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goods, &c. conveyed on the railway and over the bridges connected therewith; they are also to charge, for the passage of carriages over the general road-way to be made over Scotswood Bridge, the following


For Six or more Horses or other Beasts, drawing any Coach, Chaise, Chariot, Berlin, Landau, Calash or Hearse 2s 0d.
For Three or Four ditto 1s 6d.
For Two ditto 1s 0d.
For One ditto 0s 6d.
For Four or more Horses or Beasts drawing any Wain, Dray, Cart or Carriage 0s 8d.
For Three ditto 0s 6d.
For Two ditto 0s 4d.
For One ditto 0s 2d.
For every Horse, Mule or Ass laden or unladen, not drawing 0s 1d.
For every Drove of Oxen, Cows or Neat Cattle 0s 10d per Score.
For every Drove of Calves, Swine, Sheep or Lambs 0s 5d ditto.
For every Foot Passenger 0s 1d.

The Prices of Carriage for small Parcels to be determined by the Company,

This is an important project, and one which, though very expensive in the commencement, is considered likely to repay the spirited persons who have ventured to undertake it.


54 George III. Cap. 98, Royal Assent 17th June, 1814.

THIS canal was designed, as the preamble of the act declares, for the purpose of forming a communication with the Grand Junction Canal. The act was obtained in 1814, under title of 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from Newport Pagnell to the Grand Junction Canal, at Great Linford, in the county of Buckingham.' The proprietors are incorporated as "The Company of the Proprietors of the Newport Pagnell Canal," and have the usual powers granted to such companies. Water for the supply of this canal may be taken from the Grand Junction Canal, under certain restrictions, the Newport Company making a lock at the union of the canals, with its upper gates 1 foot above the top water level of the Grand Junction, such lock to be maintained at the cost of the Newport Company.

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For executing the work, £13,000 is to be raised in shares of £100 each; and should this prove insufficient, a further sum of £7,000 may be provided, by the creation of new shares or by mortgage of the rates. The following are allowed as


For all Goods, Wares, Merchandize and Things 2s 0d per Ton.
For all Coals or Coke 1s 6d ditto.
For all Manure 0s 6d ditto.

Fractions of a Ton to be reckoned as the Quarters therein, Land-owners to carry Manure free of Toll.

Lords of manors and others may build wharfs for public use, and charge the following


For all Minerals, Timber or other Goods, remaining not longer than Twenty-four Hours 3d per Ton.
For ditto remaining above Twenty-four Hours and not above Thirty Days 6d ditto.
After that Time ¼d ditto, per Day.

Coal, Iron and Lime,stone may remain on the Wharfs for Three Months, on payment of Sixpence per Ton.

This canal begins at the town of Newport Pagnell, 180½ feet above the level of the sea, and proceeding in a north-easterly direction it unites with the Grand Junction Canal at Linford, at a level of 232¼ feet above the sea. The estimate for this work was made in 1813 by Mr. B. Bevan. He calculated the cost to be £12,650, of which, £9,700 was subscribed; the shares were made of the value of £100 each, but half and quarters were allowed. The canal from Newport to its opening into the Grand Junction Canal is only a mile and a quarter long, with a rise of 50 feet 9 inches, from Newport to the level of the Grand Junction near the Swing Bridge, which is effected by seven locks of 7 feet 3 inches each.

The conveniences afforded by this communication with the Grand Junction Canal in the transit of coal, agricultural produce, timber, deals, stone and groceries, are important to the town and neighbourhood of Newport Pagnell.

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51 George Ill. Cap. 147, Royal Assent 10th June, 1811.

THE River Nith or Nidd Navigation commences in the Solway Frith, and continues a course of about nine miles, in a direction nearly north, between the counties of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright, to its termination at Dumfries Bridge, through the whole of which distance the tide flows. The act which refers to this work is entitled, 'An Act for improving the Harbour of Dumfries, and the Navigation of the River Nith;' by which it appears that, though two several acts of George II. and III. had awarded a proportion of the taxes on beer and ale levied on the authority of those acts, for the purpose of improving Dumfries Harbour, the said harbour stands in need of repairs; the preceding acts are hereby repealed and the present substituted for them. By this act certain commissioners therein named have the requisite powers to cleanse, deepen and improve the said harbour and the River Nith, including both sides thereof from Southerness to the caul of Dumfries. The following are to be levied as


For all Goods, Wares and Merchandize, including Slate and Foreign Timber, imported into or exported out of the said River, except Coals, Lime or Lime-stone 1s 2d per Ton.
For Coals, Lime and Lime-stone 0s 6d ditto.
For all Vessels coming into the River from Foreign Parts 0s 6d ditto.
For ditto from any Part of Great Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man 0s 2d ditto.
For ditto coming to an Anchor at or near Carse-thorne, except chartered to Dumfries 0s 1d ditto.

All Custom-House, Excise or Post-Office Ships and Ships in his Majesty's Service. are exempted from the Rates.

Commissioners have power to license pilots, meters of timber and weighers on the river; they may also erect light-houses, quays and harbours, and make the improvements laid down by Mr. James Holinsworth, viz, throwing the course of the channel as close as possible to Glencaple Quay; lengthening the pier at Kirkconnel Banks, and making a new channel of the river from Glencaple Quay by Conheath to Kelton, from thence in nearly a straight line to the mouth of Cargenfrew; and from thence in a

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straight line from Netherton Merse to New Quay; thence through the west corner of Kingholme and through the east corner of the lands of Moat, into the dock.

Commissioners may borrow £16,000 for the purpose of executing the work, on security of the rates, paying £5 per cent. per annum interest for the same.


52 George III. Cap. 69, Royal Assent 5th May, 1812.

THE North Walsham and Dilliam commences at Wayford Bridge in the parish of Dilham in Norfolk, where it communicates with the River Ant; from this place it runs in a north-west direction, parallel to a branch of the Ant River, by a very sinuous course, passing Worsted, Westwick, Honing and Corstwick Halls, leaving North Walsham and Suffield Hall on the West, and proceeding by Witton Park to its termination at Antingham, being a distance of seven miles. The act for forming it was obtained in 1812, under the title of 'An Act for making a navigable Canal from the Rivers Ant and Bure, at or near Wayford Bridge, near Dilham, to the towns of North Walsham and Antingham, in the county of Norfolk.' The proprietors are incorporated as "The Company of Proprietors of the North Waisham and Dilham Canal Navigation," and have power to raise £30,000, in shares of £50 each; and in case this should be insufficient, they may obtain £10,000 in addition, by contributing amongst themselves, or by mortgaging the rates and dues. They may also demand the following


For all Lime-stone, Dung. Peat or Soap Ashes, Chalk, Marl, Clay, Sand and all Lime or other Articles used as Manure or for repairing Roads 2½d per Ton, per Mile.
For all Coals, CuIm, Pig-iron, Iron-stone, Iron, Copper and Lead-ores, Lime not for Manure, Kelp, Ashes, Barilla, Tallow, Building-stone, Bricks, Tiles, Paving-stone and Pipe-clay 3d ditto. ditto.
For all Coke, Cinders, Charcoal, Corn and other Grain, Flour, Malt, Meal, Cider, Hay, Straw, Raw Hemp and Tanners' Bark, Porter and Beer, Timber, Ochre, Calamine, Bar-iron, Lead. Kelp, Sand except for Manure, Pitch, Tar, Turpentine and Rosin 4d ditto. ditto.
For all Wines and Spirituous Liquors 5d ditto. ditto.

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For all Passengers in Boats or Barges 1d per Mile each.
For all Cattle, Horses and Asses ½d ditto. ditto.
For all Sheep, Swine and other Beasts 3d ditto, per Score.
For all other Goods, Wares, Merchandize and Commodities 6d per Ton, per Mile.

No less Fraction than Half a Mile or a Quarter of a Ton to be paid, and Wharfage to be charged if Goods remain longer than Forty-eight Hours,

Lords of manors and occupiers of land may erect wharfs and quays, but if they refuse, the company have power to do so, charging rates according to their own discretion.

This work is highly beneficial to the district through which it passes, by affording a communication with Great Yarmouth and London, and thus connecting with most parts of the kingdom.


53 George III. Cap. 182, Royal Assent 2nd July, 1813.

THIS canal is marked in our map a branch of the Wilts and Berks Canal; having been made under the authority of a distinct act of parliament, we shall here only describe its course, and state the sum to be raised for the execution of the work.

It commences in the WiIts and Berks Canal, near Swindon, 3451/3 feet above the level of the sea, and proceeding in a pretty direct line towards the north-west, terminates in the Thames and Severn Canal at Weymoor Bridge, having passed the town of Cricklade in its way. The length is eight miles and three furlongs, and falls, from the Wilts and Berks Canal to the Thames and Severn, 58 feet 8 inches. The act obtained for making it is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the Wilts and Berks Canal, in the parish of Swindon, in the county of Wilts, to communicate with the Thames and Severn Canal in the parish of Latton, in the same county;' whereby the proprietors, who are styled "The Company of Proprietors of the North Wilts Canal Navigation," are empowered to make and complete the same. They are to raise £60,000, in shares of £25 each; but the sum of £44,000, being five-sixths of the estimate, is to be subscribed before the work commences. If the said £60,000 should not be sufficient, they may raise a further sum of

page 479

£30,000, either amongst themselves, or on mortgage of the rates, or by promissory notes bearing interest. The estimate for this work was made by Mr. Whitworth, under whose superintendence it was executed for less than the estimate, (an unusual thing.) Near Cricklade this canal is carried over the River Thames by an aqueduct peculiarly constructed, so as to meet the difficulty of passing that river at little more than 2 feet above its surface. But as this act is repealed by an act of the 1st and 2nd George IV. which consolidates this work with the Wilts and Berks Canal, we therefore refer to that article.


8 George IV. Cap, 42, Royal Assent 28th May, 1827.

THE object of this undertaking is to open a much superior communication for sea-borne vessels between Norwich and the sea, than the present navigation of the River Yare from that town to Yarmouth affords. The present state of the River Yare, which for thirty miles affords sufficient depth of water for a larger class of vessels than the wherries now navigated upon it, but which, from the insurmountable difficulty of passing over that shallow part called Breydon Lake, although carrying not more than from twenty-six to thirty-six tons, are frequently retarded, thereby causing an interruption to the regular despatch of business. To avoid this and other impediments, and to save the time and the trouble of re-shipment of all sea-borne articles, this company obtained powers to make a Ship Canal from Norwich to Lowestoft, calculated for vessels drawing 10 feet water; a principal part of which will be the river navigation deepened, widened, and improved by short cuts of about four miles in length; commencing in the Wensum or Yare River, at Norwich, it follows the course of that river to a bend where the road from Norwich to Yarmouth, in the township of Thorpe, leaves it, at which place is a canal of about thirty chains in length, cutting off two bends of the river; it then proceeds along the winding course of the river, passing Wood's End to Surlingham Ferry, at which is another short cut of sixteen chains; passing on

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to Bradestone, there is another cut thirty-four chains in length to Coldham Hall; and from thence it pursues the windings of the river, passing Buckenham, Horseshoes, Devil's Round and Hardley Cross, to Raveningham Mill, where the River Yare continues its course easterly, and a canal is cut of two miles and a half in length, to the River Waveney, at about a quarter of a mile from St. Olaves; thence following the course of the Waveney to Oulton Dyke, at which is a new cut of three quarters of a mile in length to Oulton Broad, which connects it with Lake Lothing, at the eastern end of which is a cut of half a mile in length and 120 feet wide, to the sea, where there is a tide-lock which will admit vessels 84 feet long and 21 feet beam.

The level of this navigation is 4 feet above low water, and 4 feet below high water of spring tides, with 10 feet water on the bottom-sill at low water; indeed this country is so flat that not one lock is required on the old navigation between Yarmouth and Norwich.

The act for this work was obtained in 1827, as 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Communication for Ships and other Vessels, between the city of Norwich and the Sea, at or near Lowestoft, in the county of Suffolk.' By this act the subscribers, incorporated as "The Company of Proprietors of the Norwich and Lowestoft Navigation" are empowered to make the necessary works, when £100,000 shall be raised in £100 shares; and in case the said £100,000 shall not be sufficient to complete the works, they may raise £50,000 more by mortgage of the rates, or by granting annuities, or by borrowing of the Exchequer Commissioners for carrying on public works. The following are directed to be taken as


The Column marked thus * are the Harbour and River Rates.

The Column marked thus + are the Rates of Wharfage at the Harbour, and all other Places throughout the Line of Navigation respectively, for any Time not exceeding the first Twenty-four Hours; an additional Rate or Duty to the same Amount, for every Forty-eight Hours beyond the first Twenty-four Hours, or for any shorter period of Time after the first Twenty-four Hours, or after any one complete Term of Forty-eight Hours.

The Column marked thus ± are the Rates on Goods warehoused in the Warehouses, at the Harbour, or on the Line of Navigation, for any Time not exceeding the first Twenty-four Hours, and at per Week exceeding the first Twenty-four Hours.

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For every Quarter (containing Eight Bushels) of Wheat, Barley, Malt, Beans, Peas, Tares, Canary, Mustard and other Seeds 0s 3d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Quarter of Oats 0s 3d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Sack containing Five Bushels of Flour 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Qnarter of Meal, Middlings and Sharps 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Quarter of Pollard and Bran 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Sack of Clover, Trefoil and other heavy Seeds 0s 3d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Sack of Potatoes, Onions, &c 0s 1d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Bushel of Apples, Pears, &c 0s 1d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Bag of Hops 0s 6d0s 1d0s 2d
For every Pocket of Hops 0s 3d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Thousand of English Oil Cakes 2s 0d0s 6d1s 0d
For every Thousand of Foreign ditto 2s 0d0s 6d1s 0d
For every Pack of Wool, Cotton, &c. containing Two Hundred and Forty Pounds 0s 4d0s 1d0s 2d
For every Hundred Weignt of Tanned Hides and Calf Skins 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Raw Hide 0s 1d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Hundred of Pelts 0s 9d0s 2d0s 4d
For every Ton of Tan or Bark 2s 0d0s 4d0s 8d
For every Ton of Sugar, Fruits, Bacon, Cheese, Butter, Pork, Hams, Tongues, Salt, Salted Fish, Tallow, Soap, Candles, and all heavy Grocery Goods not herein specified 2s 0d0s 4d0s 8d
For every Hundred Weight of Tea, Coffee and Spices 0s 3d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Chest of Oranges, Lemons, &c 0s 2d0s 1d0s 2d
For every Puncheon of Molasses 1s 0d0s 3d0s 6d
For every Butt of Ale, Porter, Cider, Perry, Vinegar and Oil 1s 0d0s 3d0s 6d
For every Puncheon of ditto 0s 9d0s 2d0s 4d
For every Hogshead of ditto 0s 6d0s 1½d0s 3d
For every Barrel of ditto 0s 4d0s 1d0s 2d
For every Kilderkin or Runlet of ditto 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
For every Dozen of ditto in Hampers 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
Madder, per Cask, per Cwt 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 1d
Pipe Clay, per Ton 2s 0d0s 4d0s 8d
For every Pipe or Butt of Spirits and Wines 1s 0d0s 6d1s 0d
For every Hogshead of ditto 0s 6d0s 4d0s 10d
For every Half of ditto 0s 3d0s 3d0s 6d
For every Quarter of ditto 0s 2d0s 2d0s 4d
Under Twenty Gallons, per Gallon 0s 1d0s 0½d0s 1d
Per dozen, in Hampers 0s 2d0s 0½d0s 3d
For every Four-wheeled Carriage 7s 0d--
For every Two-wheeled ditto 3s 6d--
For every Horse, Mare or Gelding 7s 0d--
For every other Beast 3s 0d--
For every Chaldron (containing Thirty-six Bushels) of Coal, Coke, Culm, Cinders or Breeze 2s 0d0s 3d-
For every Ton of Hay, Cinquefoil, Clover or Straw 2s 0d0s 6d0s 4d
For every Load of Oak, Elm, Pine, Beech and Fir Timber 2s 0d0s 6d0s 4d
For every Load of Deals, Battens and Lath-wood 2s 0d0s 6d1s 0d
For every Cubic Foot of Mahogany, Teak-wood, or other valuable Woods 0s 1d0s 0½d0s 4d
For every Ton of Hemp, Cordage and Yarn 2s 0d0s 6d0s 4d
For every Barrel of Pitch, Tar, Grease, Rosin, &c 0s 3d0s 2d0s 3d
For every Ton of Stone, Slate, Plaster of Paris, Alum, unwrought Iron, Bar-iron, Lead, &c 2s 0d0s 6d0s 6d
For every Cubic Foot of Marble 0s 3d0s 1d0s 1d
For every One Thousand of Gutter, Pan, Mathematical and Plain Tiles 3s 0d0s 9d0s 6d

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