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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 661|
The first act of parliament relating to this river was passed in 1716, and is entitled, 'An Act for the Preservation and Improvement of the River Wear and Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county of Durham.' It appointed certain persons, commissioners to execute the powers of the act for a period of twenty-one years, and to take duties as therein specified, to commence from the 24th June, 1717.
In 1726 another act was passed, entitled, 'An Act for the more effectual Preservation and Improvement of the Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county of Durham,' which continued the commissioners for a period of twenty-one years, and authorized them to build a pier or quay on the south side and at the mouth of the said river, and to make other improvements thereon.
The act passed in 1747, entitled, 'An Act for the better Preservation and Improvement of the River Wear and Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county of Durham,' states that the pier authorized by the last act of parliament has been erected, but that it wants additional works; and that the navigation of the river has become in a bad state, in consequence of the funds, arising from the tolls collected thereon, not being sufficient to keep it in a proper state of order and repair. The act, therefore, appoints new commissioners for a period of twenty-one years, and authorizes them to make the river navigable from Biddick Ford to New Bridge; and for carrying these works into effect, they are empowered to borrow so much money as may be found necessary, by mortgage of the dues, which are as follow
|For every Chaldron of Coal or Cinders, to be paid by the Owner||1½d.|
|And to be paid by the Coal Factors or Fitters||½d.|
The next act of parliament was passed in 1759, and is entitled, 'An Act for making and completing the Navigation of the River Wear, from and including South Biddick, or Biddick Ford, in the county of Durham, to the city of Durham, and for repealing so much of the Act of the Twentieth Year of this Reign, as relates to making the said River navigable between the said Two Places called South Biddick, or Biddick Ford, and New Bridge in the county of Durham.' It appoints certain persons therein named,
commissioners, with powers to carry the provisions of the act into effect, and to take for the whole distance between Biddick Ford and Durham, the following
|For all Coal or Cinders||1s 6d per Chaldron.|
|For all Lead, Lead-ore, Tar, Lime, Lime-stone, Slate, Flags, or other Stone, Bricks and Pantiles||1s 0d per Ton.|
|For all Corn, Grain and Malt||4s 0d per Last.|
|For Butter||0s 1d per Firkin.|
|For Manure||0s 6d per Ton.|
|For all Unwrought Iron, Raft Deals, Boards and Timber||2s 6d ditto.|
|For all other Goods, Wares and Merchandize||5s 0d ditto.|
And in proportion for greater or less Quantities, and for a less Distance.
Iron-stone for the Works of Mr. Cookson, at Whithill, only to pay Two-pence per Chaldron.
The commissioners may borrow money for the purposes of the work, and assign the tolls as security.
Land-owners and lords of manors may erect wharfs and warehouses, and take such rates as may be agreed on.
Another act was passed at the same time as the one just recited, entitled, 'An Act continuing, amending and rendering more effectual so much of an Act made in the Twentieth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, as relates to the Port and Haven of Sunderland, and the River Wear, between South Biddick, or Biddick Ford, and the said Port and Haven,' which appoints commissioners, in addition to those appointed by the 20th George II. and who may be living, to improve the navigation of the river between Sunderland and Biddick Ford. It also continues the act of the 20th George II. in force for a further period of twenty-one years, and authorizes the commissioners to take the same rates, as are therein directed to be taken.
In 1785 another act was passed, entitled, 'An Act for the better Preservation and Improvement of the River Wear and Port and Harbour of Sunderland,' which, however, is repealed by an act we shall next notice, which was passed in 1809.
This act, entitled, 'An Act for repealing an Act passed in the Twenty-fifth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty for the Improvement of the River Wear, and Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county of Durham, and for the more effectual Preservation and further Improvement of the same River, Port and Haven,' in addition to the preceding act repeals all the foregoing
acts then in force, and after stating that there was a debt of £5,800 remaining unpaid, authorizes the commissioners, who are thereby appointed, to take the following
|For all Coal and Cinders, (Seventy-two Winchester Bushels to a Chaldron) to be paid by the Coal Owners||4½d per Chaldron.|
|And the Fitters or Coal Factors||1½d ditto.|
And a Rate of One Penny per Ton on all Vessels entering the Port of Sunderland except from Stress of Weather.
And to borrow such sum of money as they may consider necessary, on the credit of the above duties.
The commissioners of this navigation having erected light-houses, are empowered to charge a rate of ¼d. for every two tons on vessels entering the port of Sunderland; but on those that take refuge only in the said port, and do not take a cargo, 1½d. per ton, to support the said light-houses.
The next act of parliament relating to this navigation was passed in 1819, and is entitled, 'An Act to explain and amend an Act of the Forty-ninth of his present Majesty, for repealing an Act of the Twenty-fifth Year of his present Majesty, for the Improvement of the River Wear, and Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county palatine of Durham; and for the more effectual Preservation and further Improvement of the same River, Port and Haven.' It enables the commissioners to remove all obstructions on the navigation and the port of Sunderland, and to prevent any future encroachments. The navigation to be surveyed by Mr. John Rennie, under the authority of the Lords of the Admiralty, and meer stones to be fixed defining its limits, to be called the Quay Line, between which line and the river, no erection whatever is to be made.
The celebrated iron bridge was erected over this river near Sunderland, by R. Burdon, Esq. which is 236 feet span and 100 feet high above high-water-mark.
The act of the 11th George IV. relates chiefly to the river and port of Sunderland, and is entitled, 'An Act for the Improvement and Preservation of the River Wear, and Port and Haven of Sunderland, in the county palatine of Durham,' was obtained chiefly with a view of remedying the defects of the previous acts, which are therefore repealed.
The limits of this navigation and haven are from South Biddick or Biddick Ford, including the port and haven of Sunderland, as the same extends from Souter Point, two miles from Sunderland Bar to the north-east, into the sea to five fathoms at low water, and from thence in a supposed direct line till it falls opposite to a point called Ryhope Dean, two miles to the south.
To carry this act into execution, a great number of commissioners are appointed, whose qualification is to consist of real estate of the clear yearly value of £200, or a personal estate of £6,000; they are authorized to deepen and cleanse the said river; to enlarge the channel to the mouth thereof; to contract the entrance; build and repair piers, quays, capsterns, mooring-anchors, posts, landing-places, warehouses, and all other machinery, apparatus and works, for carrying on and maintaining the free navigation of this river; and for these purposes, authority is given to the commissioners to borrow any sum of money required, on security of the following
|For all Coals or Cinders brought to this River between South Biddick or Biddick Ford and Sunderland, and from any Staith within the limits of this Act; and for all Coals or Cinders brought to the said River between South Biddick and the City of Durham, every Coal Owner shall pay||4½d per Chaldron of 72 Bushels.|
|Ditto to be paid by every Fitter or Coal Factor||1½d ditto.|
Cinders burnt from Coals, subject to the previous Duties, are exempt from the Duties hereby imposed for Cinders shipped for exportation or water-borne to any other Place; as also Coals consumed in making Salt, Glass, Glass Bottles, Vitriol, Copperas, Earthenware, Bricks, Tiles, and burning Lime-stone into Lime.
|For every Ship or Vessel entering the said Port (excepting for) safety only and departing without taking any fresh loading) for each Voyage, not exceeding three in the Year||1d per Ton, Register.|
|For every Ship or other Vessel entering the said River or Port of Sunderland (in addition to the above Rates) once in every Voyage||1s 0d.|
|And for every Two Tons of the Burthen of such Ship or Vessel||0s 1¼d.|
|For every Ship entering for safety only and departing without taking any fresh loading||0s 1½d per Ton, Register.|
Owners of Ships in the Lime Trade may compound for their Duties.
King's Ships are exempt.
The rights of the Lord Bishop of Durham to the beacon and anchorage dues of the port and haven of Sunderland, are protected by a clause at the end of the act.
The importance of this navigation arises from the export of coal, which abounds in its neighbourhood, and is conveyed to it by numerous railways, laid down by the proprietors of the different coal-works; the port of London and many large towns situate upon the Thames, as well as all the Eastern Coast, receiving a considerable portion of their supplies from the port of Sunderland.
7 Geo. I. C. 10, R. A. 23rd March, 1720.
7 Geo. II. C. 28, R. A. 16th April, 1734.
33 Geo. II. C. 49, R. A. 22nd May, 1760.
47 Geo. III. C. 82, R. A. 8th Aug. 1807.
6 Geo. IV. C. 29, R. A. 2nd May, 1825.
10 Geo. IV. C. 70, R. A. 22nd May, 1829.
THE first act for making this river navigable, passed in the 7th George I. entitled, 'An Act for making the River Weaver navigable from Frodsham Bridge to Winsford Bridge, in the county of Chester,' empowering certain undertakers and trustees, and their successors, to execute the works; and when made, to take and receive 1s. 3d. per ton until the charges and expenses of making the same are satisfied, and afterwards only 1s. per ton. Forty bushels of rock salt or white salt, or eight barrels of sugar, each not being more than three hundred pounds weight, or two hogsheads of sugar of not more than one thousand two hundred pounds each, or three hogsheads of tobacco of not more than eight hundred pounds weight each; and that four tierces, each not being more than eight hundred pounds weight, shall be deemed a ton. Sixty-three cubic feet of coal, cannel coal, charcoal, coke and cinders, shall be a ton; that one hundred and twenty pounds weight of clay and flint, shall be taken for one hundred weight, and twenty of such hundred weights of clay to be a ton, and twenty-one of such hundred weights of flint shall be a ton. Fifty feet of round, and 40 feet of square oak, and 50 feet of fir, balk, poplar or other wood, shall be a ton; and one hundred and twenty pounds is rated to the hundred weight.
This act also directs, that after the works are finished and all the expenses paid, the clear produce of the rates shall be employed
in amending and repairing the public bridges and certain highways within the said county, and in such manner as the justices of the peace at the quarter sessions shall yearly direct; and if there should be a surplus over and above, such surplus shall, under the directions of the magistrates, be applied towards the repairs of the other highways within the county.
The undertakers acting under the 7th George I. having proceeded to carry the work into effect, had incurred a debt of £20,500, when another act was passed in the 33rd George II. entitled, 'An Act to amend an Act passed in the Seventh Year of the Reign of his late Majesty King George the First, for making the River Weaver navigable, from Frodsham Bridge to Winsford Bridge, in the county of Chester, and for the more effectual preserving and improving the Navigation of the said River.'
This act relieves the undertakers appointed by the 7th George I. from their liability to the payments of the debt incurred by them, and directs that all engagements and contracts, and all sums of money owing, shall be discharged by the trustees appointed by this act.
This act also directs that all the locks upon the navigation shall, with all convenient speed, be made of the same dimensions as the lock at Pickeren's, (they are now constructed 90 feet long and 18 feet wide;) the act provides that the depth of water-way shall be 4 feet 6 inches at the least for the whole course of the navigation; but there is now 6 feet and upwards over the sills of the different locks.
The navigation of the River Weaver having hitherto been from the Mersey up the tideway to Frodsham Bridge, it was found to be very inconvenient and dangerous; to remedy which, an act was therefore passed in the year 1807, entitled, 'An Act to authorize the Trustees of the River Weaver Navigation, to open a more convenient Communication betwixt the River near Frodsham Bridge and the River Mersey near Weston Point, in the township of Weston, in the county of Chester, and to amend Two Acts relative to the said River.' A fourth act was passed in the year 1825, entitled, 'An Act to repeal certain Parts of, and to alter and amend an Act passed in the Forty-seventh Year of the Reign of his late Majesty King George the Third, to authorize
'the Trustees of the River Weaver Navigation, to open a more convenient Communication between the said River near Frodsham Bridge and the River Mersey near Weston Point, in the township of Weston, in the counly of Chester; and to amend Two Acts relative to the said River'
The fifth act was obtained in the 10th year of his present Majesty, entitled, 'An Act to alter, amend, enlarge and consolidate certain of the Powers and Provisions of the said Acts passed relating to the River Weaver Navigation, in the county palatine of Chester;' in this act, after stating that the trustees under the power vested in them by the 47th George III. had made and completed the cut or canal, from the River Weaver to Weston Point, and that they had also formed, at considerable expense, a basin, piers, light-house and other works, it is provided that the said cut or canal, basin, piers, quays, &c. are declared to be a branch of the River Weaver, but that no rates shall be taken in respect thereof.
It is provided by the 7th George I. that no tonnage shall be taken betwixt Frodsham Bridge and a place called Pickeren's Boat on the River Weaver, except at such times and seasons as the said river shall not be then navigable without the help of a lock.
The total length of this navigation from Winsford Bridge to the tideway at Weston Point, is twenty-two miles, five furlongs and one hundred and sixty-eight yards; there is also a branch from Witton Brook Lock to Witton Bridge of six furlongs; and another branch from the canal to a little below Frodsham Bridge of four furlongs; making the whole length of navigation twenty-three miles, seven furlongs and one hundred and sixty-eight yards, with twelve locks, and a total fall of 50 feet from Winsford Bridge to low water in the tideway at Weston Point.
The general trade upon this navigation is salt, rock salt, coal, timber, corn, cotton, &c. and lately a considerable trade has been established in the carriage of flint and clay to the Staffordshire Potteries.
From the great increase of trade in this part of the country, the annual receipt for dues on the navigation is said to amount to upwards of £20,000.
13 Elizabeth, Cap. 1, Royal Assent - - - - 1571.
12 George III. Cap. 103, Royal Assent 21st May, 1772.
34 George III. Cap. 102, Royal Assent 23rd May, 1794.
THIS river rises about five miles north of Market Harborough, in Leicestershire, and proceeding by Rockingham Castle, winds in a north-easterly course to Stamford, in Lincolnshire, up to which place it is made navigable from the sea; thence it runs in an easterly course to Market Deeping; whence, turning south-easterly, it proceeds, about three miles; then bending to the north-east and passing near Crowland and Spalding, it empties itself into the Wash.
The first act of parliament relating to this river was passed in 1571, and is entitled, 'An Act for making the River of Welland, in the county of Lincoln, navigable.' A second passed in 1772, entitled, 'An Act for the better Preservation of the Great Bank of the River Welland, &c.' the clauses of which it is not necessary here to enumerate, as the principal act, to which we have to refer, was obtained in 1794, under the title of 'An Act for improving the Outfall of the River Welland, in the county of Lincoln; and for the better Drainage of the Fen Lands, Low Grounds and Marshes, discharging their Waters through the same into the Sea; and for altering and improving the Navigation of the said River Welland, by means of a new Cut, to commence below a certain Place called the Reservoir, and to be carried from thence through the inclosed Marshes and open Salt Marshes into Wyberton Road, between the Port of Boston and a Place called the Scalp; and for disposing of the Bore or White Sands adjoining to the said River; and for building a Bridge over the said Cut.'
This act appoints three persons therein named, commissioners for executing the purposes of this act, with power to borrow money on the credit of the taxes and pontage, and to take the following
|For all Coal||0s 6d per Chaldron.|
|For all Oats and Malt||1s 0d per Last.|
|For all Wheat, Rye, Barley, Barley Big, Beans, Peas, Cole, Linseed, Hempseed and Mustard-seed||1s 0d per Half Last.|
|For all Iron, Salt, Lead, Rags, Tobacco, Pipe-clay, Pebbles or Cobbles, Reed, Sedge, Hay, Flax, Hemp or Turves||1s 0d per Ton.|
|For all Currants||1s 0d per Butt.|
|For all Lime and Grindstones||1s 0d per Chaldron.|
|For every Two Pipes, Three Hogsheads or Puncheons, Eight Barrels or Half Hogsheads of Wine or other Liquor||1s 0d.|
|For every Eight Packs of Wool; Sixteen Kilderkins, Thirty-two Firkins, Quarter Barrels and Bushels of Sand; every Five Hundred Pantiles or Paving-Tiles, Five Hundred of Bricks, Twenty Feet of Stone, One Hundred Battens and Half Hundred of Deals||1s 0d.|
|For all other Goods, Wares and Merchandize||1s 0d per Ton.|
The cut contemplated by this act of parliament is to commence at Hooton's Gibbet, and running across the Salt Marshes, to terminate in the Wyberton Road, as near as may be to the Ship Ale-House. It is not to be less than 50 feet wide at the bottom, with a batter of two to one. The south bank is to have 60 feet at the base, 30 feet at the top and 11 feet of perpendicular height; and the north bank to be 30 feet at the base, 6 feet at the top and 11 feet in height. The threshold of the sea sluice at Wyberton Road is to be laid 1 foot under low-water-mark; the water-way of the sluice 50 feet wide, and adjoining to it there is to be a lock 8 feet wide and 60 feet long, for the use of vessels.
This navigation is highly beneficial for the import of coals, deals, timber, groceries, &c. for the use of the country through which it passes; and in return it takes the Ketten Freestone, Collyweston White Slates, and malt from Stamford, besides corn and other agricultural products of the country.
6 George IV. Cap. 169, Royal Assent 22nd June, 1825.
THIS railway commences at the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, near Ryhall, in the parish of Uphall, and proceeds south-westerly to Houston, where a branch goes off to the Silver Mines; it is then continued to Howden, where another branch runs off to Balbardie; the main line, passing Whiteburn, proceeds to Shotts, where it terminates.
The act of parliament authorizing this undertaking, is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a Railway from the Edin-
'burgh and Glasgow Union Canal at or near Ryhall, in the parish of Uphall, to Whiteburn, and other places, in the counties of Linlithgow and Lanark.' It incorporates the subscribers by the name of "The West Lothian Railway Company," and empowers them to raise amongst themselves, for the purposes of the act, the sum of £40,700, in shares of £50 each, and, if necessary, a further sum of £20,000 by mortgage of the tolls, and authorizes them to take the following
|For all Goods, Wares and Merchandize whatever||3d per Ton, per Mile.|
Fractions of a Hundred Weight to be taken as a Hundred Weight, of a Ton and a Mile as the Quarters therein, and of a Quarter as a Quarter.
The company may also establish carriages for the conveyance of passengers and parcels, and charge the following
|For each Passenger||2d per Mile.|
|For Parcels||¼d per Pound, per Mile.|
Owners of lands on the line may erect wharfs and warehouses, and on their refusal the company may do it, and take the following
|For all Coal, Culm, Lime, Lime-stone, Clay, Iron-stone, Stone, Bricks, Gravel, Hay, Corn in the Straw, Straw or Manure, for Six Months||½d per Ton.|
|For all lron, Lead-ore or any other Ore, Tin, Timber, Tiles and Slates||1d ditto.|
|For any other Goods, Wares and Merchandize||2d ditto.|
And for a longer Period than Six Months, a Rate of a Farthing per Ton per Month for the first Species of Goods enumerated above; a Half-penny per Ton per Month for the second Species, and a Penny per Ton per Month for the last Species.
The estimate for completing this railway and branches, as made by Mr. H. Baird, civil engineer, in 1824, is as follows:-
|Basin at Canal, 150 yards by 21||1,070||0||0|
|Silver Mines Branch||9,386||5||0|
The length of this railway is about fifteen miles, with a rise of 522 feet; the Silver Mines Branch is four miles and seven chains in length, with a rise of 410 feet; and the Balbardie Branch is four miles and four chains, with a rise of 69 feet.
(SEE GRAND WESTERN CANAL.)
23 Charles II. Cap. 26, Royal Assent 22nd April, 1671.
33 George II. Cap. 45, Royal Assent 15th April, 1760.
THIS river has its source near Alton, in Hampshire, from whence it runs in a north-easterly course to Farnham; it there turns to a south-easterly direction, passing Waverley Abbey, not far from which it is joined by another branch which rises near Selbourne, and passes by Pierpoint Lodge; thence continuing its course easterly, it reaches Godalming, where it becomes navigable; and thence continuing in a direction a little to the east-ward of north, it is joined by the Wey and Arun Canal near Shalford Powder Mills; it afterwards passes by Guildford, Stoke Place, Sutton Place, Wisley, Byfleet and Woburn Park, to its termination in the River Thames; the greater part of the distance from Sutton Place to Byfleet, near which town it is joined by the Basingstoke Canal, is an artificial navigation.
The first act of parliament respecting this river was passed in 1671, and is entitled, 'An Act for settling and preserving the Navigation of the River Wey, in the county of Surrey.'
In 1760 another act was passed, entitled, 'An Act for extending and continuing the Navigation of the River Wey, otherwise Wye, in the county of Surrey, to the town of Godalming, in the said county,' which states that the River Wey is already navigable as far as the town of Guildford, and that great advantages will accrue from its being made navigable as far up as the town of Godalming, and the act appoints commissioners for extending the navigation from the Town-Wharf, below Guildford Bridge, to the said town of Godalming, and authorizes their taking the following tonnage rates.
|For all Timber, Corn, Meal, Flour and other Goods, Wares and Merchandize, (except Chalk, Woollen Rags and other Kinds of Manure) carried upon the Cut from Godalming to Guildford, and lower down than the Wharf at Stone Bridge Brook||1s 9d per Ton.|
|For all Chalk, Woollen Rags or other Kinds of Manure||0s 9d ditto.|
|For all Coal||1s 6d per Chaldron.|
|For the Goods, first mentioned, from Godalming to the Wharf at Stone Bridge Brook||1s 6d per Ton.|
|For all Chalk, Woollen Rags or other Kinds of Manure||0s 6d ditto.|
|For all Coal||1s 3d per Chaldron.|
The commissioners may borrow such sums as shall be necessary for executing the work, on security of the above tolls.
The length of this river from its junction with time Thames at Godalming, is nearly twenty miles, with a rise to Guildford of 68½ feet; and from Guildford to Godalming 32½ feet.
The keeping of this river navigable is of great service to the towns of Godalming and Guildford, in the conveyance of their chalk, corn and other agricultural products to London, and by furnishing in return supplies of coals, deals, timber and groceries; whilst by its junction with the Wey and Arun and Basingstoke Canals, its connections are extended into Hampshire and Sussex.
53 George Ill. Cap. 19, Royal Assent 19th April, 1813.
THIS canal commences at the River Wey, near Shalford Powder Mills, between Guildford and Godalming; thence running south, it passes Wonerst Park, Ridinghurst and Lockswood, to New Bridge, where it joins the Arun Navigation, after completing a course of nearly eighteen miles.
This canal was executed under authority of an act of parliament passed in 1813, entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal, to unite the Rivers Wey and Arun, in the counties of Surrey and Sussex,' which incorporates the subscribers thereto, by the name of "The Company of Proprietors of the Wey and Arun Junction Canal," and empowers them to raise amongst themselves, for the purposes of the act, the sum of £90,500, in nine hundred and five shares of £100 each, and, if necessary, a further sum of £9,500, either amongst themselves or by mortgage of the tolls and rates; they are also to demand the following tonnage rates.
|For all Dung, Ashes, Chalk, Marl, Lime and Lime-stone, intended for Manure, and all Manure||0s 2d per Ton, per Mile.|
|For all Chalk, Marl, Lime and Lime-stone and all other Goods and Merchandize||0s 4d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Vessels with not more than Six Tons of Manure, or Four Tons of any other lading, passing through any Locks||1s 0d.|
|For all Passengers in Vessels||0s 2d per Mile each.|
|For every Package not exceeding Two Hundred Weight||0s 1d per Mile.|
Fractions of a Ton to pay as the Quarters therein, and of a Quarter as a Quarter;
Fractions of a Mile as Half a Mile.
Lords of manors and owners of land on the line may erect wharfs, and on their refusing, the company may erect them and take the following
|For all Coal, Culm, Lime-stone, Clay, Iron, Iron-stone, Lead-ore or any other Ores, Timber, Stones, Bricks, Tiles, Slates, Gravel, Hay, Straw, Corn in the Straw or Manure, not remaining above Twenty-eight Days||3d per Ton.|
|For all other Goods, Wares and Merchandize, not exceeding Ten Days||2d ditto.|
|For every Day exceeding the above Times, on any Description of Goods whatever||1d ditto.|
The Tolls on the Arun Navigation on Goods passing from Arundel Port through this Canal into the River Wey, to be reduced to One Shilling per Ton.
Ten years are allowed for completing this canal; which, with its towing-path, &c. is to be twenty yards in breadth.
This canal, by connecting the Arun Navigation with the River Wey, which communicates with the Thames, affords an inland line of navigation from London to the sea at Arundel Harbour; and by the execution of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, a connection will be opened by the same line to Portsmouth. The benefits to the country through which it passes, and to the great depot at Portsmouth, are so obvious as to require no further remark.
11 George IV. Cap. 56, Royal Assent 29th May, 1830.
THIS railway commences at Wallgate-Street, in the town of Wigan, and pursues a southwardly course across Chapel Lane, the River Douglas, and over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at the lock No. 21, and thence across the Leigh Branch of the said canal at Dobb's Bridge; thence by Bamforlong, Golborne Smithy, Golborne Park, to its termination at the Liverpool and Man-
chester Railway, near Parkside Lane Bridge, about a mile and a half east of the town of Newton. The length is six miles, four furlongs and four chains; the first mile and two chains of which from Wigan rises 5 feet; in the next six furlongs and eight chains there is a descent of 11 feet; then a gradual rise of 18 feet in the next distance of two miles, five furlongs and four chains; thence to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, a fall of 25 feet. A branch is to commence from the main line a mile east of Wigan, which proceeds in a north-easterly direction by Ince Green; thence along the north side of the Lancaster Canal to the road leading from Wigan to Aspull Moor, and near to New Springs or Bark Hill Bridge, where it terminates. Its length is two miles, four furlongs and eight chains, with a rise of 42 feet in the first length of one mile, one furlong and seven chains from the main line; thence to the road leading to Kirklees Engine, which is three quarters of a mile, there is a further rise of 132 feet; and to its termination a further ascent of 15 feet. The line in communicating with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, opens something like the top of the letter Y, thereby enabling waggons or other Carriages the better to communicate with the line of the last-mentioned railway; the part towards Liverpool is forty-two chains in length, while the one towards Manchester is only thirty-three chains. The works designed by Mr. C. B. Vignoles, in 1829, were estimated at £70,000.
The act authorizing the execution of this railway received his late Majesty's assent on the 29th May, 1830, and is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a Railway from the borough of Wigan to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, in the borough of Newton, in the county palatine of Lancaster, and collateral Branches to communicate therewith.' The subscribers, consisting of nineteen persons only, amongst whom was Sir Robert Holt Leigh, Bart. were incorporated as" The Wigan Branch Railway Company," with power to raise amongst themselves the sum of £70,000, in seven hundred shares of £100 each, and if necessary, an additional sum of £17,500 on credit of the undertaking. The powers of the act are to cease in seven years, as to the parts then remaining unexecuted. The distance between the inside edges of the rails to be 4 feet 8 inches; the outside 5 feet 1 inch. The
communication with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to be made under the direction of the engineer of that company, and three passing places, at the least, to be on every mile of the proposed railway.
|For all Lime-stone, Dung and all Sorts of Manure, and Coal-slack, drawn or propelled by the Engines or other power, and carried in the Waggons of any Person or body Corporate, other than by the said Company||1d per Ton, per Mile.|
|For ditto, if only drawn or propelled by and at the expense of the Company, or only carried in their Waggons||1½d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if drawn or propelled and carried by and at the expense of the Company||2d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Coal and Lime, and all Materials for making and repairing of Public Roads, drawn or propelled by the Engines or other power, and carried in the Waggons of any Person or body Corporate, other than by the said Company||1¼d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if only drawn or propelled by and at the expense of the Company, or only carried in their Waggons||1¾d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if drawn or propelled and carried by and at the expense of the Company||2¼d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Coke, Charcoal, Cinders, Stones, Sand, Clay, Building, Pitching and Paving-stones, Flags, Bricks, Tiles and Slates, drawn or propelled by the Engines or other power, and carried in the Waggons of any Person or body Corporate, other than by the said Company||2d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if only drawn or propelled by and at the expense of the Company, or only carried in their Waggons||2½d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if drawn or propelled and carried by and at the expense of the Company||3d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Sugar, Corn, Grain, Flour, Dye-woods, Timber, Staves, Deals, Lead, Iron and other Metals, drawn or propelled by the Engines or other power, and carried in the Waggons of any Person or body Corporate, other than by the said Company||2½d ditto. ditto.|
|3d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if drawn or propelled and carried by and at the expense of the Company||3½d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Cotton and other Wool, Hides, Drugs, Manufactured Goods and all other Wares, Merchandize and Things whatever, drawn or propelled by the Engines or other power, and carried in the Waggons of any Person or body Corporate, other than by the said Company||3d ditto. ditto.|
|3½d ditto. ditto.|
|For ditto, if drawn or propelled and carried by and at the expense of the Company||4d ditto. ditto.|
|For every Person passing in or upon any such Carriage, not drawn nor propelled nor provided by and at the expense of the Company||1s 6d for any Distance.|
|For every Horse, Mule, Ass or other Beast of Draught or Burthen and for every Ox, Cow, Bull or other Cattle carried as above||0s 4d per Mile.|
|For every Calf, Sheep, Lamb or Pig conveyed as above||0s 9d for any Distance.|
For all Persons, Cattle or other Animals passing in or upon any such Carriage, either drawn or propelled or provided by and at the expense of the said Company, such reasonable Charge as shall from Time to Time be determined by the said Company, who are not compelled to receive less than Sixpence per Ton for short Distances.
Fractions to be taken as for a Quarter of a Mile and Quarter of a Ton.
|No Waggon or other Carriage to carry at one Time, including the Weight of such Carriage, more than Four Tons Weight, except in any one Piece of Timber, Block or Stone, Boiler, Cylinder, Bob or single Piece of Machinery, or other single Article, which nevertheless shall not exceed Eight Tons, and for which the Company may Claim||4d per Ton, per Mile.|
And no Piece of Timber, Stone, &c. weighing Eight Tons, including the Carriage, shall pass at all without the special Licence of the Company.
Lords of manors and owners of ground may erect wharfs, staiths, depots, landing places, cranes, weigh-beams or warehouses, and charge the same rates as the company are entitled to do, which are as follow ;-
|For all Coals, Culm, Lime, Lime-stone and other Minerals, Timber, Stone, Clay, Bricks, Tiles, Slates, Goods, Merchandize or other Things, loaded, landed or placed in or upon any of the Wharfs, and continuing a longer Space than Two Hours and not exceeding Twenty-four||0s 1d per Ton.|
|If they remain more than Twenty-four Hours, the further Sum per Week for Wharfage of||0s 3d ditto.|
|And for the warehousing for the above Period||1s 0d ditto.|
And One Shilling per Ton for every further Week such Goods shall remain upon the Wharfs or in the Warehouses.
|For every single Lift of the Crane, being less than Two Tons||0s 6d per Ton.|
|Of Two Tons and less than Three||1s 0d ditto.|
|Of Three Tons and less than Four||1s 6d ditto.|
And Sixpence on each additional Weight of One Ton, to be raised at one single Lift of the Crane.
The opening of this railway, and its connection with the Liverpool and Manchester and Warrington and Newton Railways, will have a very beneficial effect on the rich mineral district through which it passes; besides providing the public with a cheap and expeditious conveyance for passengers, coal and merchandize, between the populous towns of Wigan, Warrington, Liverpool, Manchester, and various other places.
35 Geo. III. C. 52, R. A. 30th April, 1795.
41 Geo. III. C. 68, R. A. 20th June, 1801.
50 Geo. III. C. 148, R. A. 2nd June, 1810.
53 Geo. III. C. 68, R. A. 3rd June, 1813.
55 Geo. III. C, 6, R. A. 23rd Mar. 1815.
2 Geo. IV. C. 97, R. A. 8th June, 1821.
THIS canal, which is of great importance to that part of the country through which it passes, commences in the River Thames, at the south side of the town of Abingdon; thence passing in a south-westerly direction by Drayton and Kingsgrove Commons, to Breach Field, where a short branch proceeds from it to the town of Wantage; thence continuing westward to Challow, passing Sparsholt and Uffington to Longcot Common, where there is another short branch to Longcot Wharf; continuing its course, it passes near Beckett House, Shrivenham, Bourton, Marsden, and Stratton, to the wharf at Swindon; a short distance from which is Eastcott, where the branch, originally called the North Wilts Canal, proceeds from it, and joins the Thames and Severn Canal near Cricklade; the main line, keeping its westerly direction, passes Chaddington, Wootton Bassett, Tockenham Wick, Lyneham and Dauntsey Park; then bending southerly, it passes Foxham, Bencroft, and Stanley House, a little beyond which is a branch to Calne; passing the river by an aqueduct, it then continues its southerly course, leaving Bowood, the Marquis of Lansdowne's Seat, to the left, to Derry Hill, where a branch goes off to Chippenham; pursuing its course it runs by Laycock Abbey and Melksham, to Semington, where it unites with the Kennet and Avon Canal.
The first act of parliament respecting this canal was passed in 1795, and is entitled, 'An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the River Thames or Isis, at or near the town of Abingdon, in the county of Berks, to join and communicate with the Kennet and Avon Canal, at or near the town of Trowbridge, in the county of Wilts; and also certain navigable Cuts therein described.' It incorporates the subscribers by the name of "The Company of Proprietors of the Wilts and Berks Canal Navigation ;" empowers them to raise amongst themselves, for the purposes of the act, the sum of £111,900, in eleven hundred and
nineteen shares of £100 each, and, if necessary, a further sum of £150,000, either amongst themselves or by mortgage of the tolls and rates; and directs that five per cent. interest shall be paid to the subscribers until the work is completed, and authorizes their taking the following
|For all Hay, Straw, Dung, Peat and Peat Ashes, Chalk, Marl, Clay, Sand, Lime for Manure, and all other Manure and Materials for Roads||½d per Ton, per Mile.|
|For all Coal, Culm, Coke, Cinders, Charcoal, Iron-stone, Pig-iron, Iron-ore, Copper-ore, Lead-ore, Lime, (except for Manure) Lime-stone and other Stone, Bricks and Tiles||1½d ditto. ditto.|
|For all Corn and other Grain, Flour, Malt, Meal, Timber, Bar-iron and Lead||2d ditto. ditto.|
|For all other Goods, Wares and Merchandise whatever||2½d ditto. ditto.|
And in proportion for.any greater or less Quantity or Distance; Fractions of a Quarter of a Ton to pay as a Quarter, and any Fraction less than Half a Mile as a Half Mile.
Barges passing any Lock, when the Water does not flow over the Waste Weir, with any of the Goods, first enumerated, on Board, to pay One Penny per Ton per Mile in addition to the Half-penny hereinbefore charged. Goods remaining on Wharfs more than Forty-eight Hours, to pay such Rates as may be agreed on.
Boats under Twenty Tons to pay for Twenty Tons when passing a Lock.
The rates to be exempted from taxes until the annual dividend on shares shall be five per cent.
The canal to be completed in seven years; and if the Kennet and Avon Canal Company obtain an act for bringing their canal to the Wilts and Berks at Semington, then that portion of the Wilts and Berks Canal from Semington to Lady Down, to be transferred to the former company.
In 1801 another act was passed, entitled, 'An Act for enabling the Company of Proprietors of the Wilts and Berks Canal Navigation, to raise Money for completing the said Canal, and to alter, explain and amend the Act passed in the Thirty-fifth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, for making the said Canal,' which authorizes the company to raise a further sum of £200,000, by creation of new shares and by optional notes.
Another act was obtained in 1810, which contains only a few clauses respecting the application of money; besides repealing that clause of the first act, restricting the conveyance of coal below Reading, and allows it to be conveyed as far as Staines Bridge.
The act of 1813, is entitled 'An Act for explaining and amending an Act of his present Majesty, for making a navigable Canal from the River Thames or Isis, near Abingdon, in the county of Berks, to join the Kennet and Avon canal, near Trowbridge, in the county of Wilts, and certain navigable Cuts.' It merely makes some regulations respecting the water to be taken at Beckett.
In 1815 the company obtained another act, entitled, 'An Act to enable the Company of Proprietors of the Wilts and Berks Canal Navigation, to raise Money for discharging the Debts of the said Company,' which authorized them to raise an additional sum of £100,000 for the purpose of paying off their debts and making a reservoir.
The last act of parliament obtained by this company, was passed in 1821, and is entitled, 'An Act for incorporating the Company of Proprietors of the North Wilts Canal Navigation with the Company of Proprietors of the Wilts and Berks Canal Navigation; and for repealing the several Acts passed for making and maintaining the said Canals, and for consolidating the Powers and Provisions thereof in One Act.' This act states that the North Wilts Canal was executed under authority of an act of parliament passed in 1813; that the principal proprietors in it were also proprietors of the Wilts and Berks Canal, and that it had been in consequence considered desirable to incorporate the two canals, which the present act does; it repeals all the former acts of parliament, and embodies the different clauses, contained in them, in the present act, without alteration of any, relating to either the Wilts and Berks or North Wilts Canals; the tonnage rates and other clauses relating to the latter of which, will be found in this work under the head of "North Wilts Canal."
The number of shares in this canal by different creations now amounts to twenty thousand; the original subscription was £100 per share; but as money has been wanted to continue the work, shares have been created at various prices from £60 downwards, and the last creation was ten thousand at £5 per share.
The length of this canal is fifty-two miles. That part of the River Thames, where this canal locks into it, is 1801/3 feet above
the level of the sea; from the commencensent of the canal to the Wantage River, a distance of seven miles and three quarters, is a rise of 96½ feet; from thence to the east end of the summit level, fifteen miles, is a rise of 71½ feet; the length of the head level is nine miles and three-eighths; from the west end of the head level, near Wootton Bassett, to the branch to Calne, is ten miles and three quarters, with a fall of 130 feet; from thence to the Chippenham Branch one mile and a half with 17 feet fall; and from thence to its junction with the Kennet and Avon Canal at Semington, is seven miles and three-eighths, with a fail of 54 feet. The Wantage Branch is nearly three quarters of a mile in length, and level; the Longcot Branch is nearly half a mile, and level; the branch (heretofore North Wilts Canal) from Eastcote to join the Thames and Severn Canal at Latton, is eight miles and three furlongs, with a fall to Latton, of 58 feet 8 inches; the branch to Calne is three miles and one-eighth long, with a rise of 21 feet; and the branch to Chippenham is nearly two miles, and level.
This canal furnishes coal from the Radstock and Paulton Mines in Somersetshire, which is the means of supplying with fuel the whole district through which it passes, besides affording a good supply of coal to Abingdon and other towns situate on the borders of the Thames; and, on the other hand, enables the agriculturist to export his corn, as well as the cheese for which North Wiltshire is so much celebrated, to both the London and Bristol Markets; it is also the means of conveying building-stone from the quarries in the neighbourhood of Bath to London, and forms one of the lines of communication between London and Bristol; whilst by its junction with the Thames, it is connected with all the midland counties, and by the Severn with Wales and the counties of Gloucester and Worcester; thereby affording an easy and expeditious transit for coal from the Forest of Dean into the counties of Wilts, Berks and Oxford, together with various places on the borders of the Thames. By an inspection of our map, it will be seen that this canal is an important link in the chain of our inland navigations.
Mr. Whitworth was the engineer, under whose direction these works were executed; and that part at first called the North Wilts, was executed for a less sum than the original estimate.
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