Manuscript: Oxford Canal Navigation, 1804 - Brindley (1804)



Date: 1804

OXFORD CANAL NAVIGATION. A manuscript document relating to the transfer or sale of shares in the Oxford Canal Navigation in 1804. The share form part of the estate of James Brindley, deceased, of Staffordshire, which are being transferred to Mr Murray Forbes [Swallow Street, Hanover Square, Middlesex]. It is signed and sealed by H[ugh] Henshall, Anne Williamson, Anne Brindley, John Bettington, and Murray Forbes. 420mm x 330mm. 1804 The Oxford canal was one of the earliest to be constructed in England. It was authorised in 1769, and the Oxford Canal Navigation Co was formed overseen by James Brindley. Brindley was already building the Trent and Mersey Canal and had built the Bridgewater Canal, and now the Oxford Canal and the Coventry Canal were being asked of him. Sadly Brindley died when only about 16 miles from the Hawkesbury end had been cut. However, his assistant Samuel Simcock took over and the Oxford Canal reached Napton in 1775 and Banbury in 1778. Brindley married Anne Henshall on 8 December 1765 when he was 49 and she was 19. Anne's brother, Hugh Henshall, was involved in canal construction himself, on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal. JAMES BRINDLEY lies amongst these Rocks, He made Canals, Bridges, and Locks, To convey Water; he made Tunnels for Barges, Boats, and Air-Vessels; He erected several Banks, Mills, Pumps, Machines, with Wheels and Cranks; He was famous t'invent Engines, Calculated for working Mines; He knew Water, its Weight and Strength, Turn'd Brooks, made Soughs to a great Length; While he used the Miners' Blast, He stopp'd Currents from running too fast; There ne'er was paid such Attention As he did to Navigation. But while busy with Pit or Well, His Spirits sunk below Level; And, when too late, his Doctor found, Water sent him to the Ground.


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