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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES





THE
DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

IN
MODERN ENGLAND



IN TWO VOLUMES
VOLUME I



CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

C. F. CLAY, JIanager

ILonUon: FETTER LANE, E.C.

EUinfaurgf) : loo PRINCES STREET




i^riD gorft: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

}3omfaaH, Calcutta anti fHafira2: M ACM ILL AN AND CO., Ltd.

Toronto: J. M. DENT AND SONS, Ltd.

Cofep.o: THE MARUZEN-KABUSHIKI-KAISHA



AU rights reserved



THE

DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

IN

MODERN ENGLAND



BY



W. T. JACKMAN

Lecturer in Political Economy, University of Toronto



VOLUME I



Cambridge :

at the University Press
1916






HE
v./



"^ IN MEMORIAM

'v,\r^ M. E. J.

obiit a. d. xviii kalend. Mai. MCMIX



^
^
^






PREFACE

TN offering this work as a modest contribution to our knowledge of
-*- the economic development of England from the standpoint of
transportation, the author must say, in the first place, that he has
endeavoured to adhere rigidly to the subject in hand, without making
deviations into collateral fields. It is impossible to study at first hand
and from original sources such a comprehensive subject as this without
being impressed by its intimate and vital connexion with the other
phases of the national evolution ; and it has required much self-restraint
to keep from branching out farther into a discussion of the relation of
transportation to the progress of agriculture, the growth of markets,
the advance of industry, the increase of wealth, and many other economic
and social factors which have affected the welfare of different classes
of the people and of the n"ation as a whole. In the collecting of material
for these volumes during almost a decade, a wealth of information has
been accumulated upon the other great aspects of the nation's expan-
sion; and it is with much regret that this account of the facilities of
conveyance and communication could not be amplified so as to trace
more minutely the outworking of cause and effect along all these lines.
Contrary to the wishes of some who are interested in this subject,
whole chapters, for the writing of which the material is already in hand
and outlined, have had to be omitted, and to these friends I tender
my sincere apologies for failure to do what would have given me so
much satisfaction. The voluminous amounts of material have demanded
judicious selection and unbiased sifting of evidence; and, in the process
of elimination, the hopes of some M^ho have looked forward to the
appearance of this work will be disappointed when they find meagre,
if any, mention of certain aspects of the subject, which I would gladly
have elaborated had space permitted. Such excision has been necessi-
tated in order to keep within reasonable limits.

A few words are required in regard to the definition of the field
covered. In its application to England, the term modern has been taken
to mean the period beginning with about the close of the fifteenth century



Yiii • Preface

and ending ^^^th approximately the middle of the nineteenth century.
But, in order to get a good background for our study, the first chapter
has been devoted to an outline of the conditions between the time
of the Roman occupation of Britain and the accession of the Tudor
monarchs. It is not intended that this should be anything else than
merely a general view of the ante-modern period. Although, with the
amount of research involved, a much more complete discussion of this
early period could have been given, it has been deemed more consonant
with our present purpose to refrain from a consideration en detail of the
conditions of the mediaeval epoch. Lest any should inquire why the
record has not been brought down more closely to the present time,
perhaps it may suffice to say, first, that the history of road trans-
portation has been so profoundly affected by the recent introduction
of the bicycle, the automobile, the motor truck and the motor omnibus
that we are yet too near to these innovations to adequately realize
their influence; and, second, that, as far as the railways are concerned,
the outlines of the various systems were practically finished by 1850,
while the economic problems in the period since that time have been
considered with discrimination by such men as Mr Acworth and
Mr Knoop, It will be noted that the history of the canals has been
sketched to date, in order to give a proper basis for judging of the
merits of the existing agitation for the resuscitation of the inland
waterways.

It may, perhaps, be said by some that too much attention has
been devoted to certain aspects of the historical development of the
means of conveyance. My answer to this possible criticism is that he
is the best economic historian who can most faithfully depict the past
until it lives again in the mind of the reader and can then most judiciously
interpret the action and reaction of those forces which have shaped the
life of the nation as manifested in its external material forms.

It is my privilege to mention the almost universal spontaneity with
which those who are in a position to give assistance have rendered this
favour when application has been made to them. But I regret to say
that some who could have given invaluable aid, without any incon-
venience to themselves or injury to the interests they represent, were
antagonistic to granting any such service. For instance, the clerk of
the most important navigation company whose headquarters are at the
midland metropolis, when permission was requested to examine some
of the freight bills before the year 1832, refused to allow any such
privilege, even when he was assured that all information taken from
these sources would be open for his inspection and that none of it would
be used without his authorization. Similar treatment was received



Preface ix

from the superintendent of another canal and from the manager of one
of the largest firms of carriers and forwarders, both of whom have
their offices in the midland centre of the waterway system. Until a
finer sense of responsibility and honour comes to such public servants,
the cause of truth is impeded by the barriers raised against the advance
of research. Happily, there are few persons in important places who
are not willing, within the measure of their power, to furnish informa-
tion so long as all interests are safeguarded.

My obligation to Professor Edwin F. Gay, of Harvard University,
under whom this study was begun, and to Professor William Z. Ripley,
of the same institution, whose balanced judgment has elicited my
admiration, must secure recognition in this public manner. To the
late President Matthew H. Buckham, of the University of Vermont,
the patron and exemplar of the finest culture and the most scholarly
attainments, a man whose friendship during his ripest years has been
highly prized, and whose unfailing interest in me and my work has
added a stimulus and rendered an aid of the influence of which he was
sympathetically unconscious, it is my great privilege to bear this
encomium and the tribute of grateful remembrance. The courtesy of
Mr Hubert Hall, of His Majesty's Public Record Office, London, of
Mr G. F. Barwick, of the British Museum, London, and of the librarians
of the London School of Economics and the Goldsmiths' Library,
University of London, in facilitating my work in the British archives
is acknowledged with gratitude, as is also the kindness of the officials
in the civic libraries of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol,
who opened their treasures to me. To one who shall remain unnamed
here, whose helpfulness was so graciously bestowed and the memory
of whom is a constant incitement to the best achievement, I owe more
than can ever be expressed. I cannot but make mention of the con-
siderate and courteous way in which the publishers have rendered
their services, at a time and under circumstances which have been very
trying; and it is a great pleasure to express my appreciation of their
cordial co-operation throughout all our relations. But greatest of all is
the assistance I have received from my wife, whose companionship in
life's deepest interests has lightened the burden of difficult years and
has been the incessant encouragement of my highest endeavours.



W. T. J.



ISSew Year's Day, 1916
Toronto



TABLE OF CONTENTS
VOLUME I

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION



Roman roads ......••

Anfrlo-Saxon roads .......

How roads were repaired and maintained
Maintenance of streets of mediaeval towns by tolls
Filtliy and obstructed condition of the streets
Application of Paving Acts .....

Decline of roads in later mediaeval period .
Bridges, repaired by private beneficence and charity
Use of tolls both in ordinary and extraordinary cases
History of Boston bridge .....

Difficulty of fixing responsibility for their repair .
River navigations very important ....

Frequent obstructions and inundations .

Legislation ineffective to keep navigations free and open

River transportation may account for cheap land transportation



CHAPTER II
ROADS AND ROAD LEGISLATION, 1500-1750

Continuation of early means of maintaining the roads
New system of statute labour established in 1555
This system continued and made permanent
Condition of streets of towns in sixteenth century
Facilities of conveyance in sixteenth century
Arrangements for travellers in sixteenth centiny .
General condition of English roads in sixteenth century
Changes in legislation in seventeenth century
Defective administration ......

Addition of the method of assessment ....

Regulation as to weights and means of carriage .
Turnpike system introduced upon one road .
Other changes in legislation in seventeenth century
Some reasons for bad roads ......

Efforts to make weights and construction of carriages to suit roads
Turnpikes more numerous in eighteenth century .
Administration of turnpike system ....

Violent opposition to turnpikes and toll-gates
Institution of weigliing engines .....

Introduction of broad wheels .....



Table of Contents



XI



Factors which nullified well-meant legislation

Condition of the great roads .

Condition of urban highways

Methods suggested for improving the roads

Travelling — how carried on .

Introduction of coaches ....

Opposition to coaches ....

Introduction of stage coaches and their extended use
Hostility to stage coaches — attempted suppression
Difficulties in regulating coaches in London .
Regulation of cartage and drayage in London
Rate of travelling .......

Cost of travelling .......

Cost of conveyance of goods by road .
Organization of the carrying trade on the roads .
Dangers of travelling ......

Bridges — accessory means of maintenance
History of Westminster bridge ....

Customary liabilities for their maintenance .
Tendency to make the countj?^ responsible for them
Divided responsibility ......

Widening and rebuilding of bridges



PAGE

80
85
101
104
109
111
113
119
123
125
131
134
138
139
141
143
144
146
147
151
153
154



CHAPTER III

RIVER NAVIGATION, 1500-1750

Great difficulty in keeping rivers free and open .
Case of the Severn river ......

Impediments to navigation ......

Few improvements in navigations in sixteenth century
Examples showing sixteenth century attitude towards river
Improvement of the Thames — barriers thereto
Seventeenth century efforts to make rivers navigable .
Seventeenth century suggestions for canals — unavailing
Drainage of the Fens; effects on river navigation
River navigations of eighteenth century — where provided
Administration and financing of these ....

Examples showing difficulties in making rivers navigable
Cost of river carriage compared with cost of land carriage




CHAPTER IV

ROADS AND THEIR IMPROVEMENT, 1750-1830

Increased attention due to changes in commerce, agriculture and industry

Growing sentiment in favour of freer communication

Suggestions for improvement of roads .

Legislation after 1755 ....

Encouragement of broad wheels .

Passage of General Highway Act of 1773

Passage of General Turnpike Act of 1773



211
213
213
216
216
219
223



Xll



Table of Contents



Much greater interest in roads in early nineteenth century
Genera! Turnpike Act of 1822-3 .
Consohdation of hifjliway laws into Act of 1835
Abolition of old system of statute duty
Sienificance of amount of lecislation after 1750
Good roads both cause and result of prosperity
Great expense in securing and rene%vin<T turnpike Acts
Statutory and administrative reasons why roads were not better
Mechanical or engineerinfr factors preventing good roads
Remedies proposed for administrative and statutory defects
Remedies proposed for mechanical and engineering defects
John Metcalfe, the first road engineer ....

The work of Thomas Telford

Principles applied by Metcalfe and Telford .

The work of J. L. Macadam .....

Improvement of metropolis roads under his direction .

Condition of the great road systems during this period

Condition of the roads as a whole . ...

Condition of the streets of towns and cities

Carryins trade — changes in extent and organization after 1750

Passenger travel — means adopted to facilitate and expedite it

Development of capitalistic entrepreneur in road transport

Coaching finance

Objectionable features connected wth coaching

Increased amount of posting, often with exorbitant charges

Changes in postal facilities during this period

Development of steam carriages on common roads

Opposition to them and reasons for their abandonment

Increased rate of travelling during this period

Cost of travelling during this period

Speed of conveyance of goods on the roads

Cost of carriage of goods on the roads

Bridges — work of bridge engineers

Necessity of wider and more substantial bridges

Tendency to make county responsible for important bridges

Administration of the affairs of bridges ....



PAGE
227
228
232
233
233
235
236
237
243
256
264
266
268
274
276
279
283
300
302
304
310
315
316
317
320
323
327
333
335
340
346
347
349
350
350
353



CHAPTER V

INLAND NAVIGATION, 1750-1830

River improvement ........... 355

Introduction of canals ........... 356

Conditions in Lancashire necessitating Bridgewater Canal .... 357

Activities of Duke of Bridgewater 360

Success of Bridgewater Canal ......... 363

Construction of canal network 364

Beginning' of consolidation of canals ........ 371

Canal to join Thames and Severn 373

Grand Junction Canal improved communication between Birmingham and

London ••.....,,..,. 376



Table of Co7itents



Xlll



History of Thames Navigation, continued from earlier period
History of Severn Navigation ......

Tyne Navigation .

Natural agencies tended to destroy river navigations .
Fulton's proposals for small canals .....

Special plans for the improvement of inland navigation

Proposal of systematic procedure for inland navigation improvement

"Canal mania" .........

Nature of the opposition or objections to canals .
Anticipated benefits of canal construction ....

Actual advantages derived from canals ....

Financial results from the operation of canals
Some reasons why some canals were unsuccessful
Impediments to the success of river navigations .
Organization of canal companies; not to be carriers .
Organization of carrying trade on canals by special companies
Complaints against canal service ......

Introduction of steam haulage on canals ....

Effect of canals in reducing cost of transportation
Speed at which goods were hauled on canals



PAGE
378
380
387
388
389
391
393
394
396
404
410
416
427
431
432
436
440
442
444
4>i9



CHAPTER VI
STEAM NAVIGATION



Early development

Made practicable in Scotland in 1788 ......

Use of steam on Forth and Clyde Canal . . . . .

Increasing use of steam vessels on rivers and estuaries
Application to the coastal and transmarine steam packet service
Use of steam vessels in greater rivers; not much on canals



452
453
454

454
456
458



VOLUME II



CHAPTER VII

DEVELOPMENT OF RAILWAYS

Early tramroads for mines and quarries
Surrey Iron Railway for general merchandise
Tramroads regarded as auxiliary to canals .
Effectiveness of traction by rail over that by road
Development of steam as a motive power .
Stockton and Darlington Railway .....
Organization of goods and passenger trade on that lino
Discussion of relative importance of canals and railways
Reasons for and prospective advantages of railways .
Claims made in favour of the canals ....
Nature of the opposition to railways ....
Early advocates in favour of railways ....



461
4G5
409
472
473
477
481
485
485
494
497
507



xiv Tcible of Contents

PAGE

Work of Thomas Gray ^^"^

Work of William James 509

Various plans for formation and operation of railways .... 510

Liverpool and Manchester Railway 514

Modern railway era began with Liverpool and Manchester line . . . 526

Success of this line was immediate 526

Later financial history of the company 529

Railway fever of 1825-6 532

Public were greatly stirred by possibilities of railways .... 533

Liverpool and Birmingham Railway 535

London and Birmingham Railway 543

Finances of this railway 553

Great Western Railway 554

Other railways ......•••••• 564

Railway panic of 1835-7 showed need of systematization .... 570

Parliament applied same principles to railways as to canals . . . 572

Continuance of this impossible; railways essentially monopolistic . . 573

Changes in legislation with recognition of monopolistic nature of railways 574

Destructive competition prevented by working agreements .... 577

Recognition of failure of competition among railways where combination or

working agreement is possible ........ 578

Economy of amalgamation .......... 580

*' Railway mania " of 1844-6 583

Mania brought vast amounts of amalgamation 586

Leading systems of railway completed by 1850 ...... 586

Obvious advantages from amalgamation ....... 588

Formation of Railway Clearing House 588

Desirability of uniform gauge 589

Benefits conferred by railways ......... 589

Evils accompanying railways .......... 593

Some reasons why many railways were unprofitable 601

.Amalgamation of railwaj'S differed from that of canals or roads . . 602



CHAPTER VIII

EFFECTS OF STEAM UPON ROAD TRANSPORTATION

Railway fares slightly lower than those of stage coaches .... 604

Railway had also advantages of greater comfort and speed . . . 605

ICxamples of results of competition of railway with coach and waggon . 605
Almost immediate decrease of coaching and posting along lines of road adjacent

to and parallel with the railways ........ 608

Effect upon coaching and carrying establishments ..... 610

Decreased revenues of some turnpike trusts and increase of trusts' debts 612
Competition of steam vessels in rivers and around coast reduced business and

revenues of some trusts .......... 614

Examples of reduction of trust revenues by railways ..... 616

Reasons why railways attained ascendancy over stage coaches . . . 619



Table of Contents



XV



CHAPTER IX
COMPETITION OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS

Description of the various carrying systems on railways

Railways working to exclude private carriers from their lines

Pros and cons of the carrying question ......

Means used to drive the carriers off the railway lines

Canals had to lower rates under railway competition ....

Decreased revenues of canals shown in decreased prices of shares
Working agreements formed between railways and canals after competition
had reduced their revenues and profits ......

Act of 1845 to enable canals to compete with railways

This worked to benefit the railways instead .....

Great movement in 1844-6 to amalgamate canals with railways
Traffic Act of 1854 passed to protect the public .....

Additional amalgamation and working agreements ....

When canals merged with railways their rates usually increased

Railway policy to take the trade from canals

Reasons for failure of canals to successfully compete with railways .
Plans devised to enable canals to keep their trade — usually unsuccessful
Coasting trade also threatened by railway ......



PAGE

fi24
626
626
630
633
634

636
638
639
640
642
643
646
647
649
661
665



APPENDICES

1. River Weaver Navigation 666

2. Shapleigh on Highways (1749) 673

3. Hawkins on the Laws of Ilighzoays (1763) 677

4. On Letting the Tolls 681

5. Rate of Travelling, 1750-1830 683

6. Cost of Travelling, 1750-1830 702

7. Cost of Carriage of Goods by Land, 1750-1830 716

8. Statistics of Comparative Cost of Carriage by Road and Inland Naviga-

tion 724

9. Table of Canal and Railway Amalgamations, 1846-72 . . . 730

10. Statistics showing Effects of Railways in reducing Canal Freight Rates 731

11. Statistics showing Extent to which Freight Rates were raised through

Amalgamations of Canals and Railways 736

12. Illustrations of the Way in which Canals sometimes maintained Com-

petition against the Railways 738

13. Statistical View of Highway and Canal Legislation .... 742

14. Pickford et al. v. The Grand Junction Railway Company . . . 744



Bibliography



Index



750
812



MAPS

Roman Roads of England to face p. 3

River Trent Navigation .......... p. 201

River Don Navigation . . .p. 203

Canals and early Railways of England .... between pp. 376 and 377
Roads of England according to Mr Ogilby's Survey . . in pocket of Vol. i
Collins' Railway Map of England ...... „ •, Vol. ii



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Since any discussion of the subject of transportation in modern
England would be inadequate without some brief survey of earlier
modes of convej^ance and communication, we will endeavour to briefly
present the conditions before the modern period, which we may roughly
date from the time of the accession of the Tudors.

In the early history of Britain, the conquest by the Romans stands
out as a very important event, from many points of view; and from
no other standpoint is it more important than from the linking together
of all parts of the empire, by the construction of great military highways.
In order that their conquest might be complete, the Roman legions had
to penetrate into distant and even secluded sections, where the early
Britons had become ensconced to withstand the advance of their
enemy; and even the fens had to be rendered passable to Roman
arms by building suitable roads.

Considering the fact that such works of engineering skill had all
to be done by patient manual labour, through a wild and meagrely
cultivated island, we can easily see what a vast expenditure of time
and effort must have been involved in it. In some places, great
quantities of timber had to be cut down; in others, the ground had
to be embanked and drained before it was firm enough to advance
upon. The deeper rivers were crossed by timber bridges, often laid on
piers of such solid masonry that they were used in mediaeval times as
the foundations of several successive bridges of better construction.
The shallower streams were crossed by paved fords, whose courses
were marked by large wooden posts. The enduring quality of the
works, as well as their great extent, left its impress upon the face of
England to such a degree, that these roads are the wonder of the
engineering world to-day.

The number and precise direction of these Roman roads have been
matters of dispute among many who are competent to judge, but there
seems to be almost unanimous agreement in regard to the general
direction of the main arteries, which may be represented as in the



2 Introduction [chap.

accompanying outline^. It may be noted here that London seems to
have been the centre of these early roads, as it was the centre of the
road system in the later centuries, and as it became also the centre
of the railroad system, when the latter came into existence^.

The Roman roads varied somewhat in the mode of construction
according to their importance and the nature of the materials ob-
tainable. In the main, they consisted of layers of concrete made by
pouring slaked lime upon small clean stones, mixed often with broken
tiles. Two furrows were first made, at the proper distance apart, the
earth between them was then dug up for a foot or two in depth, and
the bottom rammed and beaten down firmly. Upon this the first
stratum of material was laid and the lime poured over it ; then larger
stones were placed upon that, and the interstices filled in with mortar ;



Online LibraryWilliam T. JackmanThe development of transportation in modern England (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 59)