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Chap. IX. PROJECTED TRAMROAD. 147

supplied the means of transport; but the enormously increasing demands of the trade outstripped their taidy efforts. Possessing a monopoly of the traffic, and having no rivals to fear, the canal managers were most dictatorial in the treatment of their customers. Perhaps, however, the canal companies did all that could be done under the circumstances, and had already fully taxed the resources of the navigation. The immense mass of goods to be conveyed had simply outgrown all their appliances of wharves, boats, and horses. Cotton lay at Liverpool for weeks Together, waiting to be removed; and it occupied a longer time to transport the cargoes from Liverpool to Manchester than it had done to bring them across the Atlantic from the United States to England. Carts and waggons were tried, but these proved altogether insufficient. Sometimes manufacturing operations had to be suspended altogether: and during a frost, when the canals were frozen up, the communication was entirely stopped. The consequences were often disastrous, alike to operatives, merchants, and manufacturers. The same difficulty was experienced in the conveyance of manufactured goods from Manchester to Liverpool for export. Mr. Huskisson, in the House of Commons, referring to these ruinous delays, truly observed that "cotton was detained a fortnight at Liverpool, while the Manchester manufacturers were obliged to suspend their labours, and goods manufactured at Manchester for foreign markets could not be transmitted in time, in consequence of the tardy conveyance."

The Liverpool merchants and the Manchester manufacturers were therefore prepared to welcome any new mode of transit which would relieve them of the losses arising from these constant interruptions to their commercial operations. The scheme of a tramroad was, however, so new to them, that it is not surprising they should have hesitated before committing themselves fully to it. Mr. Sandars, an influential Liverpool merchant, was amongst the first to broach the subject. He himself had suffered in his business, in common with many other merchants, from 148 PROJECTED TRAMROAD BETWEEN Chap. IX

the insufficiency of the existing modes of communication, and was ready to give due consideration to any plan presenting elements of practical efficiency, which proposed a remedy for the generally admitted grievance.

Mr. William James, of West Bromwich, a gentleman who, from an early period had taken an active interest in the formation of tramroads, came down to Liverpool to see Mr. Sandars on the subject of the scheme. Mr. James had himself laid down many of such roads in Warwick and Gloucester, being an iron and coal miner in the former county. He offered to make a preliminary survey of the proposed road, and his offer was accepted by Mr. Sandars and Mr. Moss, who guaranteed to pay him a sum of 300?. for making the survey. It was conducted with difficulty, the inhabitants of the locality offering great resistance to the surveying party. In some places they encountered even personal violence, for it was feared that the projected road would seriously damage the farms and gardens near which it passed. Near Newton-in-the-Willows, the farmers stationed men at the field gates with pitchforks, and sometimes with guns, to drive the surveyors back. At St. Helen's, one of the chainmen was laid hold of by a mob of colliers, and threatened to be hurled down a coalpit. A number of men, women, and children collected and ran after the surveyors wherever they made their appearance, bawling nicknames and throwing stones at them. As one of the ohainmen was climbing over a gate one day, a labourer made at him with a pitchfork, and ran it through his clothes into his back; other watchers running up, the chainman, who was more stunned than hurt, took to his heels and fled. But the theodolite most excited the fury of the natives, who concentrated on the man who carried it their fiercest execrations and most offensive nicknames,

A powerful fellow, a noted bruiser, was hired by the surveyors to carry the instrument, with a view to its protection against all assailants; but one day an equally powerful fellow, a St. Helen's collier, who was the cock of the walk in his neighbourhood, made up to the theodolite Chap. IX. LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER. 149

carrier to wrest it from him by sheer force. A battle took place, the collier was soundly pummelled, the natives poured in volleys of stones upon the surveyors and their instruments, and the theodolite was smashed to pieces.

In the mean time public meetings had been got up by Mr. Sandars in several of the principal towns of the district, on the subject of the proposed tramway. One was held in the Exchange at Liverpool, and another in the George Hotel, Warrington, at which Mr. Sandars, Mr. Moss, and Mr. James appeared as the advocates of the measure, which, however, did not as yet meet with any degree of general support. But the subject was thus brought prominently under notice, and only wanted time to enable it to work its way in public estimation.

Mr. James, having heard of Stephenson's engines, which were reported to him as being more efficient than any locomotives that had yet been constructed, determined to go down to Killingworth to inspect them in person. He was not so fortunate as to meet Mr. Stephenson on that occasion; but he examined the locomotive at work, and was very much struck by its power and efficiency. He saw at a glance the magnificent uses to which it might be applied. "Here," said he, "is an engine that will, before long, effect a complete revolution in society." Eeturning to Moreton-in-the-Marsh, he wrote to Mr. Losh (Stephenson's partner in the patent) expressing his admiration of the Killingworth engine. "It is," said he, "the greatest wonder of the age, and the forerunner, as I firmly believe, of the most important changes in the internal communications of the kingdom." Mr. Losh invited him again to visit Killingworth, for the purpose of having an interview with Mr. Stephenson on the subject of the locomotive. Accordingly, in September of the same year, accompanied by his two sons, he met Mr. Losh at Newcastle; they proceeded together to Killingworth, where Mr. Stephenson met them; and taking them to where the locomotive was working, he invited them to mount. The uncouth and extraordinary appearance of the machine, as it came snort

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Chap. IX. A RAILWAY DETERMINED ON. 1 ft 1

only laid with cast-iron plates, which would not bear its weight, the invitation was eventually declined.

In the course of the following year (1822), Mr. James proceeded with the survey of the Liverpool railway, but he does not seem to have succeeded in preparing the plans and estimates in readiness for the ensuing parliamentary session. Next year, the directors again pressed Mr. James for the plans, but the result was the same; the plans were not forthcoming, and the session of 1824 was also lost. It was then that the promoters of the railway determined to call to their aid another engineer.

Mr. Sandars continued to hold to his project of a railway; and he gradually succeeded in enlisting on his side an increasing number of influential merchants and mamifacturers both at Liverpool and Manchester. In 1824 he published a pamphlet, in which he strongly urged the great losses and interruptions to the trade of the district by the delays in the transport of goods; and in the same year a Public Declaration was drawn up, and signed by upwards of 150 of the principal merchants of Liverpool, setting forth that they considered "the present establishment* for lb* transport of goods quite inadequate, and that a new line of conveyance has become absolutely necessary to conduct tbe increasing trade of the country with speed, certainty, taiC economy."

A public meeting was held at Liverpool to eownder .a* best plan to be adopted, and a railway was d«?teni..~-< iA committee was appointed to take the rieeeusa— n^sxrs^* but, as if reluctant to enter upon their ardu.-» cri^p* with " vested interests," they first waited on. Jfc Imt^.mtrr. the Duke of Bridgewater's canal agent, it iit- z. rs» .{ y*~" suading him to increase the vahnum 'A Wk^ib* W «%! as to reduce the charges; but tiUey .we* ■i«" ;~ to. va^ qualified refusal. They su^^i*-^re ~jif- '^xirr.•-? :t * railway, and invited Mr. Bratv of the shares in it. But hi* vr. '■ The canal proprietors wer* v.n£ii ttcarity, ridiculing tint fnjumii.i

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