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a town sprang up; churches, chapels, and schools were built, with a custom-house, mechanics' institute, banks, ship-building yards, and iron factories; and in a few years the port of Middlesborough became one of the most important on the north-east coast of England. In the year 1845, 505,486 tons of coals were shipped in the nine-acre dock, by means of the ten coal-drops abutting thereupon. In about ten years a busy population of about 6,000 persons (since swelled into 15,000) occupied the site of the original farmhouse. More recently, the discovery of vast stores of ironstone in the Cleveland Hills, close adjoining Middlesborough, has tended still more rapidly to augment the population and increase the commercial importance of the place. Iron furnaces are now blazing along the vale of Cleveland ; and new smelting works are rising up in all directions, fed by the railway, which brings to them their supplies of fuel from the Durham coal-fields.
It is pleasing to relate, in connection with this great work - the Stockton and Darlington Railway, projected by Edward Pease and executed by George Stephenson, that afterwards, when Mr. Stephenson became a prosperous and a celebrated man, he did not forget the friend who had taken him by the hand, and helped him on in his early days. He always remembered Mr. Pease with gratitude and affection; and that gentleman is still proud to exhibit a handsome gold watch, received as a gift from his celebrated protégé, bearing these words : -- “ Esteem and gratitude : from George Stephenson to Edward Pease.”
MR. STEPHENSON APPOINTED TO SURVEY A RAILWAY
FROM LIVERPOOL TO MANCHESTER.
The project of a line of railway from Liverpool to Manchester was revived in the speculative year 1824. It had not, indeed, been lost sight of by its advocates, who had merely waited for a time in the hope of mitigating the opposition of the powerful canal companies and land-owners. But the interruptions to the conveyance of goods between the two towns had at length become intolerable; and it was a matter of absolute necessity that some mode should be adopted for remedying the evil.
Mr. Sandars continued to hold by his project of a railway; and his first idea, of a solidly constructed tramway, to be worked by horse power, gradually assumed a more comprehensive form. He continued to propagate his ideas upon Change, and gradually succeeded in enlisting on his side an increasing number of influential merchants and manufacturers 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 establishments for the transport of goods quite inadequate, and that a new line of conveyance has become absolutely necessary to conduct the increasing trade of the country with speed, certainty, and economy.”
The formation of a third line of water conveyance, in addition to the Mersey and Irwell Canals, was also considered; but it was almost immediately dismissed as impracticable, as the two existing establishments had already possession of all the water. There was no choice left but a tram or railroad, and the very necessities of the case forced on the adoption of the measure. Even though worked by horses, the proposed tramroad would be a valuable auxiliary to the existing means of conveyance. A public meeting was held at Liverpool to consider the best plan to be adopted, and a railway was determined on. A committee was appointed to take the necessary measures ; but, as if reluctant to enter upon their arduous struggle with “vested interests,” they first waited on Mr. Bradshaw, the Duke of Bridgewater's canal agent, in the hope of persuading him to increase the means of conveyance, as well as to reduce the charges; but they were met by an unqualified refusal. They suggested the expediency of a railway, and invited Mr. Bradshaw to become a proprietor of the shares in it. But his reply was "All or none !” The canal proprietors were confident in their imagined security. They revelled in the prospect of enjoying in perpetuity their enormous dividends, which were so great that one of their undertakings (the Old Quay) had paid to its thirty-nine proprietors, every other year for half a century, the total amount of their original investment; and the income derived from the Duke of Bridgewater's canal amounted to not less than 100,0001. a year. As for the proposed railway, the canal proprietors ridiculed it as a chimera. It had been spoken about years before, when Mr. James made his survey, and nothing had come of it then. It would be the same now. The thing, CHAP. XVIII.] DEPUTATION VISIT KILLINGWORTH.
they said, was got up merely to frighten them; but they were not so to be intimidated. The old system must therefore continue; and there was no alternative for the merchants of Liverpool and the manufacturers of Manchester but to submit with the best grace possible to the obstructions and extortions of the canal companies.
In order to form an opinion of the practicability of a railroad, a deputation, consisting of Mr. Sandars, Mr. Lister Ellis, Mr. Henry Booth of Liverpool, and Mr. Kennedy of Manchester, proceeded to Killingworth, to inspect the engines which had been so long in use there. They first went to Darlington, where they found the works of the Stockton line in full progress, though still unfinished. Proceeding next to Killingworth with Mr. Stephenson, they there witnessed the performances of his locomotive engines. The result of their visit was, on the whole, so satisfactory, that on their report being delivered to the committee at Liverpool, it was finally determined to form a company of proprietors for the construction of a double line of railway beween Liverpool and Manchester.
The first prospectus of the scheme was dated the 29th of October, 1824, and had attached to it the names of the leading merchants of Liverpool,-amongst them those of Gladstone, Lawrence, Ewart, Ellis, Moss, Cropper, and other well-known men, representatives of the wealth, the enterprise, and the energy of that great seaport. Nor were the manufacturers of Manchester behind the merchants and bankers of Liverpool in signifying their adhesion to the measure ; for amongst the first subscribers we find the influential names of Birley, Potter, Sharpe, and Garnett, of that town. Mr. Charles Lawrence, mayor of Liverpool, was appointed chairman of the provisional committee. The prospectus was a carefully prepared document, very unlike the inflated balloons which were sent up by railway speculators in succeeding years. It set forth as its main object the establishment of a safe and cheap mode of transit for merchandise, by which the conveyance of goods between the two towns would be effected in four or five hours (instead of thirty-six hours, as by the canal), whilst the charges would be reduced one-third. On looking at the prospectus now, it is curious to note that, while the advantages anticipated from the carriage of merchandise were strongly insisted upon, the conveyance of passengers — which proved to be the chief source of profit—was only very cautiously referred to. “ As a cheap and expeditious means of conveyance for travellers,” says the prospectus in conclusion, “the railway holds out the fair prospect of a public accommodation, the magnitude and importance of which cannot be immediately ascertained.”
The estimated expense of forming the line was set down at 400,0001.,—a sum which was eventually found to be quite inadequate. A subscription list was opened, and speedily filled up. Four thousand shares of 1001. each were created; and it was a condition of the subscription that no one person was to hold more than ten shares. This secured a large and influential proprietary; and such was the interest felt in the measure at Liverpool and Manchester, -50 strongly convinced were the merchants, manufacturers, and tradesmen of the necessity of the undertaking, and so determined that it should now be carried out, -- that if the amount of capital had been ten times as great, it would immediately have been subscribed for.
While the project was still under discussion in its earlier stages, its promoters, desirous of removing the doubts which existed as to the employment of steam-carriages on the proposed railway, sent a second deputation to Killingworth for the purpose of again observing the action of Mr. Stephenson's