[The Rochdale Canal Company.] Nine Letters to Ralph Shuttleworth, Rochdale attorney and company treasurer, and one printed form to his successor John Crossley. Including Autograph Letters Signed from Samuel Greg, John Bill and William Bilsbarrow.

[The Rochdale Canal Company; John Bill, Farley Hall; William Bilsborrow, Haslingden; Samuel Greg, Rochdale; Thomas Marriott, Stockport; John Robert Ogden, Bradford; N. & F. Phillipps, Manchester]
Publication details: 
The nine letters to Shuttleworth, 1800-1802, from: Farley Hall, Staffordshire; Haslingden; Halifax; Bradford; Coventry; Rochdale; Great Fenton. The letter to Crossley from Manchester in 1813.
SKU: 16332

The Rochdale Canal was conceived in 1776, and despite opposition from mill owners fearing a disruption to their water supply, began construction following the passing of an act of parliament in 1794. On completion (it was officially opened in 1804), and until the railway age, it constituted the main commercial route between Yorkshire and Lancashire. The present small collection provides an interesting sidelight into the legal and financial difficulties involved in the project, with several reference reflecting badly on Shuttleworth's professional capabilities. The correspondents are: John Bill of Farley Hall, Staffordshire; William Bilsborrow, Haslingden brewer; Samuel Greg, Rochdale cotton manufacturer; Howarth & Wilcock, Halifax solicitors; Thomas Marriott (of Stockport?); John Robert Ogden, Bradford solicitor; Mark Pearman of Coventry; N. & F. Phillipps & Co., Manchester merchants; Daniel Whalley of Great Fenton. The ten items in fair condition, on aged and worn paper, each with slight loss at the head of the leaf, and Item Five below with a small hole in leaf resulting in loss to a few words of text. A curious feature is the emendation of the word 'Canal' to 'Company' in several of the letters in an unknown nineteenth-century hand. ONE: ALS ('Jno. Bill') from John Bill (1756-1847) of Farley Hall, surgeon to the Manchester Infirmary. 4 May 1802. 1p., 8vo. Depositing a cheque for £40 from Messrs Jones & Co. TWO and THREE: ALS and ANS ('Will Bilsborrow') from William Bilsborrow, Haslingden brewer. ALS: 14 April 1800. 1p., 4to. 'You certainly misconceive my request in my former Letter. I will again state, that I will thank you to favor me with an explanation how a Ball[anc]e. of 19. 10/- arises due to me in the call of June 1st. 95. This, with Particulars of Mr Hamer's Bill, is all I at present require you to furnish me with. There are some errors which I have found & which a personal interview wod. immediately reconcile, [...] I beg your immediate attention to the above, that I may examine and liquidate'. ANS: 17 December 1800. 1p., 4to. He has 'just return'd from a short Journey' and will 'take an oppty of seeing you in the course of a walk'. FOUR: ANS ('Saml. Greg') from Samuel Greg (1758-1834), Rochdale cotton manufacturer (see his entry in the Oxford DNB). Manchester, 18 December 1800. He is remitting a draft for £90 on Joseph Denison of London, 'which you will be pleased to apply towards my Shares in the Rochdale Canal'. The word 'Canal' has been altered in another hand to 'Company'. FIVE: Manuscript Letter, signed 'Howarth & Wilcock', Halifax solicitors. 1 January 1801. 1p., 4to. Regarding the 'Mortgagees of the Revd. Mr: Stopford's Estate', and 'the Land taken for the Use of <...> [...] We have the Dr[af]t. Conveyance to peruse, & have written to Mr: Elliott respecting some variation in the Measure'. SIX: ALS ('Thos Marriott') from Thomas Marriott. Stockport postmark. No date. 1p., 8vo. 'Dr Sr. | Will you have the goodness to enquire and inform me under what Idea the Rochdale Canal [altered by another hand to 'Company') Compy attempt to cut through that Estate at Newton Heath in the Holding of Gt. Berry <?> and it is not within the powers of their Act, if that be true I assure them they never can purchase it it is but a Few Day, that we known [sic] that it was medled [sic] with | I shall be glad you can give better Acctt [sic] then I understand is <?> however something must be done'. Postscript: 'NB Mr. Hessell I understand has had some Conversation with a Mr. Hobson this of course had the right to be enqired into the Appearance stantds that Mr Hobson Has nothing to do with it - even in that case Mr Hassell broke all Faith: this is all nothing, the fact is that if they have it, it is because the [sic] cant be prevented therefore to propose any price for it is useless so if they [sic] Law gives it to them it is done with' SEVEN: ALS ('Jno. Rt. Ogden') from John Robert Ogden, Bradford solicitor. 13 December 1800. 1p., 4to. 'When your first Letter arrived respecting the Canal going through my Estate, I was from home, and in reply to that and your last, I shall be obliged if you'l [sic] inform me, if the Line of the Canal through such Estate, is staked and measured, and expect shortly being in Lancashire, when I will wait upon the Committee if assembled at that time respecting treating with them for the Sale of it.' Note in another hand: 'to get the valuation of each particular Field the quantity taken cannot be ascertained till the Canal is cut'. On three occasions in the letter the word 'Canal' has been altered in another hand to 'Company'. EIGHT: ALS from Mark Pearman, gentleman, of Coventry ('instrumental in conducting the elections at Coventry since 1790'). 1 January. 1801. 1p., 8vo. Complaining that he has not received a response to two previous communications regarding 'two Transfers of one Rochadale share &c by Mr. Allen to me', with reference to 'Mr Cole of this place surgeon'. NINE: Printed form (clearly made up by the Company and sent to shareholders), completed in manuscript and signed 'N & F Phillipps & Co' (Manchester merchants). 13 December 1813. 1p., 4to. Addressed (in print) to 'Mr. Jno. Crossley'. Acknowledging receipt of 'a Draft on Jones and Co. London, value [One Hundred] Pounds, [-] s. [-] d. the same being the third dividend (and second of the current year) on the Shares in the Rochdale Canal.' Manuscript postscript: 'Mrs George Lloyd now of York wishes her divd. to be remitted to our partner Mr. Falkr Phillips if not already done please to do so.' TEN: ALS ('Dl: Whalley') from Daniel Whalley (c.1734-1814) of Great Fenton. 11 August 1800. 1p., 4to. Complaining of a communication which he supposes has been 'written in haste, having neither name nor date', regarding 'the call on my four shares'.