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 Rivers/Canals 
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Post Rivers/Canals


I'm not sure where to post this, so I may have to move it. Anyhow, I found the following from The Times, October 17, 1786, intriguing, presumably about the navigable, or non-navigable state of the Thames. Is there anything further to read between the lines here, please?

Who was Mr C, for instance?

".... As Mr C's floating academy is on the point of breaking up, it is to be hoped that the Trinity-House will discontinue the play of ballast-heaving, and make it a serious business. The Thames Navigation is in a deplorable state, and the evil is daily increasing. Without mentioning so partial a subject as that of commerce, is it not, in the highest degree, disgraceful to the first naval power in the world, that a second rate ship of war, built in a Royal Dock-yard should find an almost insurmountable difficulty in reaching the ocean which is to be the scene of its future glory .... "



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Last edited by Mil Goose on Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:56 am
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This may refer to Deptford Dockyard which was well known to have problems with large ships after launching. There was insufficient water to float them at low tide and they had to be moved down the River to other ports. Perhaps the ship referred to was the IMPREGNABLE 98, launched in April of 1786.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:52 am
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Thanks for the information, Peter. I notice from ensuing reports in The Times that many frigates were built there, e.g. Pomona, Thalia, Flora and Argo, to name but a few.

I notice one vessel mentioned in that year, 1805, was the 74 gun Fame. Would she have had a problem, the depth of the river able to cope with her draught?


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Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:59 pm
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Mil Goose wrote:


I notice one vessel mentioned in that year, 1805, was the 74 gun Fame. Would she have had a problem, the depth of the river able to cope with her draught?



I imagine so. There was little difference in draught between the IMPREGNABLE and FAME. Obviously the handicap was acceptable as Deptford was a large yard with good shore facilities and built many third rates. Closure of the yard was discussed on several occasions but not effected until 1869.


Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:21 pm
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From The Times of July 26, 1810:

" ... A navigable canal from the branch of the Medway at Tunbridge to Portsmouth is intended, by which an inland navigation will at all times be had from the Royal dock-yard at that place to Chatham, without the hazardous navigation of the narrow parts of the British Channel to the Metropolis. A survey of the land necessary to be cut through, has been lately made by Mr Rennie, and the estimated expence is about £500,000. ....."


I'm not too familiar with the canals of that area. I've seen references to various canals in those regions in Google books, but nothing conclusive. Was the waterway built, does anyone know? If so, is it still there?


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Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:42 am
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Post Re: Rivers/Canals



A comment from The Times of March 16, 1798, about the navigable state of the Thames.

" ... The French upon a peace taking place, intend undertaking a seemingly Herculelan labour. The plan is to make the river Seine from Paris navigable for shipping to Havre. The proposed depth is from 20 to 30 feet, the water way to widen upon a regular section, and the points to be partially rounded off to shorten the navigation. This great and useful work is to be accomplished by the military as soon as disbanded. The River Thames should be conducted upon the same principle. ....."




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Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:04 am
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Post Re: Rivers/Canals
The Times, July 26th, 1785:

" ........... The grand nursery for our seamen would be the employ of the watermen between Woolwich Richmond; but there are City obstructions that ruin this useful body of people. London Bridge stops the flood one hour every tide. Convex shores, shoals, and causeways another. The danger of London Bridge at all times of tide prevents a safe communication above and below Bridge, and against tide it is impossible. ...... "


It would be interesting to hear more about this from someone who knows about the Thames.

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Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:34 am
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