RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 
1665
Reafons for making Navigable the Rivers of Stower and Salwerp, and the Rivulets and Brooks running into the fame, in the Counties of Worcefter and Stafford.
I.
THe Trading of thofe Parts is altogether in partable Commodites, as Iron, Lead, Glasfs, Earthen-Wares, Apples, Pears, Cider, Perry, Coals, &c. and the wayes in Winter very deep, fo that Carriage is chargable; But thofe Rivers, Rivulets and Brooks being Navigable, Carriage will be cheaper, the Wayes and Bridges not fo much fpoiled, Trading there will be much increafed: The Men and Cattel now imployed in Carriage will be ufed and converted to the improvement of Husbandry, and the Land which kept thofe Cattel, fome of it to pafture for Butter and Cheefe, and the reft to Tillage.
II.
THe Cities of Worcefter and Gloucefter, and the divers great Towns, and the Countrey adjacent to the River of Severn below Bewdley, were, and now are onely ferved and fupplyed with Coal for fuel, and other occafions by water from about Shrewsbury, and about 20 years fince were fold at about Four Shillings Six Pence a Tun: But the River of Avon being made Navigable for conveying of Coal up for the fervice of the Towns and Country adjacent thereupon; and the Iron-works in thofe parts being much increafed, and the Wood thereby exceedingly decayed and wafted and the faid Coal alfo growing fcarce, the price is already advanced (when leaft) to Eight Shillings fix Pence, and fome times in the year at Twelve Shillings a Tun, and without fome other help muft neceffarily be at an exeffive rate, and indeed cannot be enough to fupply and furnifh thofe Places, and Coal being almoft exhaufted: But if thofe Rivers, Rivulets, and Brooks be made Navigable, the one of them (Stower) runs through a Country fo full of Coals, that in humane judgement they are inexhauftable; they are better by far, and nearer by twenty miles then the other; fo that by it all the former prefent and future inconveniences will be removed.