Thomas Sheasby, Senior (c.1740–1799) was a British civil engineer and contractor. His early work involved bridge construction, after which he went on to build canals, including several in South Wales. He was imprisoned for a time when there were contractual problems with the Glamorganshire Canal Company.
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering – the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.
A general contractor, main contractor or prime contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and the communication of information to all involved parties throughout the course of a building project.
Although his date of birth is unknown, it is known that Thomas Sheasby was christened on 28 October 1740 in Tamworth, Staffordshire. He was later described as a builder from Tamworth who carried out repairs to bridges for the Warwickshire Quarter Sessions between 1775 and 1787. In 1776, he was contracted to design and build Polesworth Bridge over the Coventry Canal at Polesworth, for which he was paid £364. In 1780, he was also contracted to build and design Duke's Bridge in Coleshill, for which he was paid £306.
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism, or pedobaptism, from the Greek pais meaning "child". This can be contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe", which is the religious practice of baptising only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. Opposition to infant baptism is termed catabaptism. Infant baptism is also called "christening" by some faith traditions.
Tamworth is a large market town and borough in Staffordshire, England, 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Birmingham and 103 miles (166 km) northwest of London. Bordering Warwickshire to the south and east, and Lichfield to the north and west, Tamworth takes its name from the River Tame, which flows through it. In 2015, it had a population of 77,157.
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.
In the late 1780s, Sheasby worked as a contractor on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. He was also awarded the contract to connect the Coventry Canal to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal in June 1785.
The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal is a canal of the Birmingham Canal Navigations in the West Midlands of England. Its purpose was to provide a link between the Coventry Canal and Birmingham and thereby connect Birmingham to London via the Oxford Canal.
Sheasby joined with Thomas Dadford and together they decided to tender for work on the Cromford Canal in 1789. However, they left the job when they received an offer for work on the Glamorganshire Canal in 1790. On 30 June 1790, Thomas Sheasby, Thomas Dadford Sr. and his son submitted a price of £48,258 for the construction of the canal. They gave the canal company a bond of £10,000. There was no engineer for the project, which was managed instead by a committee. There were contractual difficulties between the contractors and the company, which were probably made worse by the lack of an experienced engineer. The contractors accumulated £17,000 in payments for extra work, during the course of the project. Although the canal opened in February 1794, a bank was breached soon afterwards, and the contractors were called back to repair it. The contractors refused to do any work before they received a payment in advance. The company argued that they had been overpaid by £17,000, and imprisoned Sheasby and Dadford Sr., so that they could recover the £10,000 surety. Robert Whitworth was asked to arbitrate, and ruled largely in favoour of Sheasby and Dadford, as they were awarded £15,500 of the extra payments. As a result of the imprisonment, Sheasby and Dadford were unable to work on their next project and the next phase of the Glamorganshire Canal was built by Patrick Copland.
Thomas Dadford Sr. was an English canal engineer as were his sons, Thomas Dadford Jr., John Dadford, and James Dadford.
The Cromford Canal ran 14.5 miles from Cromford to the Erewash Canal in Derbyshire, England with a branch to Pinxton. Built by William Jessop with the assistance of Benjamin Outram, its alignment included four tunnels and 14 locks.
The Glamorganshire Canal was a valley-side canal, in South Wales, UK, running from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff.
After being released, Sheasby was taken on as engineer and contractor to complete the Neath Canal to Glynneath, including the aqueduct at Ynysbwllog. The work was to be completed by 1 November 1793, and he was to be paid £14,886, of which £2,500 was to be withheld for three years. Sheasby was unable to complete the canal in the timeframe, and as he was in discussions over how to complete the canal, he was arrested for the situation in Glamorganshire. The company had to complete the canal themselves.
The Neath and Tennant Canals are two independent but linked canals in South Wales that are usually regarded as a single canal. The Neath Canal was opened from Glynneath to Melincryddan, to the south of Neath, in 1795 and extended to Giant's Grave in 1799, in order to provide better shipping facilities. With several small later extensions it reached its final destination at Briton Ferry. No traffic figures are available, but it was successful, as dividends of 16 per cent were paid on the shares. The canal was 13.5 miles (21.7 km) long and included 19 locks.
Glynneath, also spelt Glyn Neath, is a small town, community and electoral ward lying on the River Neath in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot, Wales. It was formerly in the historic county of Glamorgan. Glynneath ward covers only part of the community, with some 840 electors included in the neighbouring ward of Blaengwrach.
Navigable aqueducts are bridge structures that carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or roads. They are primarily distinguished by their size, carrying a larger cross-section of water than most water-supply aqueducts. Although Roman aqueducts were sometimes used for transport, aqueducts were not generally used until the 17th century when the problems of summit level canals had been solved and modern canal systems were developed. The 662-metre long steel Briare aqueduct carrying the Canal latéral à la Loire over the River Loire was built in 1896. It was ranked as the longest navigable aqueduct in the world for more than a century, until the Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany took the title in the early 21st century.
Despite these setbacks, Sheasby returned to work. He began by assisting Charles Roberts as an engineer on the Swansea Canal. Sheasby had already surveyed the canal in 1793; however, his problems meant he could not be appointed as the engineer at the time. He was appointed engineer in 1796 with his son. The canal was partially opened in 1796 and was completed in October 1798. Sheasby died a year later.
The Swansea Canal was a canal constructed by the Swansea Canal Navigation Company between 1794 and 1798, running for 16.5 miles (26.6 km) from Swansea to Hen Neuadd, Abercraf in South Wales. It was steeply graded, and 36 locks were needed to enable it to rise 373 feet (114 m) over its length. The main cargos were coal, iron and steel, and the enterprise was profitable.
Besides canal construction projects, he was also involved in carrying out surveys for a number of projects, including the Shropshire Canal in 1788, a tramroad in the Brecon Forest and a canal from Llandeilo to Llandovery in 1793.
His son, Thomas Sheasby jnr, also went on to become a notable civil engineer, working initially as a canal engineer and then later constructing tramroads for the Severn & Wye Railway in the Forest of Dean.
The Coventry Canal is a navigable narrow canal in the Midlands of England.
Thomas Dadford Jr. was an English canal engineer, who came from a family of canal engineers. He first worked with his father in the north of Britain on the Stour and the Trent, but later independently, contributing to a number of canal schemes, mainly in Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire but also in Montgomeryshire and Ellesmere, before dying at the young age of 40.
John Dadford was an English canal engineer, as were his father Thomas Dadford and brothers Thomas Dadford, Jr. and James Dadford. He lived from approximately 1769 to 1800, although neither date is known for certain.
A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland discusses the lives of the people who were concerned with building harbours and lighthouses, undertook fen drainage and improved river navigations, built canals, roads, bridges and early railways, and provided water supply facilities. Volume One, published in 2002, covers the years from 1500 to 1830, while Volume Two, published in 2008, covers 1830 to 1890. The principal editor of the first volume was Professor A. W. Skempton, and the entries were written by a number of specialist historians.
Fourteen Locks is a series of locks, also known as the Cefn Flight, on the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire Canal at Rogerstone in Newport, South Wales. The flight of locks was completed in 1799 and raises the water level 160 ft in just 800 yd. This is one of the steepest rises for a major run in the UK which, combined with the sheer number of locks, makes it one of the most significant in the country. The run of locks includes a series of embanked ponds, pounds, sluices and weirs to control the water supply, with no set of gates shared between individual locks. It therefore comprises a flight of locks rather than a lock staircase.
Josias Jessop (1781–1826) was a noted canal engineer, and second son of William Jessop, one of the great canal engineers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He was trained by his father, and worked under him on his early projects, but proved his abilities during the construction of Bristol harbour. He became an independent consulting engineer from 1811. He died fourteen years later, a little before he reached the age of 45.
Salford Junction is the canal junction of the Grand Union and Tame Valley Canals with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. It is in the north of the administrative city of Birmingham, England and historically marked a tripoint between two divisions of Aston to the south and Erdington to the north. It is directly east of most of the Gravelly Hill Interchange. With Aston and Bordesley Junctions it forms a circuit, at the heart of Birmingham's thirty-five miles of canals.
The Aberdare Canal was a canal in Glamorgan, Wales which ran from Aberdare to a junction with the Glamorganshire Canal at Abercynon. It opened in 1812, and served the iron and coal industries for nearly 65 years. The arrival of railways in the area did not immediately affect its traffic, but the failure of the iron industry in 1875 and increasing subsidence due to coal mining led to it becoming uneconomic. The Marquess of Bute failed to halt its decline when he took it over in 1885, and in 1900 it was closed on safety grounds. The company continued to operate a tramway until 1944. Most of the route was buried by the construction of the A4059 road in 1923, although a short section at the head of the canal remains in water and is now a nature reserve. The company was wound up in 1955.
George Watson Buck (1789–1854) was the engineer of the Montgomeryshire Canal in the early 19th century, and was responsible for the unique lock paddle design.
Josiah Clowes (1735–1794) was a noted English civil engineer and canal builder. His early years were spent running a canal carrying company with Hugh Henshall, and although he worked on some canal projects before 1783, that year marked his switch to being an engineer. His first major project included the Sapperton Tunnel on the Thames and Severn Canal, which despite huge engineering difficulties, gained him a reputation which enabled him to become the first great tunnelling engineer, responsible for three of the four longest canal tunnels built.
Hugh Henshall (1734–1816) was an English civil engineer, noted for his work on canals. He was born in North Staffordshire and was a student of the canal engineer James Brindley, who was also his brother-in-law.
James Jardine was a Scottish civil engineer, mathematician and geologist. He was the first person to determine mean sea level. He built tunnels and bridges, including for the Innocent Railway, and built reservoirs including Glencorse, Threipmuir, Harlaw for Edinburgh Water Company, and Cobbinshaw for the Union Canal.
William Bennet was an English civil engineer, noted for his work on canals. Nothing is known of his early life or family history, but details of his work from about 1790 until 1826 are documented. His major projects were for the Dorset and Somerset Canal and the Somersetshire Coal Canal.
William Chapman was an English engineer. Born in Whitby, he worked on the construction of the Old and Humber Docks in Hull, as well as many drainage and canal projects. He is credited with the invention of the bogie and articulation for rail vehicles.
John Gibb (1776–1850) was a Scottish civil engineer and contractor whose work included the construction of harbours, bridges, roads, lighthouses, and railways in the United Kingdom, primarily in Scotland. He was a close associate of Thomas Telford, who employed him on many of his civil engineering projects during the first half of the 19th century.
James Anderson was a Scottish civil engineer.
William Hoof (c.1788-1855) was a British civil engineer.