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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Coventry Canal is a navigable narrow canal in the Midlands of England.
The Glamorganshire Canal was a valley-side canal, in South Wales, UK, running from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff.
Thomas Dadford Sr. was an English canal engineer as were his sons, Thomas Dadford Jr., John Dadford, and James Dadford.
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.
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.
The Greasbrough Canal was a private canal built by the Marquess of Rockingham to serve his coal mining interests in and around the village of Greasbrough, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1780, and the Newbiggin branch was built some time later. The main line to Greasbrough closed in 1840 with the coming of the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway, and the canal ceased to carry commercial traffic during the First World War. Most of it has been filled in, but a small section near the River Don Navigation remains in water.
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.
The Islington Tunnel carries the Regent's Canal Arm of the Grand Union Canal for 960 yards (878 m) underneath the Angel area of Islington, in London. The two other tunnels on the Regent's Canal are Eyre's Tunnel and Maida Hill Tunnel.
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.
Glasson Dock, also known as Glasson, is a village in Lancashire, England, south of Lancaster at the mouth of the River Lune. In 2011, it had a population of around 600.
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.
Benjamin Bevan was a British civil engineer, noted for his proof of the equivalence of the elastic moduli of ice and water. He was a principal engineer on the Grand Junction Canal.
James Anderson was a Scottish civil engineer.
William Hoof (c.1788-1855) was a British civil engineer.
George Burn was an architect, civil engineer and contractor active in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.