Granville, Earl Gower and Canals: The Trent Mersey Canal Company

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Date:September 1770

Description:Earl Gower’s involvement in the development of the canal network is evident in a document entitled ‘Navigation’ dated September 1770 relating to the construction of the Trent Mersey Canal.

The document concerns an agreement between Granville, Earl Gower and John Sparrow, ‘on Behalf of the Company of Proprietors of the Navigation from the Trent to the Mersey’.

The document outlines an agreement formed between Earl Gower and the Trent Mersey Canal Company that the Company would lease ‘all such Land or Ground part of the Estate of the said Granville Earl Gower situate in the Parishes of Stoke upon Trent Trentham and Barlaston in the said County of Stafford’ for ‘the purpose of the said Navigation’.

The company would pay Earl Gower a ’Yearly Rent’ amounting to ’Twenty Shillings for every Statute Acre’ which would be paid in ‘two equal Half-yearly Payments’.

The document demonstrates that the Trent Mersey Canal passed directly through lands owned by the Leveson-Gower family. Granville and his brother in law, Francis Egerton, were amongst the principal proprietors of the Trent-Mersey Canal. When the Trent Mersey Canal Company was formed, Earl Gower was able to make a considerable amount of money by leasing his land to the company for the construction of the canal.