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Bridgewater Francis Egerton

Bridgewater, Francis Egerton, Duke of (1736-1803), chiefly remembered as the introducer of the English system of canals. In 1758 and the following years he had constructed from the designs of Brindley the Bridgewater canal from Worsley to Manchester and Runcorn. A tunnel brings the canal out of the cliff at Worsley from the pits into a kind of open dock. The aqueduct that carried the canal over the river at Barton Moss was considered a wonderful piece of engineering, but is now to be superseded by the swing aqueduct which is being established by the Manchester Ship Canal Company. It was, however, curious to see a horse towing a barge along the river, and to see at the same time another horse towing another barge overhead at right angles to the course of the river. The Duke had such faith in his canal scheme that he embarked in it all his wealth, and the result justified his confidence. The canal is now the property of the Manchester Ship Canal Company, who gave close upon two millions for it.