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6. An account is given of the way in which the merchants of Manchester carried on their business in the last century. One who made a large fortune, used to carry his own goods on pack-horses from town to town. He was thus absent from home for the greater part of the year, and performed all his journeys on horseback. He carried his money in his saddle-bags. He was exposed to all kinds of weather, and to the dangers of highway robbers, who abounded at that time. No private carriage was kept in Manchester until the year 1758. 7. In Scotland, matters were even worse.
There were hardly any regular roads at all, and it was a difficult matter to go from one town to another, especially in winter. There were merely tracks across moors, and when one track became too deep, another was made by the side of the old one.
8. The first coach between Edinburgh and Glasgow commenced running in the year 1749, but it took two days for the journey of forty-four miles.
9. A carrier's cart took a fortnight to get from Selkirk to Edinburgh, a distance of thirty-eight miles. On the morning of the carrier's starting, the people of Selkirk would gather round him to wish him a safe return. In the winter the carrier did not attempt the journey.
10. We read of a nobleman travelling in his own carriage in 1760 through the south-western districts of Scotland. He was obliged to take with him a party of labourers to lift his carriage out of the ruts. But, after all, the carriage several times got fast, and when about three miles from a village called Creetown, near Wigton, he had to send away the labourers, and spend the night with his family in the carriage.
11. In the Highlands of Scotland, after the Rebellion of 1715, several roads had been made by General Wade. In that year several Highland clans had risen in arms in order to place the son of James the Second upon his father's throne. After the Rebellion was put down, these roads were constructed, in order that large numbers of soldiers could be more easily brought into the remote parts of the country to prevent any future risings. But these were the only roads in those wild districts. Thus it was always difficult, and often impossible to get from place to place.
12. Our first great road-maker was a blind man, the son of very poor parents. His name was John Metcalf. scrambling, getting on century, one hundred with difficulty.
years. luggage, boxes, trunks, &c. pack-horses, horses with violent, forcible.
bags strapped on. merchant, buyer and seller exposed, liable to. of goods.
constructed, made. re-spects jour-ney cler-gy-man mon-ey rail-way fly-ing car-ri-age dif-fi-cult pas-sen-ger
trou-bles for-tune car-ri-er What do people often talk about? When did the first coach commence to run from Birmingham to London? How long did it take to do the journey? In what time
1 See page 241.
can we now go this same journey? What coach was called a “flying coach ?” Why was it so called ? Describe the journey of a Prussian clergyman. How was business carried on by Manchester merchants a hundred years ago! Give an account of the carrier's cart between Selkirk and Edinburgh. Who made several roads in Scotland? Why were they made? Who was the first great road-maker of England ?
1. Conveyance by water was no better provided for than by land. Until the middle of last century there was very little trade in England. People carried their corn and wool and other articles to market, chiefly on horseback or on the backs of bullocks. Manure was taken to the fields in this
Coal was carried on horseback in some parts of the country for the blacksmiths' forges.
2. In this way the cost of conveyance was enormous, and thus any active trade was next to impossible. Something had been done to make the rivers more useful for conveying goods. Some large channels that had been cut in the Fen districts, in the east of England, had been used to a small extent for the same purpose.
A small canal, three miles long, was constructed near Exeter in 1566 by a man named John Trew.
3. But it was not until the year 1716 that the first constructor of canals, and the founder of our present large canal system, was born in a very humble cottage about three miles from Buxton in Derbyshire. His name was James Brindley.
4. In 1733, Brindley, who never went to school, was bound apprentice, near Macclesfield, to a wheelwright and mill-wright of the name of Bennett. His master seems to have neglected his business very much, and to have liked the public-house better than his shop. He thought Brindley more dull and stupid than most boys, and he left him very much to himself, to learn his trade as best he could.
5. It is no wonder that the poor lad often made terrible mistakes; but he had been thinking and watching and learning all the time, and before he had completed his time as an apprentice, the customers of Mr. Bennett began to find out the skill and ability of the young man. They even asked that Brindley might be sent to do their work rather than the master.
6. On one occasion Bennett was employed to construct the machinery for a new paper-mill. Though he had been sent to look at some models, which he was to imitate, he proved quite unable to complete his task. When finished, it would not work.
7. Bennett's failure began to be talked about, and Brindley resolved to make an effort to save his master from disgrace. At the end of the week, without saying a word to any one, away he went to Manchester to inspect the machinery, which was to have been copied in the new mill. He examined it carefully. He was unable to write, but he remembered every point carefully.
8. He obtained permission from his master to take the whole matter in hand. He examined and refitted the works, and introduced many improvements of his own, and finally completed the whole job to the great relief of Bennett, and the satisfaction of all concerned.
9. Though he learnt to write, he was never a good penman, and he never learnt to spell. He seemed to have a wonderful power of carrying the most minute details in his head,-a power gained by his thorough attention to the matter in hand.
10. Brindley began business for himself in 1742 at Leek, in North Staffordshire. Very soon his name was widely known as a clever mechanic and engineer. He succeeded in clearing of water some coal-pits at Clifton, when all previous attempts had failed. He erected several mills, and was always able to overcome any difficulties which came in his way.
11. The Duke of Bridgewater was anxious to.de