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Meeting: James Brindley and Josiah Wedgwood
The Leopard Inn, 21 Market Place, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
associated engineer
James Brindley
date  8th March 1765
era  Georgian  |  category  Meeting Place  |  reference  SJ873501
A meeting of two famous men. Josiah Wedgwood, the pottery magnate, met with engineer James Brindley, the canal builder at an inn in the pottery town of Burslem. The meeting is confirmed by a letter of Wedgwood’s, dated 11th March 1765.
Besides Wedgwood and Brindley, also present were Thomas Bentley, a business partner of Wedgwood’s, and Erasmus Darwin, paternal grandfather of Charles Darwin.
Discussed at the meeting were the possibilities of cutting a canal to link the River Trent with the River Mersey. Wedgwood envisaged a navigable waterway running east and west from his factories, providing access to shipping for the export of pottery.
The proposal was successful and construction of the canal — now known as the Trent and Mersey— commenced in 1766. Eleven years later the two rivers were indeed connected. This enterprise contributed to the Golden Age of British canal transport, which helped fuel the industrial revolution.
Research: ND
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Meeting: James Brindley and Josiah Wedgwood