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In the year 1782, Mr. Robert Whitworth, a very able engineer was employed by several very opulent and publicspirited gentlemen, chiefly merchants of London, to form a plan and estimate of a canal that would form a junction between the Thames and the Severn; and in the following year an act passed to carry this beneficial project into execution.

This canal was executed in a most complete and masterly manner in the space of seven years. Warehouses are also constructed in every requisite station on its banks, with all the machinery for lading and unlading vessels, and a system of lock-work, to remedy the various levels of the country through which it takes its course.

On the 19th of November, 1789, the first vessel passed from the Severn to the Thames in the presence of a vast concourse of people, who came from every part of the adjacent country to croud the banks and hail its passage, as the commencement of a benefit, whose present advantages and remote effects they did not attempt to calculate.

This important junction is formed very near, but a little below the village of Inglesham, about a mile above Lechlade, whose spire is seen in the picture. A round tower as a dwelling- and wharf-house has been erected as a deposit for coals brought by the canal, in case the navigation should at any time or by any cause receive a temporary obstruction. Thus is the Severn brought as it were to the Metropolis; and Thames introduced into all the ports of the Severn, with that of Bristol, and the range of them on the coast of Wales: a splendid enlargement of the interior commerce of the kingdom.

Lechlade is a town in Gloucestershire, situated on the confines of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The ground on which it stands was formerly called the Lade, which conjoined with that of the contiguous river Lech, gives the compound name which the place bears. Here the Thames is so much encreased by the streams which flow into it as to be capable of receiving vessels from ninety to an hundred tons burthen.

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