ANCHOLME RIVER NAVIGATION.
7 George III. Cap. 98, Royal Assent 20th May, 1767.
42 George III. Cap. ll6, Royal Assent 26th June, 1802.
6 George IV. Cap. 165, Royal Assent 22nd June, 1825.
The archaic spellings throughout the text are verbatim from the book, and not due to my illiteracy as has been suggested.
The Ancholme Navigation commences from the River Humber, at Ferraby Sluice, one mile west of the village of South Ferraby, and four miles from the market town of Barton-upon-Humber. Hence it proceeds in nearly a straight line south to Glamford Briggs (or Brigg); thence continuing this direction to Bishop Briggs, on the high road from Gainsbro' to Market Raisin.
The distance from Ferraby Sluice to where the Caistor Canal falls into the Ancholme Navigation is fourteen miles and a quarter, and from thence to its termination at Bishop Briggs, five miles and a quarter, making the total length nineteen miles and a half, upon which, (with the exception of the sea-lock at Ferraby Sluice), there is only one lock, of 6 feet rise near to the end of the Caistor Canal.
The first act for completing this navigation, was passed, as stated above, on the 20th of May, 1767; it is entitled, 'An Act for the more effectual draining the Lands lying in the Level of Ancholme, in the county of Lincoln; and making the River Ancholme navigable from the River Humber, at or near a place called Ferraby Sluice, in the county of Lincoln, to the town of Glamford Briggs, and for continuing the said Navigation up or near to the said Rivers from thence to Bishop Briggs, in the said county of Lincoln.'.
A second act, for altering and enlarging the powers of this act, was passed in the 42nd George III. cap. 116, (June 26, 1802), and is entitled, 'An Act for altering and enlarging the Powers of an Act passed in the Seventh Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, entitled, An Act for the more effectual draining the Lands lying in the Level of Ancholme, in the county of Lincoln, and making the River Ancholme navigable from the River Humber at or near a place called Ferraby Sluice, in the county of Lincoln, to the town of Glamford Briggs, and for continuing the said Navigation up or near to the said River, from thence to Bishop Briggs, in the said county of Lincoln.'
From the reports of the late Mr, Rennie, made in 1801 and 1802, he estimates that to improve this navigation and drainage, it would cost £63,921, but of which sum only £6,063 related to the navigation. [The late Mr. Rennie referred to here was John Rennie the Elder, (1761–1821)], and not his son, John Rennie the Younger, (1794-1874), who carried on the work, after his father's death in 1821.
The navigation and drainage is under the management of commissioners, who have power to raise £5,000, on security of tolls, to be applied for the improvement of the navigation and completing it to Bishop Briggs.
By the act of 6th George IV. it is stated that the sum of £12,000) raised by virtue of the act of 42nd George III. had been expended, and that the commissioners, in addition to this sum, had also incurred a debt of £7,500. To liquidate which debt, and for the further purpose of improving the drainage and navigation, the commissioners have power of raising, by assessment, not more than £3,000 in any one year.
The commissioners appointed for directing the affairs of this navigation and drainage are not to be less than eighty in number, whose qualification is a possession, in the level, of one hundred acres of land, or a mortgage upon the tolls, to the amount of £1,000. The quantity of land liable to be flooded, and consequently to the assessment for drainage, is 17,197 acres, 3 roods and 10 perch. It is recited in the act of 42nd George III. that the annual amount of tolls on the navigation, was £700. The spring tide at Ferraby Sluice rises 19 feet above the sill of the lock, which is placed 4 feet above low-water-mark spring tides. Mr. John Rennie is the engineer to this navigation appointed by the act of parliament.
TL;DR - Conclusion.
The author of this, a Mr. Joseph Priestley was the manager of the Aire and Calder Navigation during its most prosperous period. He lived in Wakefield and had his office at the old Wharf there. This excerpt from his book, "Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways of Great Britain", was a couple of pages from a total of 750 odd. The guy must have been well into rivers. This wasn't the first time that the River Ancholme was 'modified' to improve drainage and reduce flooding, this is merely a snapshot into what were current events from 200 years ago. How times have changed, a river that was once the main thoroughfare for this end of the county is now reduced to pleasure boating and the odd chap with a fishing rod.
I have to admit I needed to look up what a chaldron was, and to save you having to do the same, I will tell you. A chaldron was a measure of dry volume, mostly used for coal. It was used from the 13th century up until the end of 1835 when the Weights and Measures Act of that year specified that thenceforth coal had to be the correct shade of black and could only be sold by weight.
The estimate for the amount of land in the Ancholme catchment area that was liable to flood, is/was 17,197 acres, 3 roods and 10 perch, which works out at 26¾ square miles or 6,960 Hectares to the nearest metric manhole cover.
In November 1696, Abraham de la Pryme (1671–1704), the Yorkshire antiquarian, wrote in his diary:-
"About the year 1638-9 the Levels of Ancham, where the river Ank runneth, were drained by the instigation of the Dutch, several of whome were overseers in the business. The cut or river called New Ankam (falsly for New Ank), from five miles beyond Newstead to Humber, in the cutting of which river was found oak trees lying with their tops north east, and nothing else of any note. Some of the trees were plainly broke by stress of weather; others, tho' very few, were plainly cutt, but the most were driven down root and all. The great sluice that they built at Ferriby cost above £3000, and had twenty-four doors, each of which doors were able to laid a cart and eight horses, by reason of their great thickness and weight, and the great quantity of iron that was therein. The sluce is sayd to have two or three flowers [floors], and it is added that twenty-nine waggon load of the best timber that could be found in these woods went to the pileing and the laying of the foundation of that sluce. This I had from several old men."