Great Beauty and Great Riches - A pamphlet concerning the proposed Grand Commercial Canal, from the Enoch Wood Scrapbook

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Date:1st of September 1796

Description:A frustrating meeting has taken place at the Star and White Hart Inn, Uttoxeter.

Supporters of a scheme to build a new canal in Staffordshire have grown weary of attempts to discredit their project in pamphlets, in the press, and even during their own meetings.

Question after Question

At a recent meeting, Mr Spencer, a stranger from Colton, interrupted Chairman John Holliday to ask how the canal would benefit Staffordshire.

Holliday replied:

"If you will have a little patience, Sir, I will inform you."

However, Colton was determined to obtain a quick answer, butting in repeatedly.

Holliday gave in, answering that the proposed canal promised to cut the cost of coal and lime by one third.

None the less, Colton continued to question the chairman.

Holliday eventually became frustrated, saying that he had not come that evening to be interrogated.

Later, reports emerged that Holliday had refused to answer any questions whatsoever - all lies, claim the pamphlet's authors.

They continue by assuring readers that all of their own resolutions have been throughly discussed.

On the other hand, the opposition have allegedly moved resolutions without a moment's consideration. Their usual refrain has been:

"We have deliberated on the matter before we came here, and that is sufficient."


The authors suggest that a secret committee of the Trent and Mersey Canal Company may be behind these spoling tactics.

Great Beauty and Great Riches

So the pamphlet's authors hit back with a well-worn Trent and Mersey Canal phrase - that inland navigation in Staffordshire can only bring "GREAT BEAUTY AND GREAT RICHES."

The pamphlet is signed off by John Holliday, Chairman.

About this document

This document was collected by pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood and is now amongst the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

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