Thu 11 Jan 1776
Samuel Simmons of Gloucester reports that the River Severn has so much lack of water that barges cannot navigate Shrewsbury, Bridgenorth, Bewdley, Stourport to Gloucester or Framilode. The last summer no coal got to Framilode for two months.
John Gleave said that all Carters Close was cut through before the 19 April 1775 except 12 yards which they cut through sometime after. They thought it necessary to preserve the lock from the force of the tides.
A paper is to be sent to the landowners stating that the land is in better condition this winter than formerly, being protected from floods and winter tides.
Evidence of two mill workers, William Beard and William Mayo, recorded.
At a Meeting of the Committee held by Adjournment at the George Inn in Stroud on Thursday Jan^ry 11^th 1776
Present: Thomas Baylis, Joseph Wathen, Durley Wintle, John Hollings. Richard Aldridge, Thomas White.
Reported, by M^r Baylis, and M^r Hollings who waited on M^r White that M^r Jeptson received the necessary directions how to proceed with the Bill and other matters relative thereto.
The Report of Samuel Simmonds of Gloceser, who says that during a scarsety of Water in the River Severn, which always happens once, or more times every Summer for many weeks together that no Barges can Navigate down from Shrewsbury Bridgnorth Bewdley Stourport etc to Glocester or Framiload and that the last Summer no Coal was brote to Framiload for two Months or more, and that it is usual for the Coat Trade to Framiload to be obstructed in the Summer for one two or three months together.
John Gleave saith all Carters Close was cut through before the 19^th of April 1775 except about twelve yards, which they Cut thro' sometime after, at their own discretion, not having any orders from the Committee of Undertakers; and that they thought the Undertakes, their Masters, by having a Leter of leace from M^r Yates's Steward, and permission from Arkoll the Apparent Tennant, had a right so to do. ~~ it is Opinion from his Observation of the force of the Tides, that the money laid out (after the tryall at Glocester) on the Lock, was absolutely necessary for its preservation.
Ordered that a paper be sent to be signed by the Land owners thro's whose property the new Cut is made declaring that their Lands are in much better Condition this Winder than formerly, being prevented from the Floods and Winter Tides.
William Beard saies he work'd at the oil Mill between twenty and thirty years, at Bridgeend three or four years, at M^r Hills and at Sandfords Mill ~~~ that at the Oil Mill he seldom knew a Pen Longer than two hours, that they always drawed up their overfalls every Saturday night, and that he never remembers Water so scarce as to be kept back any Sunday during that time at either of the above Mills. at Bridgend there being a Wear, they was not so particular in drawing up as where there was none. He is now 70 years old and has work'd within the above limits all his time except about 6 years.
William Beard says that Bennabs Mead is improved, by Cutting off the Nooks, and by having more Land, and less liable to Flood that he is certain M^r Stephens has receibed no Injury nor Loss on the Contrary the Straitining the River has given one Acre to the Owner.
That his Father rented the Lands in Question of M^r Stephens 40 Years to Lady day 1773, that he has been every year in that Country as a Manager of his Fathers Business, and has known the Lands for more than 30 years. He is certain the above Lands are more in value and the better since the River has been made Strait by Kemmetts Cut.
William Mayo Aged 65, Worked 24 years at Lodgmore, and was Millman, living at the Mill 17 years. He had a great deal of business every time of short Water and genearly took care of the Water himself, he usualy worked till twelve oClock Saturday night, and then drawed up the overfalls, and on every Sunday morning he found the Water running Waste as soon as he was up, and Continued running waste all the day. He remembers a Pen of three hours, not more at any time, and that but once, but genarly Pens in a scarce time were from half an hour, to an hour, or two, mostly within the hour, but uncertain, as all the three Streams Unite in that Mill pond. William Mayo proves that below this Mill the River Stroudwater is supplied with two Streames called the Woodchester water and Cuckolds Brook, which is more that one third of the water running within the River above.
William Dutton and Ben^m Grazebrook to go with M^r Caple to View the Land in Easton Mead.
M^r Jeptson to waite upon M^r Yates, to purchase that Land now Cut thro' belonging to him.
Mess^rs Wathen, Winchcombe, and Baylis, to wait on Lord Ducie from the Committee to aquaint him of their proceedings, and desire his Interest in favour of the Bill.
Ordered That Mess^Rs Dallaway, Wathen, Winchcombe, Lewis, and Baylis attend Pariliament with M^r Jeptson the 22^d Instant, and to desire the favour of D^r Caple to acompany them.
Ordered That Ben^m Grazebrook go to Glocester on Saturday to enquire after W^m Symonds, or some Intelligent Owner to give evidence about the Navigation of the Severn in the Summer, and of the Freight up the Stroud River.
Ordered That M^r Colborne do purchase the Piece of Land now Cut thro' belonging to M^r Partridge, for the Undertakes, as agree'd at 82 Pounds or thereabouts.
Adjourned this Meeting to Thursday the 18^th Instant January at five o Clock in the afternoon at the George Inn in Stroud.