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Sheffield and Manchester Railway - Receipt from Tontine Inn, May 1832

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Found an intriguing receipt from the Tontine Inn, whilst browsing P.S. it appears to have been issued to a Mr Irlam(?) Rodgers(?) of ‘The Sheffield & Manchester Railway Co.’  by John Lambert (victualler of the Tontine Inn during that period).

I can’t make out all of the wording on the receipt, but it appears that Mr. Rodgers(?) stayed at the Tontine for two days and paid his bill with a cheque for 2/-(?) - two shillings(?)



Intriguing in that the surveying of the railway line from Sheffield to Manchester had only just begun after The Sheffield & Manchester Railway Co. was formed in 1830 and George Stephenson (of Chesterfield) was appointed engineer. It seems that ‘Mr Rodgers’ was on the company’s business, staying at the Tontine, although what he was actually doing will be interesting to try and research. The name may not be correct, as this and other wording on the receipt are not clear, so maybe other members with a better recognition of old handwriting can decipher it?

Receipt wording top to bottom:

Tontine Inn Sheffield

Mr Irlam(?) Rodgers(?) to John Lambert
of the Sheffield & Manchester Railway Co.

?????? Two Days...................... 14

L??????? H????????? ............ Cheque 2’/

                         May ?? 1832

Any ideas, comments, views welcome.....




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My reading of the guest’s name would be John Rodgers.  Then “?? carried Two Days”. Then “Settled John Rodgers” (his signature)

On Friday 13th April 1832 a meeting of the Proprietors of the Sheffield and Manchester Railway was held in the Large Room of the Tontine Inn.  The purpose of this meeting was to take the opinion of the Proprietors as to the line of proceedings proper to be adopted at the ensuing General Meeting at Manchester on the 18th.  The meeting resolved that the raising of capital should continue with further subscribers being found, and that the provisional committee to progress an Act of Parliament should continue. The next meeting was planned for the first Wednesday in June 1833.  The company had been formed in 1830, but the gradients involved in the proposed route would require stationary engines to help pull the trains, and alternate route suggestions were also problematic.

By the time that the Manchester meeting was held, no further subscribers had been found (the number remained at 302) and the capital raised was £85,000 short of the amount required by the Act of Parliament. The twenty Proprietors who attended resolved to abandon the enterprise and recover the funds already lodged with the Treasury for re-distribution.  A dividend of 25 shillings per share was paid from 31st October 1833 (payments to Sheffield Proprietors being made at the solicitors office of Henry Vickers).

In December 1835, a new survey of a proposed route was made with a view to publishing a prospectus.  At a meeting in Manchester in January 1836 it was resolved that a company be formed to put the route into operation - a John Rodgers (probably cutlery manufacurer and founding partner of the Sheffield Banking Company, the son of Joseph Rodgers, cutlery manufacturer) was appointed to the provincial committee for Sheffield, along with Lord Wharncliffe, Hugh Parker, Offley Shore, Samuel Hadfield, Thomas Ellin, Thomas Asline Ward and others.  The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway Company opened the Manchester side of the route in May 1842, but the Sheffield section had to wait until July 1845.  The two halves were joined in December 1845 by the opening of the Woodhead tunnel.


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