BRINDLEY, JAMES, shared with the Duke of Bridgewater in the honour of intro ducing canal navigation into this country. He was born in 1716, and was apprenticed in his 17th year to a millwright near Macclesfield. When the period of his apprenticeship had expired, Brindley engaged in business on his own account; but he did not confine himself to the making of mill machinery. His repu tation as a man of skill and ingenuity steadily increased ; in 1755 he executed the machinery for a silk-mill at Congleton; and in 1756 he erected a steam-engine at Newcastle-under Lyne.
Shortly after this time, Brindley was con sulted by the Duke of Bridgewater on the practicability of constructing a canal from Worsley to Manchester. His success in this undertaking was the means of fully awakening public attention to the advantages of canals. Within forty-two years after the Duke's canal was opened, application had been made to Parliament for 165 acts for cutting canals in Great Britain, at an expense of above thirteen millions. In 1766 the Trent and Mersey
Canal was commenced under Brindley's su perintendence. It is 93 miles long, and unites the navigation of the Mersey with that of the Trent and the Humber. It was called by Brindley the ' Grand Trunk Navigation,' owing to the probability, from its great com mercial importance, of many other canals being made to join it. Brindley next designed a canal 46 miles in length, called the Stafford shire and Worcestershire Canal, for the pur pose of connecting the Grand Trunk with the Severn. He also planned the Coventry Canal, but did not superintend its execution. Ile, however, superintended the execution of the Oxford Canal. The canal from the Trent at Stockwith to Chesterfield, 46 miles long, was Brindley's last public undertaking. He also surveyed and gave his opinion on many other lines for navigable canals besides those men tioned. Brindley died in 1772, aged 56.