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Corporation of York


Records of the Corporation of York concerning the Lower Ouse Navigation 1911-1985.



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Access Status

These records are available immediately for research

Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

The Corporation of York was established by Edward IV's charter in 1462. The body was responsible for managing the whole of the rivers Ouse, Humber, Wharfe, Derwent, Aire and Don. Towns in the region flourished as their waterways opened up trade. York was the exception, prevented from developing because of the condition of the River Ouse. In the 17th century the Corporation had the river dredged and attempted to get improvement schemes through Parliament, whilst opposing any Bill for other navigations that might reduce water supplies to the River Ouse. Their first Bill in 1621 failed, the second in 1657 passed but the Corporation did not start work. Thomas Sturbey and John Hadley carried out two more surveys in 1699. The men worked independently of one another but reached the same conclusions. A Bill was submitted based on their conclusions but it failed in 1700. For 250 years the Corporation had retained responsibility for the areas specified in the original charter, but between 1699 and 1740 various Acts for building or improving those waterways took control from the Corporation and gave it to newly-formed companies and commissioners. When the Act to allow improvements to the Lower Ouse passed in 1727, the trustees appointed to govern it comprised of Corporation members and officials. For further information on the Corporation of York see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations'.

System of arrangement

It has not been possible to ascertain any original structure of record-keeping from the small number of records held for this company. The fonds has therefore been arranged in chronological order.

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