The influence of landowners' attitudes on railway alignment in nineteenth century England
Hepple, James Richard
Thesis or dissertation
- © 1974 James Richard Hepple. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
The argument, a discussion of the influence of landowners' attitudes on railway alignment in nineteenth century England, is presented in what might be termed a 'legal' framework. Firstly the initial proposition is put forward, that the landowners exerted an influence upon the alignment of the railways of England. The existing state of knowledge is then reviewed which places landed influence in the context of alignment theory in general. Having established the conventional wisdom a background is then presented which discusses the main aspect. of the 'characters' of the two protagonists, i.e. of the railway interest and of landed society. This is complemented by a brief appraisal of the mechanics of the interaction. i.e. of the nineteenth century Parliamentary system within which such influence was exercised. The main body of evidence is then put forward. This is divided into four separate sections, split chronologically as justified in Chapter Three. The whole is then drawn together in a final chapter which summarises the main arguments and body of evidence to reach a conclusion as to the validity of the initial premise.
It is conceded that this study may be criticised as lacking depth as a direct consequence of the employment of a broad approach. This point was quickly recognised and thus an assessment of the merits of a more detailed approach was made with an in-depth study of one particular example. It became rapidly apparent that this approach although personally satisfying, was extremely narrow and thus, taking into consideration the amount of time and finance available, it was preterred to utilise a broad view rather than research few examples in comprehensive detail. This has therefore militated against a close examination into the financial involvement of landed society, of the shares held, of the capital invested, as this material is not deposited centrally. As a consequence of the detailed study of Abingdon's relations with the Great Western Railway it was found that the local sources, the newspapers, estate papers et al. merely complmented and confirmed the evidence found in the Minutes of Evidence of the Select Committees of the Houses of Parliament. The research has therefore leaned heavily upon these Minutes of Evidence as a primary source but research has been undertaken into more local material as and when necessary.
The constraints of time and finance have also demanded that the research be limited to a study of the alignment of the railways of England rather than of Britain. In terms of mileage the English railway network was at least two-thirds of the total constructed and contained examples of every variety of line. As the railways of Scotland and Wales were promoted and aligned in a similar manner, as the Parliamentary process of authorisation of a railway company was identical, and as many of the engineers employed in England were also employed in both Scotland and Wales, it is felt that the conclusions reached in this piece of work are not invalid if extended to both Scotland and Wales, although some modifications may have to be made to allow for local conditions.
- Department of Geography, The University of Hull
- Appleton, Jay
- Sponsor (Organisation)
- University of Hull
- Ethos identifier
- Qualification level
- Qualification name
- 141 MB