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British Industrial History

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General Steam Carriage Co

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1841 (?) Formed for working Hill's patents on steam carriages.[1]

1844 Formed for working Hill's patents and for conveying passengers, with £400,000 capital. Directors were Henry Westcar, Alexander Macdonald, Edwin Leaf, Thomas Beale, Henry Webber, Henry Howlett and William Barnes. Mentions a seven year trial on land near Vauxhall Bridge. [2] [3]


1843 Incorporation. [4]

NOTICE is hereby given, that application will be made to Parliament in the next session, for an Act to incorporate a certain joint stock Company or copartnership, called or known by the name of The General Steam Carriage Company, formed for the purpose of conveying passengers and goods on public roads, in carriages propelled by steam; and to enable the said Company to sue and be sued in the name of some one or more of their Directors or Officers, and to raise, levy, and collect rates, duties, or charges in respect of the business conducted by them; and to grant other powers and privileges to the said Company.

And it is further intended, for the purposes aforesaid, to obtain powers in the said Act, to Authorize the assignment to, and purchase by, the said Company of certain letters patent, granted to Frank Hills, of Deptford, in the county of Kent, Civil Engineer, for the term of fourteen years, from the twenty-ninth day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, for certain improvements in the construction of steam boilers and of locomotive engines; and also certain other letters patent, granted to the said Frank Hills, for the term of fourteen years, from the fifth day of May one thousand eight hundred and forty, for certain improvements in the construction of steam boilers and engines of locomotive carriages; and also certain other letters patent, granted to the said Frank Hills, for the term of fourteen years, from the thirtieth day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty three, for certain improvements in steam boilers or generator's, and in locomotive carriages; and also certain other letters patent, granted to John Squire, of Pongill, in the county of Cornwall, Civil Engineer, for the term of fourteen years, from the twenty-first day of December one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, for certain improvements in steam boilers or generators; and, in like manner, any other patents the Company desire to purchase; and to enable the said Company to make, use, exercise, and vend the said several inventions and improvements, and to grant licences for making, using, exercising, and vending the same; and provision is intended to be made in the said Act, to enable the said Frank Hills and John Squire, Or the several persons claiming or to claim by, through, or under the said Frank Hills or John Squire, or either of them, to assign over to the said Company any other patents now or hereafter to be obtained with reference to the said several inventions, methods, and improvements.

And it is further intended, for the purposes aforesaid, to obtain powers for authorizing equitable tolls to be levied in respect of such carriages passing through any toll-gate erected upon or on the sides of any turnpike road, in cases where carriages propelled by steam are not now by law liable to the payment of tolls thereon, or for altering any tolls now payable on any turnpike road in respect of such carriages, in cases where such tolls, if demanded, would be likely to prohibit the use1 of such carriages on such road, or to obtain such other powers as Parliament may in its wisdom deem expedient for the purposes aforesaid.

Dated this 3rd day of November 1843.




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Sources of Information

  1. Extracted from Steam Locomotion on Common Roads by William Fletcher. Published 1891.
  2. The Morning Post, Thursday, February 01, 1844
  3. The Era (London, England), Sunday, February 18, 1844
  4. The London Gazette Publication date:8 November 1843 Issue:20277 Page:3652