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British Industrial History

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Hugh Henshall

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Hugh Henshall (1734-1816) was a civil engineer, noted for his work on canals.

Born the son of John Henshall and his wife Anne Cartwright.

Brother-in-law of James Brindley

Henshall worked with Brindley and John Smeaton in 1758 to survey the proposed Trent and Mersey Canal. In 1765 he helped survey the River Weaver from Winsford to Lowton, and in the same year planned a link from Cheshire to the Bridgewater Canal, and surveyed the River Severn. In 1768 Brindley, assisted by Henshall, surveyed the route of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Henshall carried out the survey for the act of Parliament, with Samuel Simcock.

Henshall's experience surveying the River Weaver became invaluable. He was made clerk of works on the Trent and Mersey Canal, and made the parliamentary map of the canal. James Brindley, engineer for the canal, died in 1772. Henshall became Brindley's heir, and continued his work, completing the Harecastle Tunnel and the northern reaches of the canal including the junction with the Bridgewater Canal. He completed the canal in May 1777.

Engineer on the Chesterfield Canal and the Trent and Mersey Canal. Surveyor on the Hereford and Gloucester Canal.

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