The papers in this collection are mainly correspondence of the Company Secretary, George Clarke, 1865-1870 and the Company solicitor, John May, 1865-1873. Clarke was replaced by J O Smith in 1870 but only one or two items of his correspondence survive most of the business being conducted by May. There are also papers relating to the passing of the various Acts and some accounts. In the absence of committee minutes, the general account of Parrot, May and Sons, 1865-1871 (D 2950/24). Provides some light on general business and progress of the venture.
The collection also includes some private correspondence of George Clarke, some connected with his other business interests in Macclesfield as Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce (D 2950/29-33). There are also a few business papers of John May relating to the estates of Gervas Ward and Thomas Philips (DDX 595/34).
D 2950/1-/3 Railway Legislation.
D 2950/5-/6 Promoters, Shareholders, Landowners.
D 2950/7-/12 Correspondence of George Clarke, secretary.
D 2950/13-/20 Correspondence of John May, solicitor.
D 2950/21-/23 Miscellaneous correspondence and papers.
D 2950/24-/26 Accounts.
D 2950/27-/28 Plans.
D 2950/29-/33 Private correspondence of George Clarke.
Purchased in Jan. 1982 from P H Edwards, Balsdon Hall, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk.
Administrative / biographical background:
The Macclesfield, Knutsford and Warrington Railway was promoted by prominent people in the area headed by Sir Harry Mainwaring, Chairman of Cheshire Midland Railway. The company was incorporated by an Act, 28 June 1866 (29/30 Vict. c.159), which impowered them to raise a share capital of £400,000, allowed 3 years for purchasing lands and 5 years for completion. 1866 was a year of general financial crisis which resulted in a lull in railway building. The Macclesfield, Knutsford and Warrington Railway Company found it difficult to raise money and agree purchase of land. This resulted in them having to apply for an extension of time and also in abandoning the Knutsford to Warrington section. An Act allowing an extension of time for building the railway was passed in 1871 (34/5 Vict., c.53), however the venture continued to experience financial difficulties and was eventually taken over by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway under an Act of 1874 (37/8 Vict., c.132). After this the line was abandoned.