Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Phillips, John (fl.1792)

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PHILLIPS, JOHN (fl. 1792), writer on inland navigation, was a native of Essex. Brought up as a builder and surveyor, he devoted many years to the promotion of schemes for the construction of canals. His interest in the subject was aroused by a tour, ‘partly on business, partly on pleasure,’ while the Bridgwater Canal was in course of construction. He published:

  1. ‘A Treatise on Inland Navigation: illustrated with a whole-sheet plan, delineating the Course of an intended navigable Canal from London to Norwich and Lynn, through the Counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk,’ &c., London, 1785, 4to.
  2. ‘A General History of Inland Navigation, Foreign and Domestic,’ &c., London, 1792, 4to; this work contains much useful information on the canals at that time completed or in process of construction, the cost of construction, freights, &c.
  3. ‘Crosby's Builder's New Price Book, containing a correct Account of all the present Prices allowed by the most eminent Surveyors,’ &c., 25th edit. London, 1817, 8vo; corrected by C. Surman, surveyor.

[Phillips's Works; Watt's Bibl. Brit; Cunningham's Growth of English Industry and Commerce, ii. 379.]

W. A. S. H.