Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Francis Egerton, third duke of Bridgewater
BRIDGEWATER, Francis Egerton, third duke of, who has sometimes been styled " the Father of British Inland Navigation," was born in 1736. The navigable canal which he projected for the transport of the coal obtained on his estates, was (with the exception of the Sankey canal) the first great undertaking of the kind executed in Great Britain in modern times. The construction of this remark able work was carried out by Brindley, the celebrated engineer. (See Brindley and Canal.) The untiring perseverance displayed by the duke in surmounting the various difficulties that retarded the accomplishment of his project, together with the pecuniary restrictions he imposed on himself in order to supply the necessary capital, affords an instructive example of that energy and self-denial on which the success of great undertakings so much depends. Though a steady supporter of Mr Pitt s administration, he never took any prominent part in politics. On his death, March 8, 1803, the ducal title became extinct.