Friday, 9 May 2014

History of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and its branches - George Markham Tweddell 1869

The History of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and its various branches By George Markham Tweddell 1869

Prior to doing this site, I worked with Paul Tweddell ( a former school inspector) who since his retirement spent his latter years researching his forebears, and especially the 19thC George Markham Tweddell and his wife Elizabeth Tweddell (AKA the Cleveland dialect poet Florence Cleveland. Born in Stokesley North Yorkshire in 1823, he was more or less a contemporary of  Timothy Hackworth's son John Wesley Hackworth. Tweddell was a polymath - a Chartist, printer, publisher, author, poet, People's Historian (The People's History of Cleveland), Oddfellow, Freemason and much more. The result of the work is evident on the Tweddell Hub here.

The relevance here is that in 1869 he wrote a history of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and its various
George Markham Tweddell
branches. I have found no mention however of Timothy Hackworth - perhaps it was too early to have knowledge of Timothy but Tweddell does describe Middlesbrough docks and coal staithes in great detail in his history of Middlesbrough, so admired by historian Asa Briggs who mentions it the chapter on Middlesbrough in his book Victoria Cities. Tweddell was also a friend of Francis Mewburn, the S & D solicitor, and wrote about his written work in his book The Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham. I introduced Paul Tweddell to Joan Hackworth Weir while i was working on the site and Joan used her library knowledge to help paul catalogue the Tweddell archives he was donating to Middlesbrough central library and the Teesside Archives.

Tweddell's book on the S & D Railway can be read online via Google books HERE  ( you can download it free from Google books if you look in the menu.
A very early account from 1869, and true to Tweddell's style, he goes into the history of transport leading up to the S & D railway and is stronger on the background therefore, but still an interesting read along with his knowledge of the history of the Tees area.

Tweddell's essay on Francis Mewburn from his book Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham 1872 will appear in a separate post.

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