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Fleet No

Built at











Carrying nb



Source for

First Date

Matthew (J.T.) Canvin

Deanshanger Stony Stratford also at Leckhamsted, Bucks

Towcester R


Steamer Registrations





Date Inspected

Date Registered

Matthew Canvin





12 1 1888

Steamer Gaugings



Gauging Number












Gear drive engine 120 rpm, prop 360 (BH)





Steamer History


Inspected Leicester as Towcester 4  Matthew Canvin running to Leicester with Goods  (Steam) Registered for 4 persons Occupied by 3 men.  With butty LILLEY  (Daventry 6)  Reg 3 Occ 2

Inspected Daventry as Towcester  12 M Canvin with LILLEY (Towcester 6)

Inspected Leicester details as 19.3.1891

Inspected Daventry  as Towcester 12 M Canvin

4th knee rescued from wreck by AEB and given to Neil Louden of MK Museum, now lost.

Thought worked single handed and pushed a butty (AEB)

TWM (355-7) sunk by Marquis in Braunston Tunnel

Letter ex toll clerk at Stretton Stop “ On Wednesday night Canvin’s steamer & boat passed here from Wyken”












Sunk in Old Stratford Basin by Hayes Wharf (AEB seen 6.1961)




Documents on file

Letter  Millner/Thomas re sinking                                                                     pc            5.7.1899

Letter Millner re collision                                                                                    pc            7.7.1899



Millner Letters



5.7.1899                  At 8.35 pm on Monday 3rd July, I received a wire from Danks stating that M Canvin’s steamer JUBILEE had

                                sunk in Braunston Tunnel and stopped the traffic at 6 pm.  After sending the men and stanking material forward from this yard, I rode over to Braunston and found Messrs Fellows Morton & Clayton’s steamer MARQUIS Captain T Wenlock and butty boat loaded with starch and sundries for Birmingham had run into that Canvin’s Steamer JUBILEE and butty boat Captain T Canvin loaded with 23 and 30¼ tons of Wyken Coal for Leckhampton, between the 13 & 1400 yards in the tunnel.  The JUBILEE lay across the tunnel with the bow on the offside and the stern on the towpath side and he was struck an inch on the inside of the stempost with the guard iron almost knocked off.  The MARQUIS then appeared to have run up on her foredeck and pressed her under.  The tunnel was thick and both steamers look to have been on their wrong sides. 

                                Wenlock states that he sounded the whistle several times but heard no reply.  The MARQUIS followed the same owner’s SULTAN close behind from hear and was probably running hard at the time of the collision.

                                The stank was driven at Bridge No 6 Wilton and the water in the tunnel (and summit for a distanceof 1½ miles 275 yards was run off to a depth of 2’ 8” before the JUBILEE could be floated after lightening her cargo 6 tons and pumping all the water out.  She rose at 2 pm, but it was 7 pm before the summit could be raised sufficiently to allow boats to move.

108 lockfuls of water were required from the reservoir to make up the deficiency.

In my opinion the JUBILEE is not a safe steamer to navigate the tunnels without sidecloths and she ought not to be allowed to carry such heavy loading.

Also considering we may always expect to have boats sunk in the tunnels, proper stop grooves should be placed in Welton Bridge wing walls as soon as possible to prevent future delays to traffic and considerable loss of water.  Millner/Thomas


7.7.1899                  After Canvin’s steamer JUBILEE had been raised in Braunston Tunnel, she got up steam and worked through the tunnel between 7 and 8 pm and was run into by our tug HASTY when she was towing the fleet of boats that had been in the stoppage. The tunnel was smoky at the time and the JUBILEE did not sound the whistle – if she had been on her wrong side she would probably have been sunk a second time.


                                I have to report Messrs Fellows’ boat HOCKLEY Captain I Clarke loaded with explosives for entering Braunston tunnel north end at 8.45 am on the 3.7.1899 without first sending the flagman over to warn steamers, after the tug Captain had warned him..  Millner/Thomas