By 1619 — the year of the company's incorporation — the number of tenants had increased to over 1,000 and the water provided by the springs was insufficient. It was decided to tap the nearby River Lea by constructing a diversion structure in the stream. Because the Lea was an important waterway to London, the river bargemen were understandably upset. They protested by removing the dam, which was promptly rebuilt. Disputes simmered and in 1670, the King appointed a committee to resolve the dispute. One of the members of the committee was a young Christopher Wren. The problems of navigation were, they found, caused by the millers who had deepened their cuts to take more water than they had needed and, when this obstructed navigation, would let the water out in a flash but at a price.
Keywords: incorporation; tenants; springs; River Lea; navigation
Chapter. 5750 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: History of Law
Full text: subscription required