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Factfile of John Metcalf.

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Name: John Metcalf also know as "Blind John of Knaresborough. Date of birth: 15th August 1717. Height: At the age of 21 John was over six foot tall. Town of birth: Knaresborough Childhood: John had smallpox at the age of 6 years this caused him to become blind. He could play the violin. Marriage: Dorothy Benson was John's wife, she was a shoemaker. John built a house for him and his wife. There Dorothy gave birth to a boy and his first daughter. Achievements: In 1754 John realised that there was a new method, which was a stone wagon. This was the start of the road building. He realised that the state of the roads were bad, so he contracted to build three miles of road, which would run from Minskip to Fearnsby. ...read more.


His roads which was built ran through: * Harrogate and Harewood bridge * Knaresborough and Wetherby * Wakefield, Huddersfield and Saddleworth (the Manchester road). * Bury and Blackburn with a branch to Accrington * Skipton, Colne and Burnly. And many more extending into Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, and also including Yorkshire. He continued his work until he was in his 70's. But returned to Yorkshire in 1792 Date of death: 26th April 1810 aged 93. Extras During the latter part of the 18th century the roads in Britain were in a terrible state. It was very difficult to make journeys in some places, and it was particularly bad in the winter. ...read more.


The trust enabled them to raise money, put up gates, build toll-houses, pay a surveyor, a clerk, a treasurer and labourers. A trust was not a business; it was not supposed to make a profit. However, the idea was that the businessmen and landowners knew that they would make more money because they had better roads. Therefore it was worth the bother. A turnpike society can be seen as those that are immediately involved with the establishment and maintenance of the turnpike, as mentioned above. However, it also refers to the wider community that use the turnpike as well. These people would become increasingly dependent on the turnpike system, in that they became used to better roads and what that enabled them to do. Therefore the turnpike system had an impact on society. ...read more.

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