1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/United Kingdom/Communications

Shipping.—The table at foot of p. 604 shows the tonnage of vessels entered from and cleared to British possessions and foreign countries at the principal ports of the United Kingdom.


  1890. 1895. 1900. 1905. 1909.
Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons.
 London  Entered  7,708,705 8,435,676 9,580,854 10,814,115 11,605,698
 Cleared  5,772,062 6,110,325 7,479,008 7,913,115 8,622,316
 Liverpool and Birkenhead   Entered  5,782,351 5,598,341 6,001,563 7,806,844 7,747,994
 Cleared  5,159,450 4,883,199 5,778,114 6,932,687 6,593,094
 Cardiff  Entered  3,173,699 3,739,856 5,132,523 4,337,720 5,771,476
 Cleared  5,641,511 6,500,510 7,636,717 7,476,879 8,888,756
 Tyne Ports[1] & [2]  Entered  3,401,216 3,292,624 3,897,142 4,058,618 5,700,405
 Cleared  5,010,098 4,822,648 4,894,157 5,158,899 6,899,023
 Southampton  Entered  888,352 1,420,531 1,613,913 2,087,277 4,279,052
 Cleared  813,133 1,328,393 1,395,486 1,888,030 4,108,063
 Hull  Entered  1,997,138 2,150,654 2,666,598 2,546,064 3,517,953
 Cleared  1,655,996 1,612,385 2,274,137 2,102,160 3,164,156
 Glasgow  Entered  1,121,700 1,184,537 1,454,860 1,635,609 1,917,144
 Cleared  1,697,662 1,911,739 2,229,574 2,836,462 3,160,916
 Newport  Entered  920,560 871,886 1,092,068 1,250,192 1,548,258
 Cleared  1,316,430 1,374,237 1,511,383 1,773,161 2,105,509
 Dover  Entered  789,846 742,940 973,074 2,928,741 1,636,530
 Cleared  767,724 734,334 964,476 2,944,774 1,631,751
 Middlesbrough  Entered  833,562 953,985 1,096,130 1,227,017 1,728,385
 Cleared  623,967 875,059 882,156 1,092,958 1,586,148
 Blyth[2]  Entered  974,285 1,094,168 1,292,353
 Cleared  1,525,727 1,623,003 1,836,503
 Sunderland  Entered  725,859 730,396 800,027 981,606 1,357,201
 Cleared  956,266 1,002,552 1,163,310 1,344,999 1,676,777
 Swansea[3]  Entered  565,644 580,481 1,018,148 635,458 1,020,480
 Cleared  858,215 931,588 1,427,903 1,335,134 1,719,654
 Leith  Entered  706,491 887,842 1,055,291 1,124,281 1,344,898
 Cleared  626,573 750,257 982,309 1,085,734 1,314,361
 Grimsby  Entered  663,513 763,892 931,238 1,094,531 1,289,476
 Cleared  689,165 829,837 960,236 1,074,495 1,334,566
 Manchester  Entered  317,625 787,497 1,133,003 1,275,937
 Cleared  288,001 595,757 970,620 1,067,835


For the purpose of showing the relative importance of British and Irish ports falling below the list, the following figures may be quoted for 1909 only: Methil, entered 824,375 tons, cleared 1,105,048 tons; Harwich, entered 792,980, cleared 776,595; Grangemouth, entered 988,007, cleared 1,064,217; Burntisland, entered 609,722, cleared 815,507; Bristol, entered 858,933, cleared 6151,266; Goole, entered 815,177, cleared 817,226; Hartlepool, entered 934,836, cleared 730,141; Newhaven, entered 385,313, cleared 376,083; Folkestone, entered 364,524, cleared 359,697; Belfast, entered 490,513, cleared 165,670; Borrowstounness (Bo'ness), entered 301,549, cleared 292,194; Dublin, entered 219,081, cleared 80,868; Cork, entered 146,724, cleared 7413; Maryport and Workington, entered 118,388, cleared 67,494. The figures for Plymouth have included vessels which call “off” the port to embark passengers, &c., by tender only since 1907; for 1909 they were: entered, 1,455,605; cleared, 1,292,244.

The table at the commencement of page 605 shows the total tonnage of vessels entered from and cleared to British possessions and foreign countries at ports in the United Kingdom, and also the nationality of vessels under British and the principal foreign flags.

  1890. 1895. 1900. 1905. 1909.
  Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons.
 Total ....  Entered  36,835,712 40,001,691 49,913,223 55,623,974 66,309,519
   Cleared  37,448,157 40,537,483 50,182,439 55,416,760 66,958,163
 British...  Entered  26,777,955 29,175,282 32,135,745 35,200,369 39,661,660
 Cleared  27,195,157 29,516,644 32,147,060 35,762,218 40,102,311
 German ...  Entered  2,161,536 1,940,353 2,966,426 4,293,769 6,766,591
 Cleared  2,230,419 1,948,284 3,060,782 4,340,284 6,754,026
 Norwegian..  Entered  2,477,936 2,604,049 3,839,602 3,392,216 4,315,870
 Cleared  2,522,865 2,660,795 3,821,969 3,387,152 4,308,221
 Swedish...  Entered  783,025 990,228 1,788,844 2,114,028 2,452,144
 Cleared  792,767 1,003,634 1,808,354 2,117,717 2,478,534
 Danish...  Entered  901,819 961,730 1,735,288 2,106,717 2,889,986
 Cleared  952,183 990,006 1,759,509 2,123,830 2,886,731
 Dutch...  Entered  952,695 1,150,098 1,600,317 1,949,161 2,272,075
 Cleared  943,196 1,156,936 1,613,450 1,957,107 2,294,584
 French...  Entered  834,039 929,250 1,417,128 1,574,395 1,640,466
 Cleared  852,935 909,493 1,405,247 1,587,762 1,663,197
 Spanish...  Entered  631,629 645,210 1,309,915 1,462,488 1,477,199
 Cleared  644,431 682,184 1,399,332 1,471,300 1,499,319
 Belgian...  Entered  449,470 551,513 804,472 936,918 1,355,135
 Cleared  423,639 537,969 797,134 920,597 1,357,668
 U.S.A....  Entered  146,721 323,700 282,152 664,360 274,241
 Cleared  145,212 332,825 277,400 675,096 280,464

Out of the following totals steam vessels had an aggregate tonnage of 30,604,578 entered and 31,080,481 cleared in 1890, and 64,327,508 entered and 64,968,655 cleared in 1909. The total tonnage of vessels entered and cleared coastwise was as follows: (1890), 47,738,612 entered, 42,317,876, cleared; (1895), 54,304,703 entered, 47,263,791 cleared; (1900), 55,828,569 entered, 54,425,666 cleared; (1905), 60,066,919 entered, 58,670,971 cleared; (1909), 60,566,043 entered, 60,060,979 cleared.

The number and gross tonnage of the registered sailing and steam vessels belonging to the United Kingdom were as follows at the end of each of the years named:—

Year. Sailing Vessels. Steam Vessels.
Number.  Gross Tonnage.  Number.  Gross Tonnage. 
1890 14,181 3,055,136 7,410 8,095,370
1895 12,617 3,040,194 8,386 9,952,211
1900 10,773 2,247,228 9,209 11,816,224
1905 10,059 1,796,826 10,552 14,883,594
1909 9,392 1,407,469 11,797 16,994,732

These figures show not only that steamers have been rapidly taking the place of sailing vessels, but also that large steamers are preferred to small, their average tonnage having increased from 1092 tons in 1895 to 1440 in 1909.


Railways.—The first ordinary roads deserving the name of highways were made about 1660, and canal-building began in the middle of the following century; but though roads and canals aided materially in raising the commercial and industrial activity of the nation, their fostering agency was very slight compared with that of railways, of which England is the birthplace. The first line of railway for regular passenger service, that from Stockton to Darlington, 14 m. in length, was opened on the 27th of September 1825. The first really important railway was the line from Manchester to Liverpool, opened on the 5th of September 1830, when William Huskisson, M.P., was accidentally killed. It took three years to get the bill for the London-Birmingham railway, which was passed at last in the session of 1833, obtaining the royal assent on the 8th of May. The first sod of the great line was cut at Chalk Farm, London, on the 1st of June 1834. Enormous engineering difficulties had to be overcome, originating not so much from the nature of the ground as from intense public prejudice against the new mode of locomotion. It took over four years to construct the railway from London to Birmingham, at a cost exceeding £4,000,000. Even friends of the railway presaged that such outlay could not by any possibility be remunerative; but the contrary became evident from the moment the line was opened on the 17th of September 1838. All the great railway systems of England sprang into existence within less than ten years after the opening of the London-Birmingham line. Out of this railway grew one of the largest companies, the London & North-Western; while the most extensive system as regards mileage, the Great Western, originated in a line from Paddington, London, to Bristol, for which an act of parliament was obtained in 1835, and which was opened in 1841. In 1836 a bill passed the legislature erecting the “Great North of England” Railway Company, from which developed the North-Eastern system. A few years later other acts were passed, sanctioning the “Midland Counties” and the “North Midland” lines, from which the present Midland system grew.

The total length of railways conveying passengers in the United Kingdom at the end of the year 1825 was 40 m., constructed at a cost of £120,000. Five years later, at the end of 1830, there were not more than 95 m., built at a cost of £849,925, but at the end of 1835 there were 293 m., costing £5,648,531. Thus, in the first five years of railway construction, from 1825 to 1830, the mileage doubled; while in the second five years, from 1830 to 1835, it trebled. It quintupled in the next five-yearly period. till the end of 1840, when the total length of miles of railway in the kingdom had come to be 1435, built at a cost of £41,391,634, as represented by the paid-up capital of the various companies. The next five years saw nearly another doubling of length of lines, for at the end of 1845 there were 2441 m. of railway created by a paid-up capital of £88,481,376. Not far from a fresh trebling took place in the course of the next quinquennial period, and at the end of 1850 there were 6621 m. of railways, constructed at the cost of £240,270,745.

The construction of railways (especially in England) was undertaken originally by a vast number of small companies, each under separate acts of parliament. But it was soon discovered that there could be neither harmonious nor profitable working of a great many systems, and this led to a series of amalgamations (see under England; Ireland; Scotland).

The number of passengers carried per mile in 1832 was 4860 but before ten more years were past the number of passengers had not only increased in proportion with the opening of new lines, but more than doubled per mile, and, instead of being under 5000, had in 1842 come to be near 12,000. In 1861 the number of passengers carried per mile of railway was 15,988; in 1876 it was 31,928; and in 1900 it was over 52,000.

The two following tables illustrate the further development of railways in the United Kingdom:—

 Year.   Mileage.   Paid-up 
 Capital. 
 Number of 
 Passengers.* 
 Traffic Receipts.   Percentage of 
 Working Expenses 
 to Receipts. 
 Total.   Per Mile. 
    £   £ £  
1860 10,433 348,130,127 163,435,678 27,766,622 2,661 47
1865 13,298 455,478,143 251,862,715 35,890,116 2,701 48
1870 15,537 529,908,673 336,545,397 43,417,070 2,794 60
1875 16,658 630,223,494 506,975,234 58,982,753 3,541 54
1880 17,933 728,316,848 603,885,025 62,961,767 3,511 51
1885 19,169 815,858,055 697,213,031 66,644,967 3,477 53
1890 20,073 897,472,026 817,744,046 76,548,347 3,313 54
1895 21,174 1,001,110,221 929,770,909 81,396,047 3,844 56
1900 21,855 1,176,001,890 1,142,276,686 98,854,552 4,523 62
1905 22,847 1,272,601,000 1,199,022,102 105,131,709 4,601 62
1909 23,280 1,314,406,000 1,265,081,000 110,682,266 4,754 62

* Excluding season-ticket holders, whose number in 1880 was 502,174; in 1900, 1,749,804; and in England and Wales alone, in 1880, 449,823; in 1900, 1,610,754.

In the next table further details are given for 1909:—

  1909.
 England and 
 Wales
 Scotland  Ireland
 Mileage of    Double or more lines. 10,746 1,580 670
 Single lines.... 5,299 2,264 2,721
  £ £ £
   Passenger traffic.. 43,919,702 5,080,603 2,204,756
 Total goods traffic .. 50,647,426 6,836,920 1,992,859
 Traffic  Including—      
Receipts   Minerals... 24,837,682 3,286,074 281,634
  General merchandise .  24,885,494 3,299,588 1,392,600
 Working expenditure.... 65,169,619 7,200,173 2,667,796
 Net receipts....... 37,979,313 5,489,579 1,667,572

In 1909 the percentage of working expenses to total receipts was 63 in England and Wales, 57 in Scotland and 62 in Ireland.

Tramways.—An act passed in 1870 to facilitate the construction of tramways throughout the country marks the beginning of their modern development. It led to the laying down of “street railways” in many large towns. According to a return laid before the House of Commons in the session of 1878, the total length of tramways authorized by parliament up to the 30th of June 1877 was 363 m., and the total length opened for traffic 213 m., comprising 125 m. of double lines and 88 m. of single lines. On the 30th of June 1900 there were in the United Kingdom 70 tramway undertakings with 585 m. of line belonging to local authorities, while 107 with 592 m. of line belonged to other than local authorities. The capital expenditure on the former amounted to £10,203,604, on the latter to £11,532,384.

The development of tramway enterprise in the United Kingdom, as shown by the mileage open, the paid-up capital, gross receipts, working expenses and number of passengers carried, has been as follows:—

 Years 
 ending 
 June 30 
 Miles 
 open. 
 Paid-up 
 Capital. 
 Gross 
 Receipts. 
 Working 
 Expenses. 
 Passengers 
 carried during 
 year. 
    £ £ £  
1890 948  13,502,026   3,214,743   2,402,800   526,369,328 
1895 982  14,111,521   3,733,690   2,878,490   661,760,461 
1900 1177  20,582,692   5,445,629   4,075,352   1,065,374,347 
1905 2117  51,501,410   9,917,026   6,565,049   2,068,913,226 
1909 2526  70,345,155   12,641,437   8,045,658   2,659,981,136 

NotesEdit

  1. Newcastle, North Shields, South Shields.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blyth was included with North Shields till 1897.
  3. Swansea included Port Talbot till 1904.