Julyan to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Office of The Agents-General for Crown Colonies,
5, Cannon Row, Westminster
23 December 1858
In accordance with the instructions contained in your letter to Mr Barnard of the 2nd Instant, 1 I have now the honor to enclose estimates, amounting to £223, for the Mill gear and Lithographic Press, ordered by you on the requisition of Captn Gosset the Treasurer of British Columbia.
These estimates have been obtained from Mr Fenn of Newgate St 2 agreeably to Captain Gosset's suggestion, and they exceed by £23 the sum authorized by your letters; but as Mr Fenn is not himself a maker of Mill Machinery we may in all probability obtain it at less cost by going direct to the manufacturer. I do not therefore write this with the view ofobtainingManuscript image obtaining your sanction for the disbursement of the small additional sum, but I feel called upon to point out what I consider the uselessness of complying with that part of the demand which refers to the "Skeleton gear of a powerful Water Wheel."
There are many varieties of the Water Wheel, both as regards size, or power, and description. There is the Overshot, Undershot, Horizontal &c, varying from 3 to 76 feet in diameter, but the requisition gives us no idea of the fluid or size wanted in this instance, and I should infer that Captain Gosset was himself in ignorance as to the requirements of the locality where the operation of sawing is to becarriedManuscript image carried out. Under these circumstances I most respectfully submit that it will be a mere waste of money to send out the Skeleton of a powerful wheel. I have had some experience with Saw Mills in the Backwoods of America and I never heard of the slightest difficulty occuring in getting a Water Wheel made on the spot by an ordinary Carpenter, (that most commonly used is a small horizontal wheel made almost entirely of wood) nor is there any difficulty to be apprehended, in my opinion, in getting a similar wheel made in British Columbia, if it be really required.
It occurs to me however that the Steam Carriage (Boydell's) 3 already sent you with the DetachmentofManuscript image of Royal Engineer's, and which most practical men agree in thinking will not answer the purpose it was intended for, in a new Country without roads; (it was found most difficult to keep it in working order in Woolwich Yard) might with little or no ingenuity be profitably employed to drive the Circular Saws which Captn Gosset requires; and the adoption of this plan would entirely supersede the use of Water power. But under no circumstances would it appear necessary to send out the "Skeleton Wheel. I would therefore submit for your consideration whether it will not be better to furnish such things only ascannotManuscript image cannot be made on the spot, vizt Saws, Axles, Pullies, and Driving Bands, with the Tools generally used in working a Saw Bench, and a Lithographic Press.
I should have had some hesitation in making this proposal were it not that my views are acquisced in, and fortified by the opinion of, Mr Anderson the Inspector of Machinery at the Royal Arsenal, a practical Engineer of high standing to whom I referred the question and whose reply is herewith enclosed.
I have etc.
Penrose G. Julyan
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
There seems to be much reason in these suggestions with respect to the Water Wheel—and, if concurred in, the Agent may be authorized to procure & send out the Articles specified, Saws, Axles etc—with the Lithographic Press, and this letter may be transmitted to the Govr as explanatory of theManuscript image objections to complying with the requisition in regard to the Wheel?
VJ 27 Dec
TFE 28 Dec
Sir Edward
1. Proceed as proposed by the Colonial Agent?
2. I sd forward a copy of this letter to the Govr with an instruction to him to inform Capt Gosset of the contents. It will be a lesson to him to be more moderate and accurate in his requirements & statements.
C D 31
Returned the 12 Jan.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Julyan, 15 January 1859, confirming specified articles only, not skeleton gear of water wheel.
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 5, 15 January 1859.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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John Anderson to Julyan, 20 December 1858, stating that "nothing is more unwise than sending out Machinery to out of the way places on the very small Chance of getting it put in operation."
  1. A draft of this letter appears in Trevelyan to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 17 November 1858, 11799, CO 60/2, p. 295.
  2. Fenn was a tool manufacturer with offices at 104 Newgate Street, London. Cf. Gosset to Under-Secretary of State, 1858, 10965, CO/3, p. 120. Get Biog Dir ??
  3. Boydell's traction engine was patented on 30 May 1854. The Gazette for 28 December 1858 noted that Col. Moody shipped "a two 7-inch cylinder Boydell's traction engine, of 10 horse-power, and endless railway cars adapted for the rough roads of that colony." Source?? See AR 1854, p. 581.
People in this document

Anderson, John

Barnard, Edward

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Elliot, Thomas Frederick


Gosset, William Driscoll

Jadis, Vane

Julyan, Penrose Goodchild

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Moody, Richard Clement

Places in this document

British Columbia