Death of The Duke
The work involved in creating the Bridgewater Canal by the 6th Earl and 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, left him heavily in debt for most of his working life. It was only in his later years when the Canal and other activities began to yield marked results that he was able to benefit from the fruits of his labour. He was truly the father of inland navigation, as inscribed on the lasting memorial to him, facing Ashridge, the ancestral home of the Bridgewater’s in Hertfordshire
On the death of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater in 1803, his will left the canal and mines to a trust of three to run for “as long as the lives of all the Peers of the House of Lords and of their sons who were living at the time of the Duke’s death and for a further 21 years as allowed by law”. It did in fact function for 100 years to 1903 although the navigation part of the Trusteeship was sold to Bridgewater Navigation Co Ltd, in 1872 and completed in 1874.
Lord Francis Leveson-Gower, a beneficiary, came to live at Worsley in 1837. He changed his name to Lord Francis Egerton in accordance with the will, and he received the title of Earl of Ellesmere in 1846.