"Before giving some account of those railways which affected our Common. reference must be made to a most attractive scheme which never came into being. It is too interesting and bizarre to omit. In 1825 rival plans were drawn up for the construction of a 'Grand Imperial Ship Canal' to link London with Portsmouth. Sailing round by sea could take up to twelve days, and it was estimated that the largest ships afloat' would use this canal and thus be able to make the journey in less than 24 hours. Fresh food and farm produce could be brought to London, bypassing the awful local roads, shipwrecks could be avoided, and, in time of war, should such arise, goods and equipment could be taken to the naval base at Portsmouth rapidly and without risk. George Rennie and his brother, John the Younger, submitted plans for this splendid project. Their prospectus detailed an 86 mile stretch of canal, 3OO feet wide, 24 feet deep, from Deptford via Merton, Chessington, Epsom Common, Guildford, Alfold and Loxwood to the Arun valley, thence to Langstone Harbour: estimated cost £7 million. A rival set of proposals took the canal by a slightly different route on its southern reaches, but this too would have crossed Epsom Common entering it at a point most oddly described as 'The Gate on Epsom Common'. The whole thing however came to nothing and created little other than recrimination between the rival builders. One can't help regretting this. The vision of large ships placidly crossing our Common and passing all those bramble bushes, crab-apple trees, wild roses and furze patches is very attractive."
"From Merton Road to Tolworth Court, across Merton Common and the Hogg Mill River, leaving Cannon Hill, Maiden Church, Mr. Taylor's Powder Mills, Worcester Park and Ewell to the left, the ground is remarkably level, and chiefly consists of meadow and arable land, without interfering with a single house or enclosure, through a clay soil with marl earth. From Tolworth Court over Horton Manor to Epsom Common, the land rises progressively to the summit valley on Epsom Common: (here millions of tons of the finest chalk can be brought to London, for brick-making, whitening, &c. at a small expence.) Between Tolworth Court and Epsom Common I recommend three locks to be placed, which will at once raise to and extend the summit level to twenty miles. From Epsom Common to Leatherhead Bridge, the line runs through Horton Wood, about two miles of open common and some meadow and arable land, and one or two small enclosures: the understrata consists of chalk, brick earth and clay soil. At Leatherhead Bridge the summit level will require filling and embanking for nearly a mile, which will give an opportunity of passing the Mole River under the bed of the Canal: here the line strikes through two enclosures up Mickleham Vale, passing the East side of Norbury Park to Dorking Mill Pond, without being obstructed."
"[Mr Cundy] having obtained a licence from the lord chamberlain to commence performances at the Pantheon Theatre, had laid out a very large sum in putting the theatre into such a state as to make it fit for the reception of the company. The whole was conducted by Mr. Cundy in such a manner as to give great satisfaction to those who attended the performances. In the midst, however, of his prosperous career, an injunction was issued by the lord chamberlain to discontinue these theatrical representations. Mr. Cundy had expended between £50 and 60,000, and without any reason being assigned the injunction was issued. Mr. Cundy had been harassed by criminal informations, and had been totally ruined, arrested, and cast into gaol, where he remained for three or four years, and at last was liberated under the Insolvent act, and all this without any reason but the caprice of the lord chamberlain, by whom the injunction was issued, which reduced this gentleman in an instant to beggary".
"Cundy's Line, as it was called, but who has now nothing to do with it, has been very much improved by Mr. Mills, the engineer. The nine miles of embankment have been got rid of; so also has the formidable cutting of Box-hill. The marshes the engineer has prudently left to the undisturbed possession of their proper inhabitants, the quacking tribes and the frogs, and has taken more elevated, and consequently more solid ground. By this means he has much improved the gradients."