The Key Men

The major figures in the story of the building of the Regent's Canal


The key players who made the Regent's Canal happen are not all famous today. Some are more remembered for their other achievements in life than for their contribution to transport. With the exception of Homer, the Directors seem to have worked well together as a team of very able men who overcame enormous difficulties, mostly related to money, to ensure that the canal was completed. Also included here are a couple of players who made things more difficult or who played a key role outside the company. No one man can claim sole credit for the Regent's Canal, so they are in alphabetical order.

William Agar

Agar was the landowner who caused the most difficulty for the canal company.

Sir Thomas Bernard 1750-1818

Bernard was a philanthropist and campaigner for much of his life.

Col. John Drinkwater

Drinkwater played a critical role in managing the financial crises of the company in the second half of the decade ending 1820.

Thomas Homer

Thomas Homer was the man who had the idea.

The Earl of Macclesfield

Charles Monro 1757-1821

James Morgan

Morgan was a long-term assistant to John Nash and, along with Nash, was appointed as joint architect to the department of Woods and Forests.

John Nash

Nash was an architect who remains famous for his Regency terraces and the transformation of parts of London. Nash gave us Regent Street, Oxford Circus, Regent's Park, Marble Arch and so much more. His legacy is vast. He was an early supporter of the Regent's Canal.

Nicholas Vanisaart

As Chancellor of the Exchequer from 18 to 18 Vanisaart played a role that made all the difference.