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The Act authorising the construction of the Darlington to Stockton railway, received royal assent on 19th April 1821. So the song was probably written soon thereafter. However some sections of the route were outside the 'limits of deviation' imposed by the original Act, and so a further application to Parliament was necessary, Royal Assent being given on 23 May 1823. http://www.haggerleases.co.uk/history_1.html.

 

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