Peter McGow of Croydon was kind enough to write in following the article in the last Newsletter about William Jessop. He writes:
"The extract quoted in Newsletter No.38, containing William Jessop's remarks regarding the water supply for a proposed canal, and read at a meeting held at Wandsworth on 3 June 1802, was indeed taken from his report dated 9 December 1799. He had been engaged to consider a scheme for a canal from Wandsworth to Croydon but, for the reasons quoted, was unable to recommend it. His alternative proposal for a railway in due course resulted in the building of the Surrey Iron Railway. Copies of his report, together with the minutes of subsequent meetings, are held at the Surrey History Centre and the London Metropolitan Archives.
The meeting of 3 June 1802 was the first annual general meeting of the Surrey Iron Railway Company, and the members present gave consideration to a proposal to extend the railway from Croydon to Portsmouth. The extracts from Jessop's report were taken, somewhat out of context, to support an argument against a rival proposal recently put forward, for an extension of the Croydon Canal from Croydon to Portsmouth. A copy of the minutes of this meeting, together with those of later meetings, is held by the British Library. Later proceedings led to the adoption of the first part of the extension, as the Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway."
That makes much more sense of the date, and puts the extract in context.