William III, 1698
An Act for makeing and keeping the River Tone navigable from Bridgwater to Taunton in the County of Somersett. [Chapter VIII. Rot. Parl. 10 Gul.III.p.I. n.8.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1820

Pages

464-469

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'William III, 1698: An Act for makeing and keeping the River Tone navigable from Bridgwater to Taunton in the County of Somersett. [Chapter VIII. Rot. Parl. 10 Gul.III.p.I. n.8.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 464-469. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46940 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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Reasons for passing this Act

Recital that John Mallett Esq., under a Commission, 13 Car. I. had made the River navigable; Recital of Letters Patent 36 Car. II. to the Heirs of the said John Mallett; and that the Interest therein of the said John Mallett and his; Heirs was vested in the Persons herein named; Reasons for passing this Act; The said Persons appointed Conservators of the said River, and may cleanse, &c. the same as herein mentioned; and may dig the Banks and other Ground, cut away Trees, &c; cut new Channels through the King's Grounds, &c., erect Bridges, Locks, &c.

Whereas the clearing and effecting of a Passage for Barges Boats and other Vessells by the River Tone from the Towne of Bridgwater in the County of Somersett to the Towne of Taunton in the said County will be very beneficiall to Trade advantagious to the Poor and convenient for the Conveyance of Coales and other Goods and Merchandizes to and from the said Towns and Parts adjacent and will be a meanes to preserve the Highwaies lying betweene the said Townes which now by continuall Carriages Carts Waggons and Wains are soe worne and broken that in the Winter they are dangerous for Travellers and very hardly to be amended and continued passable although the Parishes in which they lye are at exceeding great Charge to repaire the same And whereas John Mallett Esquire in pursuance of a Commission under the Great Seale of England granted in the Thirteenth Yeare of King Charles the First did at his very great Expence make the said River (in some sort) navigable from the said Towne of Bridgwater to certaine Mills called Ham Mills in the said County in Consideration whereof His late Majesty King Charles the Second by His Letters Patents under the Great Seale of England in the Six and thirtieth Yeare of His Reigne did grant to the Heires of the said John Mallett the sole Navigation of the said River from the said Towne of Bridgwater to Ham Mills aforesaid And whereas all the Interest of the said John Mallett and the Heires of the said John Mallett in the said River and Navigation on the same and the said Commission and Letters Patents is by good and sufficient Conveyance in the Law conveyed and assigned to and vested in John Frind Gentleman Thomas Baker Merchant Christopher Cooke Clothier Francis Hobart Merchant Charles Totterdell Clothier Jedidiah Safford Doctor of Phisick James Reed Clothier Thomas Mundy Gentleman Arthur Towell Gentleman Thomas Wescombe junior Gentleman Benjamin Risdon Gentleman Thomas Whinnell Gentleman Samuel Peacock Grocer John Amory Grocer Peter Aplin Fuller John Gray Merchant Matthew Warren Clothier Francis Newton Clothier William Smith Dyer Thomas Gunston Fuller Joseph Hellyard Gentleman Thomas Ford Clothier Joseph Way Mercer Maurice Hamond Merchant Robert Webb Clothier William Millner Malster. John Foy Vintner John Kirkpatrick Merchant Thomas Purkis Ironmonger and Thomas Butler Vintner Inhabitants of the Parishes of Taunton St. Mary Magdalene Taunton St. James Bishops Hull or Wilton in the County aforesaid who for a valuable Consideration have purchased the same And whereas for the Benefitt of Trade preserving the said Highwaies and imploying the Poor the said Purchasers are willing to undertake at their owne Expence untill they can be repaid as herein after is directed and appointed not only to maintaine and keepe the said River navigable and make it more beneficially and effectually soe from the said Towne of Bridgwater to Ham Mills and to maintaine and keepe up all Bridges and Works made or built by the said John Mallett to that end but alsoe to erect and build such other Bridges and Works as shall be necessary and alsoe to cleare and effect a Passage for Barges Boats and other Vessells from the said Ham Mills to the said Towne of Taunton Be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That the said John Frind Thomas Baker Christopher Cooke Francis Hobart Charles Totterdell Jedidiah Safford James Reed Thomas Mundy Arthur Towell Thomas Westcombe junior Benjamin Risdon Thomas Whinnell Samuel Peacock John Amory Peter Aplin John Gray Matthew Warren Francis Newton William Smith Thomas Gunston Joseph Hillyard Thomas Ford Joseph Way Maurice Hamond Robert Webb William Milner John Foy John Kirkpatrick Thomas Purkis and Thomas Butler and their Successors as herein after is mentioned shall be and are hereby declared and appointed Conservators of the said River and that they or the major Part of them shall have Power and are hereby impowered and authorized by themselves their Servants or Agents to cleanse scoure open make and keepe navigable the said River Tone from the said Towne of Bridgwater to Ham Mills aforesaid and from thence to the said Towne of Taunton and for that purpose to digg the Banks of the said River or other Ground Ditch Brooke or Streame neare thereunto adjoyning and cutt away all Trees and Roots of Trees that may be hurtfull or an Hindrance to the Passage or Navigation of Boats Barges or other Vessells on the said River and to remove any thing that shall or may be any Impediment or Stop to the clearing makeing and keeping the said Passage and alsoe to cutt and make a new Channell if occasion be through the Ground of His Majesty or any of His Subjects makeing Recompence for the same to the Owner or Owners of such Ground according to their respective Interest and Estate therein pursuant to the Directions of this Act and likewise to cutt scoure or open any other Streame or Watercourse that shall be convenient for makeing the said Passage or River navigable and alsoe to open prepare make and erect any Bridges Wharffs Locks Weares Turnpikes Pens of Water or other Works in or neare the said River or Passage that shall be fitt or necessary for the same and to bring lay and worke all Materialls requisite for the makeing erecting and repairing of the said Bridges Locks Wharffs Weares Turnpikes or other Works and makeing and keeping the said River navigable upon the Banks or Ground near the said River or Passage and alsoe to make or lay out a Path or Way on either or both Sides of the said River for Watermen Boate or Bargemen and others navigating Vessells on the said River

II. Conservators before they intermeddle with Lands to contract for Loss, &c., and if they and the Owner cannot agree; or if the Title be in an incapacitated Person,;

Sheriff of the County may, on the Request and at the Costs of Conservators, settle the same by a Jury and Examination of Witnesses, and with or without hearing of Party interested, determine the same; on Notice,; and apportion the same; Such Determination to be binding. Agreement to be put in Writing under Hand and Seal, and enrolled at the Sessions for Somersetshire; and then, upon Payment or Tender of Money; Conservators may enter with Carts, &c. and dig, &c; Jury may summon Persons, and examine them as to the Value of the Premises, &c; If on such Examination or on Summons, Parties interested do not appear, or after Appearance shall withdraw, Jury may determine Amount of Satisfaction; Such Determination good, notwithstanding Absence of Parties interested.

And because the doing of the things aforesaid may be prejudiciall to the Inheritance Possession or Profit of divers Persons Bodies Corporate or Politick that have Lands adjoyneing to the said River or Passage be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Conservators of the said River or the major Part of them before they doe meddle with the Land Inheritance or Possession of any Person or Persons Bodies Corporate or Politick shall and may contract and agree for the Losse and Damage which any of them shall or may any way receive by makeing the said Passage or River navigable or any thing concerning the same and if any of the Owners of the said Land or Persons in Possession thereof or haveing Title to the same in Possession Remainder or Reversion and the said Conservators or the major Part of them cannot agree touching the Value thereof or if the Title in Possession Remainder or Reversion of any of the said Lands be in an Infant Feme Covert Ecclesiasticall Person or Corporation or any other Person or Persons unable in Law to make a Contract concerning any of the said Lands either for the present or soe as to bind and convey the Inheritance and Fee Simple of the same that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Sheriffe for the time being of the said County and the said Sheriffe is hereby authorized and required either in Person or by his Under-sheriffe within Thirty Daies after Request by the said Conservators or the major Part of them to him for that Purpose made in Writing and at the Cost and Charges of the said Conservators by a Jury of Twenty four indifferent Men of the Neighbourhood neither interested in the said Undertakeing nor in any of the said Lands through which the said River now is or shall be made navigable and by examineing Witnesses upon Oath in the Presence of the said Jury which the said Sheriffe or Under-Sheriffe is hereby impowered to administer and upon hearing the Parties interested or any for them or on Default of their Appearance at such Inquiry without hearing them to inquire and determine appoint order and sett downe in Writing (Notice being first given by Papers publickly affixed and sett up at the Market-Crosse in the said Towne of Taunton and alsoe left at the Dwelling Houses of the severall Occupiers of the said Lands Twenty Daies at least before such Inquiry) what and how much Satisfaction and the Price and Value that every Person and Persons Body Politick [and (fn. 1) ] Corporate shall have for or in respect of the Damage and Losse by him her or them to be sustained and what Share and Proportion of Satisfaction any Tenant or any other Person haveing a particular Estate Terme or Interest in any of the said Lands shall have and receive for his her or their respective Estate Terme or Interest And the said Determination of the Price or Value soe sett downe by them shall bind all Parties Which Agreement betweene the said Conservators and the Parties interested or Determination Appointment or Order soe sett downe by the said Jury or the major Part of them shall be putt in Writing under the Hands and Seales of the said Conservators or the major Part of them and the Parties or Proprietors of the said Land upon any Agreement betweene them made or of the said Jury or the major Part of them within Four Daies after the same shall be made and declared and shall be enrolled and kept amongst the Records of the Sessions of the Peace for the said County of Somersett and that then upon Payment of such Sum or Sums of Money soe agreed upon or ordered as aforesaid or Tender thereof made with Purpose to pay the same to the severall Person or Persons or at his her or their Dwelling House or usuall Place of Abode Body Politick or Corporate to whom it shall be soe allowed adjudged and decreed it shall be lawfull to and for the said Conservators or the major Part of them their Agents or Servants and all and every Person or Persons imployed by them to enter upon the said Lands with Horses Carts Carriages and all things necessary for carrying on the said Worke and to digg any Land in or neare the Channell of the said River and make or cause to be made any Bridges Locks Weares Wharffs Turnpikes Channells Waies and Passages or to doe any other Act for which any such Agreement or Order shall be made as aforesaid And the better to enable the said Jury or the major Part of them to know sett downe and order the just and true Value of any Land that is to be cutt digged or made use of to the Ends aforesaid the said Jury or the ( (fn. 2) ) major Part of them are hereby authorized and impowered to summon any Person or Persons before them at a certaine Time and Place in such Summons to be expressed as often as it shall be necessary aswell those interested as others and to examine them and to administer an Oath for the better Discovery of the Truth therein to any Person comeing before them to give them Information concerning the same And in case on Appearance and Examination or on such Summons duely served on any of the Proprietors or Parties interested in the said Land the said Parties interested shall not appeare or after Appearance shall withdraw themselves then the said Jury or the major Part of them shall and may in the Absence of and without the Appearance of the said Parties proceed to determine sett downe and order in Writing on Parchment under their Hand and Seale or the Hand and Seale of the major Part of them what Satisfaction shall be made and paid to them respectively which Determination and Order shall be good valid and conclusive notwithstanding their Absence or not being heard and shall vest an Estate in Fee Simple in the said Conservators and their Successors or other Right Title or Interest in any Lands or Hereditaments according to the Tenor of such Order

III. Duties to be paid as herein mentioned, until Principal Money of Purchase and Money laid out, together with Interest at £ 6 per Cent. per Ann. to be repaid to the Conservators.

The said Duties to be paid at Knap Bridge; if not paid, Boat, &c. and Goods may be detained until paid; Other Duties to be paid at Coal Harbour; if not paid, Boat, &c. and Goods may be detained until paid.

And forasmuch as the makeing the said River navigable continueing and keeping the same soe hath been a great Charge to the said John Mallett and those claiming under him and will be soe to the said Conservators who have purchased the Interest of the [Heires of the (fn. 3) ] said John Mallet Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That for the reimbursing the said Conservators the principall Money of the said Purchase and what shall be laid out in the makeing or keeping the said River navigable or in makeing or repaireing Bridges over the said River or in any other Works together with Interest for the same after the Rate of Six Pounds per Centum per Annum untill the said Conservators shall be repaid the said Principall and Interest of what they have or shall disburse for the Purposes aforesaid every Boate Barge or Vessell that shall passe up the said River from the said Towne of Bridgwater or other Part of the said River to or towards the said Mills called Ham Mills shall pay to the said Conservators or such Person or Persons as by them or the major Part of them shall be impowered and appointed to receive the same a Toll not exceeding the Sum of Four Pence for every Weigh of Coals contained in every such Boate Barge or Vessell each Weigh containing Eight and forty Bushells by Heap of the Measure now used at Bridgwater which is equall in Quantity to Two Chalders or Seventy two Bushells Winchester Measure by Heap and alsoe in like Manner the further Sum of Two Pence for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize contained in every such Boate Barge or Vessell soe often and every time as such Boate Barge or Vessell shall soe passe and soe proportionably for a greater or lesser Quantity to be paid and received at a certaine Place on the said River commonly called or knowne by the Name of Knapp Bridge or Bridges and on Refusall or Default of Payment of the same it shall and may be lawfull for the said Conservators or any or either of them or the Person or Persons impowered and appointed by them to receive the same to stop arrest or detaine such Boate Barge or Vessell with all its Apparell and Tackle and all the Coals Goods Wares and Merchandizes laden in or on the same untill the said severall Sums of Four Pence for every Weigh of Coals and Two Pence for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize shall be duely answered and paid And every Boate Barge or Vessell that shall passe from the said Ham Mills or other Part of the said River to or towards the said Towne of Taunton shall alsoe pay to the said Conservators or the Person or Persons by them appointed to receive the same at the first or lowermost Lock that shall be built or made on the said River above a certaine House or Place neare the said Ham Mills commonly called or knowne by the Name of Coal-Harbour a further Toll not exceeding the Sum of Four Shillings for every Weigh of Coales contained in every such Boate Barge or Vessell which shall be from time to time sett and appointed by the said Conservators or the major Part of them and alsoe in like Manner the further Sum of Two Shillings for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize contained in every such Boate Barge or Vessell soe often and every time such Boate Barge or Vessell shall soe passe up through such Lock soe to be built or made as aforesaid and so proportionably for a greater or lesser Quantity And on Refusall or Default of Payment thereof it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Conservators or the Person or Persons soe appointed to receive the same to stop arrest and detaine such Boate Barge or Vessell with all its Apparell and Tackle and all the Coales Goods Wares and Merchandizes laden in or on the same untill the said severall Sums of Four Shillings for every Weigh of Coals and Two Shillings for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize shall be duely answered and paid

IV. Duty to be paid by Boats passing from Taunton to Bridgewater;

to be paid at the First Lock next to Taunton; and if not paid, Boats, &c. and Goods may be detained until paid; After the said Conservators have been reimbursed lite said Monies, then the Duties herein mentioned to be paid at Knap Bridge aforesaid; and also the Duties herein mentioned at the First Lock above Coal Harbour; How the said Tolls to be applied; The said Application to be annually accounted for; How Surplus of the said Monies to be applied.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That every Boate Barge or Vessell that shall passe downe the said River from the said Towne of Taunton or other part of the said River to or towards the said Towne of Bridgwater shall pay to the said Conservators or such Person or Persons as by them or the major Part of them shall be empowered and appointed to receive the same a Toll not exceeding the Sum of One Shilling for every Tun of Goods Wares and Merchandize contained in every such Boat Barge or Vessell and so proportionably for a greater or lesser Quantity soe often and every time as such Boat Barge or Vessell shall soe passe downe the said River to be paid and received at the first or uppermost Lock that shall be built or made on the said River next the said Towne of Taunton And on Refusall or Default of Payment of the same it shall or may be lawfull for the said Conservators or any or either of them or the Person or Persons impowered and appointed by them to receive the same to stop arrest and detaine such Boate Barge or Vessell with all its Apparell and Tackle and all the Coals Goods Wares and Merchandizes laden in or on the same untill the said Sum of One Shilling for every Tun of such Goods Wares and Merchandizes and soe proportionably for a greater or lesser Quantity shall be duely answered and paid And from and after the said Conservators shall have been fully reimbursed and paid the Principall and Interest after the Rate aforesaid of all Moneys advanced and which shall be expended by them respectively in purchasing the Interest of the Heires of the said John Mallett and in makeing and keeping the said River navigable from Ham Mills aforesaid to the said Towne of Taunton and maintaining and perfecting the Navigablenesse or Passage on the said River from Bridgwater aforesaid to the said Ham Mills by the Waies and Meanes herein directed then the Su[m]m of One Penny for every Weigh of Coals and the Sum of One Penny for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize contained in every such Boat Barge or Vessell passing from time to time on the said River betweene the said Ham Mills and the said Towne of Bridgwater only and no more shall be paid received and levied in manner aforesaid at Knap-Bridge or Bridges aforesaid and the Sum of One Shilling for every Weigh of Coals only and the Sum of Six Pence for every Tun of other Goods Wares and Merchandize contained in every such Boat Barge or Vessell passing from time to time on the said River betweene the said Ham Mills and the said Towne of Taunton only and no more shall be paid received and levied in manner aforesaid at the first or lowermost Lock that shall be built or made on the said River above the said Place commonly called or knowne by the Name of Coal-Harbour aforesaid And the said Tolls or Payments together with the Product of all Gifts and Grants to the Conservators of the said River shall be from time to time applied to the repairing such Bridges Weares Turnpikes Waies and Passages for haling Boats Barges or other Vessells passing on the said River as are or shall be built or made by the said Conservators for the maintaining and keeping the said River navigable and be annually accounted for as herein is directed and the Surplus of what shall be received or arise by the Meanes aforesaid shall be by the said Conservators imployed and disposed of for the only Use Benefitt and Advantage of the Poor of the said Towne of Taunton and Parishes of Taunton Saint [Mary (fn. 4) ] Magdalen and Taunton Saint James in the County aforesaid who are hereby impowered and authorized to lay out and dispose of the same in building One or more Hospitall or Hospitalls or otherwise from time to time according to their best Discretions for the better educating and maintaining such poor Children as are or shall become ( (fn. 5) ) chargeable to the Towne and Parishes aforesaid And such Hospitall or Hospitalls when built shall be governed and regulated by such Persons Rules and Orders as shall be appointed given and made from time to time by the said Conservators for the time being soe as such Rules and Orders be first approved by the Judges of Assize and Nisi prius for the County of Somerset or one of them

V. Boatmen, &c. may use Engines for drawing the Boats, &c. on the said River.

And forasmuch as at some times and in some places the Boats Barges and Vessells cannot gett up the said River without being drawne by the strength of Men Horses Winches Engines and other convenient Meanes Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and and may be lawfull to and for Watermen Boatmen Bargemen and other Helpers of them in convenient Places to have and use Winches Ropes and other Engines and with the same by the strength of Men Horses or other Cattle or either of them going on the Land or Banks neare the said River or Passage to draw or hale up Boats Barges and other Vessells through the said River or Passage doing no other harme than only by going or treading on the said Land or Banks and setting up the said Winches or other Engines or Devices

VI. Conservators to keep Accounts of Expences, &c. and of Monies received for the Passage of Boats, &c.;

The said Accounts to be brought yearly before the Bishop of Bath and Wells and other Persons herein named, who are to examine the same, and appoint the Distribution of Monies received, &c. for Payment to the said Conservators of. Monies advanced by them, &c; The said Accounts to be made up to 24th June, inclusive, yearly, and examined by the said Bishop, &c. at Quarter Sessions.; The said Bishop and other Persons may summon, and examine upon Oath, touching the said Accounts.; Duplicate of Accounts allowed to be kept amongst the Records of Sessions.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforeaid That a true and perfect Account of all Expences Costs and Charges disburst or to be disburst by the said Conservators or any of them or by their Order and of all Money by them or any of them or by any other by their Appointment to be received for the Passage of Boats Barges or Vessells on the said River or by any other meanes for the makeing and maintaining the said Passage and River navigable and repairing and makeing Bridges over the said River or any thing relating thereunto shall be duely kept and entred in a Book or Books to be provided and kept by the said Conservators for that purpose and that every Yeare the said Books and Account and the Vouchers for the same shall be brought before the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells for the time being and the Justices of the Peace for the said County for the time being or any Five or more of them at such time and place within the said Towne of Taunton or Ten Miles thereof as by them or any Three or more of them shall be appointed then and there to be examined stated corrected and allowed. And the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any Five or more of them are hereby impowered to examine state correct and allow, the said Accounts and to appoint and make Distribution of all that shall have been received that shall, not have been laid out or ordered to have been laid out for the makeing and keeping the said River navigable or the makeing or repaireing Bridges Weares Turnpikes Waies and Passages and other the Ends and Purposes aforesaid to and amongst the said Conservators their Executors Administrators or Assignes in Proportion to the Money advanced by them respectively in the first Place for the Payment and Discharge of the Interest after the Rate aforesaid due to every of them for the Money by each of them advanced and if there be and as often as there shall be any Surplus in the like Proportion for the lessening and in Discharge of the Principall so advanced by them respectively untill the whole Principall and Interest shall be paid and discharged Which Account of the Receipts of every Yeare shall end and be made up to the Twenty fourth Day of June inclusive and shall be examined stated corrected and allowed and Distribution thereupon made by the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any Five or more of them at the next generall Quarter Sessions of the Peace that shall be held for the said County of Somersett after the said Four and twentieth Day of June And the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any Five or more of them (the better to enable them to examine state and correct the said Accounts) are hereby authorized to administer an Oath and to summon before them any Person interested or not interested and examine them upon Oath touching the Truth of any Matter contained in or omitted in the said Books or Account touching any Receipts or Disbursements received or made by virtue of this Act And when the said Account of any Yeare shall have been soe examined stated and allowed by the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any, Five or more of them a Duplicate thereof shall be made signed and sealed by the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any Five or more of them and shall be transmitted to and kept amongst the Records of the Sessions of the Peace of the said County of Somersett.

VII. The said Persons and their Successors to be Conservators of the said River.

How Vacancies by Death or Removal supplied; Conservators enabled to take Grants of Land, &c.; and Persons may convey to them without Licence in Mortmain; Five Conservators may be a Committee; and may make Contracts, Leases, &c. concerning the Premises; and may sue and be sued therein; and the Majority may appoint Servants, &c. to manage the said Estates, &c., and constitute Receivers of Duties; and Officers for making and preserving the Navigation; and may appoint Salaries, &c., subject to the Correction of Bishop, &c; valid if not disallowed in Ten Days; Conservators to meet for Execution of Act . Majority of Meeting, composed as herein mentioned, may act.; Conservators may appoint Committees.

And for the better preserving and keeping the said River Tone navigable when made soe and for the makeing the same navigable Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That there shall alwaies be Conservators of the said River And that the said John Frind Thomas Baker Christopher Cooke Francis Hobart Charles Totterdell Jedidiah Safford James Reed Thomas Mundy Arthur Towell Thomas Wescombe junior Benjamin Risdon Thomas Whinnell Samuel Peacock John Amory Peter Aplin John Gray Matthew Warren Francis Newton William Smith Thomas Gunston Joseph Hillyard Thomas Ford Joseph Way Maurice Hamond Robert Webb William Milner John Foy John Kirkpatrick Thomas Purkis and Thomas Butler shall be and are hereby constituted Conservators of the said River Tone to continue during their Lives unlesse any of them shall be removed for Misbehaviour which the major Part of the said Conservators are hereby impowered to doe And when the Number of the said Conservators at any time by Death or Removall as aforesaid shall be reduced to the Number of Twenty then the surviving Conservators shall from time to time giveing Six Daies Notice in Writing to be affixed on the Markett-Crosse in the said Towne of Taunton whereof Proclamation shall be then made in open Markett assemble and by the major part of them soe assembled shall choose other Persons to be joyned to themselves to be Conservators of the said River Tone soe as to make up the Number of the said Conservators Thirty And the said Conservators are hereby enabled by the Name of Conservators of the River Tone in the County of Somersett to take and receive any Gift Legacy or Grant of Goods Chattells Money or Lands in Fee or for any other Estate or Terme for the Uses aforesaid And it shall be lawfull for any Person or Persons to convey any Estate or Estates to the said Conservators and their Successors without Licence to alien in Mortmaine And the said Conservators or the major Part of them or any Five of them being appointed by the major Number of them to be a Committee for transacting any thing relating to the Ends aforesaid shall or may in Writing under their Hands and Seales make any Contract or Agreement Lease or Bargaine with any Person or Persons Body Politick or Corporate touching or concerning the Premisses which Contracts Agreements and Leases shall be good and valid in the Law and bind as well the whole Body of the said Conservators and the Payments hereby enacted to be made for Passage or Navigation on the said River and all the Estate Reall and Personall which the said Conservators shall be possessed or seized of to the Uses aforesaid as themselves and all other Persons makeing and signeing the same And the said Conservators shall or may sue or be sued on such Contracts by the said Name of the Conservators of the River Tone in the County of Somersett And the said Conservators are hereby impowered by the major Number [of Votes (fn. 6) ] of themselves to appoint Servants and Officers to manage Estates which shall or may be given to or purchased by the said Conservators and constitute Receivers of the said Duties granted by this Act to be taken and levied on Boats Barges and Vessells passing on the said River and also a Cashire or Treasurer and to take Security of them for their true and faithfull Account and Payment of the said Money from time to time as they shall be directed by the said Conservators pursuant to this Act and alsoe to appoint and constitute any other Officer or Officers Agent or Agents Servant or Servants that shall be necessary for the makeing and preserving the said River navigable and the same Receivers Cashires Treasurers Officers Agents and Servants to remove and others to place and constitute in their Roomes at their good pleasure and alsoe to appoint what Salary Wages or Reward shall be by them respectively received on such Appointment neverthelesse the Salary Wages or Reward to be subject to the Correction of the said Lord Bishop and Justices or any Five or more of them at their first Meeting for the examineing the Accounts of the said Conservators after any of the said Receivers Cashires Treasurers Officers Agents or Servants shall be appointed and being corrected or allowed by them or if not within Ten Daies disallowed by them shall be valid and shall be allowed the said Conservators in their Account of Disbursements and the said Conservators are hereby required diligently to apply themselves to the makeing and preserving the said River navigable and to that end to assemble and meet as often as there shall be occasion and when at any time the said Conservators shall have been summoned or notice has been given them of a Meeting or Assembly of the said Conservators intended to be had for the ends aforesaid then the major number of them that shall meete in such Assembly not being lesse than the major part of the whole Number then liveing shall and are hereby impowered to act and execute all the Powers placed in them as Conservators of the said River And for the more easie dispatch of Businesse it shall be lawfull for the said Conservators to appoint Committees of themselves or authorize any particular Number of them to transact any matter or thing for or touching the Worke Undertaking and Service aforesaid and what shall be done by such Committees or particular Number soe impowered shall be good valid and binding as well to the said Conservators as others.

VIII. In Actions for executing Act, General Issue may be pleaded.; Double Costs.

Provided alwaies and be it enacted That if any Person or Persons shall at any time be sued or prosecuted for any thing by him or them done or executed in pursuance of this Act he and they shall and may plead the Generall Issue and give this Act or any other speciall Matter or Thing in Evidence for his Defence And if upon the Tryall a Verdict shall passe for the Defendant or Defendants or the Plaintiffe or Plaintiffs be nonsuited then such Defendant or Defendants shall have Double Costs to him or them awarded against such Plaintiffe or Plaintiffs

IX. This Act a Public Act.; Mayors, &c. to aid Conservators and their Officers.

And this Act shall be taken and allowed in all Courts within this Kingdome as a Publick Act And all Judges and Justices are hereby required as such to take Notice thereof without speciall pleading the same And all Mayors Justices Sheriffs Bayliffs Constables and all other Officers and Ministers of Justice are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said Conservators and to all such Officers Servants and Workmen as shall be imployed by them or any of them in the Execution of this Act or any of the Powers and Authorities hereby given.

Footnotes

1 1 or O.
2 1 the O.
3 interlined on the Roll.
4 interlined on the Roll.
5 to O.
6 or Vote O.