Statutes of the Realm: Volume 6, 1685-94. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Reasons for passing this Act.
Whereas the free and easie intercourse and means of conveying and carrying Goods and Merchandizes from one Markett Towne to another contributes very much to the advancement of Trade increase of Wealth and raiseing the value of Lands as well as to the ease and convenience of the Subject in general For which ends therefore divers good and necessary Laws have been heretofore made for the enlargeing repairing and amending the Highways and Common Roads of this Kingdom Notwithstanding which Laws the same are not in many parts sufficiently amended and repaired but remain almost impassible All which is occasioned not only by reason of some Ambiguities in the said Laws but by want of a sufficient Provision to compel the execution of the same. For remedy whereof Be it enacted by the King and Queens most excellent Majesties by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by Authority of the same That all and every Law and Statute now in force for or touching the enlargeing repaireing and amending Highways and Common Roads and every Article and thing in them contained and not herein and hereby altered or repealed shall be duely put in execution according to the Tenour of the said Laws and under the Penalties therein contained to be raised levied and disposed of as in and by the said Laws is directed.
II. Parishioners annually to make a List of sufficient Persons upon 26th of December.
List to be returned to two or more Justices on 3d January, &c.; Justices to hold a Special Sessions, where they shall nominate one or more to be Surveyors of the Highways.; Constable to serve the Nomination.; From thenceforth such Nominees to be Surveyors.; Nominee refusing, &c.; Penalty, £5.; Justices may appoint other Persons.; such other Persons refusing, Penalty, £5.; Constables &c. not returning a List; Penalty, 20.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from henceforth upon the Six and twentieth day of December in every yeare unlesse that Day shall be Sonday and then on the Seven and twentieth the Constables Headboroughs Tythingmen Churchwardens Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways and Inhabitants in every Parish shall assemble together and the major part of them as are so assembled shall make a list of the Names of a competent number of the Inhabitants in their Parish who have an Estate in Lands Tenements or Hereditaments in their owne right or their Wives of the value of Ten pounds by the yeare or a personal Estate of the value of One hundred pounds or are Occupiers or Tenants of Houses Lands Tenements or Hereditaments of the yearely value of Thirty pounds if any such there be Or if there be no such persons in the Parish then the said List to be of the most sufficient Inhabitants of such Parish and shall returne such List unto two or more of the Justices of the Peace in or neare the Division of the County in which their Parish lies att a Speciall Sessions to be held for that purpose within the said Division on the Third day of January next following unlesse it shall happen on a Sunday and then to be the Fourth of the same Month or within Fifteen days after For which purpose the said Justices are hereby authorized and required to hold a Special Sessions att some place within that Division where the Parish lies and to give notice of the time and place where they intend to hold the same to the Constables Headboroughs Tythingmen Churchwardens and Surveyors of the Highways of every Parish within the said Division att least Ten days before the holding of the said Sessions And the said Justices shall then and there out of the said Lists according to their discrecion and the largenesse of the Parish by Warrant under their Hands and Seales nominate and appoint one two or more as they shall think fitt and approve of being of like sufficiency as aforesaid to be Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways of every Parish within the Division or for any Helmet Precinct Liberty Tything or Town of and in the same Division for the yeare ensuing Which nomination and appointment shall by the Constables Headboroughs Tythingmen or Surveyors of the Highways for the time being or some of them be notified to the person or persons so nominated chosen and appointed by the said Justices within Six days after such nomination by serving him or them with the said Warrant or Warrants or by leaving the same or a true copy thereof att his or their Houses or usual places of abode And from thenceforth the person or persons so nominated and appointed shall be Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways for the Parish Towne Village Hamlet Precinct or Tything for which he shall have been so nominated chosen and appointed for the yeare ensueing and shall take upon him and them respectively and duely execute the said Office according to the Laws and Statutes heretofore made for the enlargeing amending or repaireing of Highways and also this present Act And if the said persons so nominated and served with the said Warrant shall refuse or neglect so to do he or they so refuseing and neglecting shall forfeit the Sum of five pounds to be levied on his or their Goods and Chattels by Distresse and Sale of the same by Warrant under the Hand and Seale of two or more Justices of the Peace of the same Division or in default thereof any neighbouring Justices of the Peace for the said County which Warrant the said Justices are hereby impowered and required to make upon Information of any one credible Witnesse upon Oath the one Moiety of which said Forfeiture shall go to him that shall informe and the other Moiety for and towards the Repair of the Highways of the same Parish rendring the Overplus if any be to the Partie or Parties whose Goods shall be distrained the Charges of the Distresse and Sale being first deducted And in case of such neglect or refusal as aforesaid the said Justices are hereby impowered to nominate and appoint some other fit person or persons to performe the said Office who upon like notice of such nomination and appointment shall take upon him or them and duely execute the said Office and if he or they neglect or refuse so to do shall forfeit the like Sum of five pounds to be levied and disposed of as aforesaid And if the Constables Headboroughs Tythingmen Churchwardens and Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways of any Parish Towne Liberty or Precinct or some of them shall not returne the said List of Names in such manner as in this Act is directed every of them so neglecting shall forfeit the Sum of twenty shillings to be levied in the manner and imployed to the Uses aforesaid.
III. Laying Timber &c. in the Highway.; Penalty, 5s.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That no person or persons whatsoever shall lay in any Highway not being twenty Foot broad any Stone Timber Straw Dung or other matter whereby the same shall be [any ways (fn. 1) ] obstructed or annoyed on pain to forfeit for every such offence the Sum of five shillings to be levied and disposed of as is aforesaid.
IV. Owner of Land adjoining to take away Timber, &c. lying in the Highway.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any Timber Stone Hay Straw Stubble or other matter for the makeing of Dung or on any other pretence whatsoever shall be laid in any such Highway as aforesaid whereby the same shall be any ways obstructed or annoyed the Owners or Possessors of the Lands next adjoyning to the same shall clear the said Way by removeing the said Timber Stone Hay Straw Dung or other matter and have take and dispose of the same to his and their owne use And if any such Owner or Occupier of Lands next adjoyneing to the said Highways shall neglect to cleare the said Ways of the said Nuisances or to cleanse or scower their Ditches Gutters and Drains adjoyning to the said Highways or cause the Earth taken out thereof to be carried away and lay sufficient Trunks Tunnels or Bridges where any Cart-ways are into the said Grounds for the space of Ten days after notice to him her or them given by the said Surveyors or any of them he she or they so neglecting shall for every such Offence forfeit the Sum of Five shillings to be levied and disposed of in manner aforesaid.
V. Owner not grubbing up Trees, &c.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That no Tree Bush or Shrub shall be permitted to [stand or (fn. 2) ] grow in any Highway not full twenty foot broad but the same shall be cut downe grubbed upp and carried away by the Owner or Owners of the Land or Soyl where the same doth or shall stand or grow within Ten days after Notice to him or them given by the said Surveyors or any of them on Pain to forfeit for every neglect the Sum of Five shillings to be levied and disposed as is aforesaid.
VI. Possessors of Land adjoining Highways to prune the Hedges.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Possessors of the Land next adjoyning to such Highways where they are not Twenty foot broad shall from time to time and att all times keep their Hedges plasht cut or pruned so as no Tree Bush or Shrub shall stand or grow in such Highway nor any Bough or Branch be suffered to hang over the same or any part thereof but the said Hedges shall be kept cut and pared right upp from the Roots and not permitting in any sort to spread into or hang over the Highway or any part thereof to the end that there may be a free and clear passage for Travellers and all sorts of Carriages loaden without being [any ways (fn. 3) ] prejudiced or obstructed by any Hedges Trees Boughs or Branches whatsoever and that the Sun may freely shine into the said Ways to dry and amend the same.
VII. Surveyor to present the State of the Highways to a Justice every Four Months.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid That every Surveyor of the Highways appointed as in and by this Act is directed shall within fourteen days next after his first acceptance of the said Office and so from time to time every foure months dureing his being Surveyor take a view of all the Roads Common Highways Water-Courses Bridges Cawseys and Pavements within the Parish Towne Village Hamlet Precinct or Tything for which he is appointed Surveyor that are to be repaired by the said Parish Towne Village Hamlet Precinct or Tything and shall make a Presentment upon Oath in what state and condition he finds the same respectively to some Justice of the Peace of the same Division if then resident there otherwise to some neighbouring Justice of the Peace for the said County and in default thereof shall incur the Penalty aforesaid as if he or they had refused or neglected to accept and execute the said Office unlesse he shall have some reasonable excuse for omitting the same to be allowed by two Justices of the Peace of the same Division of the County or in default thereof by the Two neighbouring Justices And what defaults or annoyances they shall find in any of the said Highways Cawseys Bridges Ditches Hedges Trees Watercourses Dreyns or Gutters next adjoyning to the same they shall from time to time the next Sunday immediately after Sermon ended give publick Notice of the same in the Parish Church and if the same shall not be removed repaired and amended within thirty days after such Notice given that then the said Surveyor or Surveyors of the said Highways shall within thirty days remove repaire and amend the same and dispose of the same annoyances to and for the repair of the said Highways and the said Surveyor and Surveyors shall be reimbursed what Charges and Expences they shall be att in so doing by the parties who should have done the same And in case the said parties shall upon demand refuse or neglect to pay the said Surveyors their said charges then the said Surveyors shall apply him or themselves to any Justice of the Peace within the Division of the County wherein such Highway is and in default thereof to any [neighbouring (fn. 2) ] Justice for the said County and upon his or there making Oath before such Justice of the Notice to the Defaulter in manner aforesaid which Oath the said Justice is impowered and required to administer that then the said Surveyors shall be repaid all such their charges as shall be allowed to be reasonable by the said Justice to be levied in manner aforesaid.
VIII. Petty Sessions held every Four Months to receive Presentments, and take Accounts of Surveyors.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid That the Justices of the [Peace (fn. 2) ] of every County shall in their respective Divisions once in foure months hold a special Sessions and shall thereunto summon all the Surveyors of the Highways within that Division to come before them and shall give them a charge to do their duty and declare to them what they are obliged to do by virtue of this or any former Act after which the said Surveyors of the Highways shall make a Presentment to them upon Oath which Oath the said Justices are hereby impowered to give of the state and condition of the Highways within their respective Parishes Townes Villages Hamlets Precincts or Tythings for which they are appointed Surveyors and what offences and neglects any are guilty of contrary to the meaning of this or any other Statute made concerning the Highways or any thing relateing thereunto And before any Surveyor of the Highways shall go out of or be discharged from his Office he shall att some such special Sessions of the said Justices to be held as aforesaid give an account upon Oath of all money that has come to his hands which [ought (fn. 2) ] to be employed in amending of the Highways and how he hath disposed of the same And in case any moneys shall remaine in his hands he shall deliver the same to the Surveyors of the Highways that shall serve for the same Parish Town Village Hamlett Precinct or Tything for the yeare ensueing and in case of failure to forfeit the double value of what shall be judged to be in his hands by the said Justices to be levied and disposed of as is aforesaid.
IX. Surveyors neglecting Duty; Penalty 40s.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any Surveyor of the Highways after his acceptance of his said Office shall neglect his Duty in any thing required of him by this Act he shall forfeit for every such Offence the Sum of Forty shillings to be levied and disposed of as is aforesaid.
X. Justices of Peace neglecting Duty.; Penalty £5.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Justice of the Peace shall neglect or refuse to do what is required of him by this Act such Justice so neglecting or refuseing shall forfeit the Sum of Five pounds one moiety whereof shall go to the person that shall sue for the same the other moiety to be employed to and for the repaire and [amendent (fn. 4) ] of the Highways of the Parish where the person who shall sue for the same inhabits to be recovered in any of Their Majesties Courts of Record by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Informac[i]on in which no Priveledge Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed or more then one Imparlance.
XI. Surveyors may make new Ditches, &c. in Land adjoining.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Surveyors of the Highways aforesaid where the Ditches and Drains already made are not sufficient to carry off the Waters that lies upon the Highways to make new Ditches and Drains in and through the Lands next adjoyning to the said Highways and keep them scoured cleansed and open and come upon any of the said Lands with their Workmen for so doeing.
XII. Surveyors laying out Money for Gravel, Stones, &c. to be repaid by an equal Rate to be levied by Distress.
And whereas divers Parishes and Towneships have not any Gravel Stones Quarries nor any other Materials fitting or convenient for the amending or repaireing of the Highways within the said Parishes and Towneships by reason whereof the Surveyors of the Highways of such Parishes and Towneships are forced to lay out their [owne (fn. 5) ] money for the buying of such Materials as are necessary for that purpose and there being no p[ro]vision made in or by any Law now in force for the reimbursing the said Surveyors the moneys they have so laid out For remedy whereof Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That upon notice given by the Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways to the Justices of the Peace att their Special Sessions & Oath made of what Sum or Sums of money he or they have or hath so laid [out (fn. 5) ] & expended upon amending and repairing of the said Highways the Justices of the Peace or any two of them att their Special Sessions are hereby impowered by Warrant under their Hands and Seals to cause an equal rate to be made for the reimbursing the said Surveyor or Surveyors the moneys by him or them laid out as aforesaid upon all the Inhabitants of such Parish or Towneships where such moneys are so expended according to the rules & methods prescribed in an Act of Parliament made in the Three and fourtieth yeare of the Reigne of the late Queen Elizabeth intituled An Act for the better relief of the Poor of this Kingdom which Rate being confirmed and allowed by the said Justices in their Special Sessions shall be collected and gathered by the said Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways And if any person or persons refuse to pay the moneys so assessed on him or them that then the same shall be levied by the said Surveyors by Distresse and Sale of the Goods and Chattells of the persons so refuseing, rendring to the party the Overplus reasonable Charges for makeing the said Distresse first to be deducted.
XIII. Fines of 5 Eliz. c. 13. to be paid to the Surveyor and not returned into the Exchequer.
And whereas in pursuance of the Statute made in the Fifth yeare of the Reigne of the late Queen Elizabeth many Parishes and Places are oftentimes presented upon the knowledge and view of a Justice of Peace or otherwise for not repairing and amending their Highways and the Fines imposed and sett on such p[re]sentments and other Fines and Issues for not repaireing and amending the Highways are returned into the Court of Exchequer or other Courts and such Fines and Issues against such Parishes for not amending their Highways are levied on some particular Inhabitants of such Parishes or Places and there being no provision made for the makeing of a Rate to reimburse such particular Inhabitants Be it therefore further enacted by the authority aforesaid That no Fine Issue Penalty or Forfeiture shall hereafter be returned into the Court of Exchequer or other Court but shall be levied and paid into the Hands of the Surveyors of such Parish or Place to be applyed towards the repaire and amendment of such Highway And that if any Fine Penalty or Forfeiture imposed on any Parish or Place for not repaireing the Highways shall hereafter be levied on any one or more of the Inhabitants of such Parish or Place that then such Inhabitant or Inhabitants shall make his or their Complaint to the Justics of the Peace at their Special Sessions and the said Justics or any Two of them are hereby impowered and authorized by Warrant under their Hands and Seales to cause a Rate to be made according to the forme and manner aforesaid for the reimbursing such Inhabitant or Inhabitants the moneys so levied on him or them as aforesaid which Rate so made and confirmed by two Justics as aforesaid shall be collected & levied by the Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways of such Parish or Place so presented [or (fn. 5) ] indicted as aforesaid and the said Surveyor or Surveyors shall within one month next after the makeing and confirmeing the Rate aforesaid pay unto the Inhabitant or Inhabitants such money so levied on him or them as aforesaid.
XIV. All Cartways to be Eight Feet wide.
And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid That the Surveyors of the Highways shall and are hereby required to make every Cart-way leading to any Markett-Towne eight foot wide att the least and as neare as may be even and level.
XV. Inhabitants within the Weekly Bills, what Carts they may use.
Provided always and be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Inhabitant of any of the Parishes within the Weekely Bills of Mortality who dwells of from the pavement or uses his Carts as well off as upon the pavement And to and for any Brewer and to and for any Scavenger or other person imployed in carrying away the dirt and soyle of the Streets Lanes and Allies to make use of any Cart Carr or Dray with Wheels shod with Iron and narrower then six inches in the Felleys and drawne with more then two Horses Any Act of Parliament Law or Usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
XVI. Justices may in Sessions order an Assessment to be made to repair the Ways.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That where the Justics of the Peace of any County City Borough or other place or the major part of them att their General [or (fn. 6) ] Quarter Sessions shall be fully satisfied that the Co[m]mon Highways Causeys Bridgs Streets or Pavements within any Parish Towneshipp Hamlett or other place within their respective Jurisdiction cannot otherwise be sufficiently amended repaired paved cleansed and supported by means of the Laws now in force without the help of this present Act in all such cases one or more Assessement or Assessements upon all and every the Inhabitants Owners and Occupiers of Lands Houses Tenements and Hereditaments or any Personal Estate usually rateable to the Poor within any such Parish Towneship Hamlett or other place shall be made levied collected and allowed by such person and persons and in such manner as the said Justics by their Order att such Sessions shall direct and appoint in that behalf And the money thereby raised shall be employed and accompted for according to the Orders and Directions of the said Justics for and towards the amending repairing paving cleansing and supporting such Highways Causeys Streets Pavements and Bridgs from time to time as need shall require And the said Assessments shall be levied by distresse and sale of the Goods of every person so assessed (not paying the same within ten days after demand) rendring the overplus of the value of the Goods so distrained to the Owner and Owners thereof (the necessary charges of making and selling such distresse being first deducted).
XVII. Assessment not to exceed 6d. in the Pound.
Provided neverthelesse and be it enacted That no such Assessment or Assessements to be made in any one yeare shall exceed the rate of Six pence in the pound of the yearely value of any Lands Houses Tenements and Hereditaments so assessed nor the rate of Six pence for Twenty pounds in Personal Estate.
XVIII. Persons aggrieved may appeal to Quarter Sessions.
Provided always That if any person or persons shall find him or themselves agrieved with any Assessement or Rate or other Act by the said Justics of Peace That then it shall be lawfull for the Justics of the Peace at their General Quarter Sessions or the greater number of them to take such Order therein as to them shall be thought convenient and the same to conclude and bind all the said Parties.
XIX. Limitation of Prosecution.
Provided also That no person shall be punished for any Offence against this Act unlesse such Offender be p[ro]secuted for the same within Six Months after the Offence co[m]mitted and that no person who shall be punished for any Offence by virtue of this Act shall be punished for the same Offence by virtue of any other Act or Law whatsoever.
XX. Breadth of Horse Cawseys.
XXI. Middlesex Justices may make Rates to pave Kensington.
And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Justics of the Peace of the County of Middlesex att their General Quarter Sessions to make rates for the paving the Towne of Kensington within the said County (in all such places thereof as they shall think convenient and to amend repair and cleanse the same) upon old Streets and Houses as well as new in such manner as is directed by one Act made in the Second yeare of Their Majesties Reigne for paving and cleansing the Streets in the Cities of London and Westminster.
XXII. No Certiorari on any Order, &c. upon this Act.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all matters concerning Highways Causeys Pavements and Bridgs menc[i]ed in this Act shall be determined in the County where the same do lie and not elsewhere And that no Presentment Indictment or Order made by virtue of this Act shall be removed by Certiorari out of the said County into any other Court.
XXIII. Justices once a Year to settle the Rates of Carriages, and to certify the same.
And whereas diverse Waggoners and other Carriers by combination amongst themselves have raised the prices of carriage of Goods in many places to excessive rates to the great injury of Trade Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid That the Justics of the Peace of every County and other place within the Realme of England or Dominion of Wales shall have power and authority and are hereby injoyned and required att their next respective Quarter or General Sessions after Easter-day yearely to assesse and rate the prices of all Land Carriage of Goods whatsoever to be brought into any place or places within their respective Limitts and Jurisdictions by any co[m]mon Waggoner or Carrier and the Rates and Assessements so made to certifie to the several Mayors and other Chief Officers of each respective Markett Towne within the Limitts and Jurisdic[i]ns of such Justics of the Peace to be hung upp in some publick place in every such Markett Towne to which all persons may resort for their informac[i]on And that no such co[m]mon Wagoner or Carrier shall take for carriage of such Goods and Merchandizes above the Rates and Prices so sett upon pain to forfeit for every such Offence the Su[m]m of Five pounds to be levied by distresse and sale of his and their Goods by Warrant of any Two Justices of the Peace where such Waggoner or Carrier shall reside in manner aforesaid to the use of the party grieved.
XXIV. Persons prosecuted for executing this Act may plead the General Issue, and have double Costs.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any Action or Suit shall be hereafter co[m]menced or p[ro]secuted against any person or persons by this Act authorized to put the same in execuc[i]on every person or persons so sued may plead the General Issue and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evidence And if the Plaintiff shall become nonsuit or forbear further Prosecution or suffer discontinuance or if a Verdict passe against him or her the said Deft and Defts shall recover his and their double Costs for which he and they shall have the like Remedy as in cases where Costs by Law are given to Defts