William III, 1696-7: An Act for enlargeing Co[m]mon High-ways. [Chapter XVI. Rot. Parl. 8&9 Gul. III.p.3. nu.4.]

Pages 210-211

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.

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In this section

Recital of 14 Car. II. c. 6.

Quarter Sessions may enlarge Highways; Damages to Owners to be assessed by a Jury,; not exceeding 25 Years Purchase; On Payment of Money, Owner divested of his Interest in the Ground; Assessments to be levied on Inhabitants for repairing the Roads, and purchasing Land for enlarging Highways, &c.; if not paid within 10 Days, Distress.

Whereas an Act made in the Thirteenth and Foureteenth Yeares of the Reigne of King Charles the Second for enlargeing Common High-ways is expired and that the ordinary Course appointed by the Laws and Statutes of this Realme is not sufficient for the enlargeing of the High-ways of this Kingdome Be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That the Justices of the Peace of any County City Riding Division Liberty or Place or the major Part of them being Five att the least att their Quarter Sessions shall have power to enlarge or widen any Highways in their respective Counties Ridings Divisions Liberties or Places so that the Ground to be taken into the said Highways do not exceed Eight Yards in Breadth & that the said Power do not extend to pull downe any House or to take away the Ground of any Garden Orchard Court or Yard And for the Satisfaction of the Persons who are Owners of or may be interested in the said Ground that shall be laid into the said High-ways the said Justices are hereby impowered to impannel a Jury before them and to administer an Oath to the said Jury that they will assesse such Damages to be given and Recompence to be made to the Owners and others interested in the said Ground Rent or Charge respectively for their respective Interests as they shall think reasonable not exceeding Five & twenty Yeares Purchase for Lands so laid out and likewise such Recompence as they shall think reasonable for the making of a new Ditch and Fence to that side of the High-way that shall be so enlarged and also Satisfaction to any Person that may be otherwise injured by [the (fn. 1) ] enlargeing of the said High-ways and upon Payment of the said Money so awarded or leaving itt in the Hands of the Clerk of the Peace of the respective County for the Use of the Owner or of others interested in the said Ground the Interest of the said Persons in the said Ground-Rent or Charge shall be for ever divested out of them and the said Ground and all other Grounds that shall be laid into any High-way by virtue of this Act shall be esteemed and taken to be a Publick High-way to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever and the said Justices of the Peace for any County City Riding Division Liberty or other Place or the major part of them being Five att the least shall have power to order one or more Assessment or Assessments to be made levied or collected upon all and every the Inhabitants Owners or Occupiers of Lands Houses Tenements or Hereditaments in their respective Parishes or Places that ought to repaire the same to such Person and Persons and in such manner as the said Justices att such Sessions shall direct and appoint and the Money thereby raised shall be imployed and accounted for according to the Order & Direction of the said Justices for and towards the purchasing of the Land to enlarge the said Highways and for the making the said Ditches and Fences and the said Assessment shall by order of the said Justices be levied by [the (fn. 2) ] Overseers of the High-ways by Distresse and Sale of the Goods of Persons 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 [settling (fn. 2) ] such Goods being first deducted.)

II. Assessment not to exceed 6d. in the Pound on Land, &c.

Provided neverthelesse and be it enacted That no such Assessment or Assessments made in any One Yeare for enlargeing of High-ways shall exceed the Rate of Six Pence in the Pound of the yearely Income of any Lands Houses Tenements and Hereditaments nor the Rate of Six pence in the Pound for Personal Estates.

III. Sessions may issue Precepts to Owners of Ground, &c. to appear and shew Cause why Highway should not be enlarged.

And that no Person may be surprised by the Power contained in this Act but may have timely Notice to appear to make their Complaints to the said Justices Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Justices of Peace of any County City Riding Division Liberty or Place or the major part of them being Five att the least att their Quarter Sessions att the Request of any Person for the putting in Execution the Powers contained in this Act for the enlargeing of High ways shall issue out their Precepts to the Owner or Owners of Ground or others interested in the same that are to be laid into the said Highways to appeare att the next Quarter Sessions or shew cause why the said High-ways should not be enlarged Any thing in this Act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

IV. Eight Months allowed to cut down Timber; on Neglect, Timber to be sold, &c. Charges deducted.

Provided also and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Order or Decree shall be made by the said Justices for the laying out of Ground for the enlargeing of High-ways that the Owners or Proprietors of the said Ground have hereby free Liberty within Eight Months after such Order to cutt downe any Wood or Timber growing upon the said Ground or upon the neglect thereof that the same shall be sold by Order of the said Justices and the Owners of such Wood or Timber shall receive the full of what shall be made of such Wood or Timber (the Charges of working the same being first deducted.)

V. Appeal to Judges Assize.

Costs levied by Distress.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall & may be lawfull for any Person grieved by the Order or Decree of the said Justices to appeal to the Judges of Assize att the next Assize onely to be held for the County where such Decree or Order shall be made and any of the said Judges are hereby impowered to reexamine affirme or reverse the said former Order and Decree as in Judgement they shall think fitt and if affirmed to award Costs against such Appellants for their Vexation and Delay and to cause the same to be levied by Distresse and Sale of the Appellants Goods rendring the Overplus (if any such be) to the said Appellants.

VI. Justices may determine Appeals on Writ of Ad quod Damnum, &c. in case of Inclosures.

If no Appeal, Inquisition and Return binding.

Provided also and be it enacted That where any Co[m]mon High-way att any Time hereafter shall be enclosed after a Writt of Ad quod Dampnum issued and Inquisition thereupon taken it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Person or Persons injured or agrieved by such Inclosure to make their Complaint thereof by Appeal to the Justices att the Quarter Sessions to be held for the same County next after such Inquisition taken who are hereby authorized and impowered to heare and determine such Appeal and whose Determination therein shall be final and if no such Appeal be made then the said Inquisition and Returne entred and recorded by the Clerke of the Peace of such County att the Quarter Sessions shall be forever afterwards binding to all Persons whatsoever without any further or other Appeal Any Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

VII. Special Sessions held pursuant to 3 W. & M. c. 12. § 8.

Where cross Highways meet, may direct a Guide Stone or Post to be erected; Surveyors neglecting to fix such Post, Penalty 10s.

And for the better convenience of travelling in such Parts of this Kingdome which are remote from Towns and where several High-ways meet Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for his Majesties Justices of the Peace att their respective Special Sessions to be held once in Fource Months by virtue of an Act made in the Third and Fourth Yeares of the Reigne of King William and Queen Mary intituled An Act for the better repairing & amending the High-ways and for settling the Rates of Carriage of Goods so often and in such Cases as they shall think necessary to direct their Precept to the Surveyors of the High-ways in any Parish or Place where Two or more Crosse High-ways meet requiring them forthwith to cause to be erected or fixed in the most convenient Place where such Ways joyn a Stone or Post with an Inscription thereon in large Letters containing the Name of the next Markett Towne to which each of the said joyning High-ways leads who is to be reimburst according as the said Act for the repairing of High-ways directs And in case any Surveyor or Surveyors shall by the Space of Three Months after such Precept to him or them directed and delivered neglect or refuse to cause such Stone or Post to be fixed as is aforesaid every such Offender shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Ten Shillings to be levied by Warrt. under the Hand and Seale of any Justice of the Peace of the Peace of Riding Division or Liberty where such Parish or Place shall be such Warr t. to be directed to the Constable of such Parish or Place requiring him to distraine the Goods of such Offendor and sell the same rendring to him the Overplus (if any be) and to imploy such Su[m]m so levied in and towards such Stone or Post as is aforesaid and in case any Part of the said Su[m]m shall remaine after such Stone or Post erected then to imploy such remaining Su[m]m in amending the same crosse High-ways and not otherwise.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.
  • 2. selling.