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Oxford Mileways Act 1771: Damage to street lamps


The following part of the Act relates to the penalties incurred by members of the University or citizens damaging to the proposed street lamps.


Penalty for extinguishing or damaging Lamps, by matriculated Persons

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any matriculated Person or Persons, or Member of the said University, shall wilfully break, throw down, or otherwise damage, any of the Lamps which shall be erected by virtue of this Act, or any of the Posts, Irons, or other Furniture thereof, or extinguish any of the said Lamps, it shall and may be lawful to and for the Vice-chancellor of the University, or his Deputy, on account of Absence, commonly called the Pro-Vice-chancellor, or his Assessor in the University Court, and they are hereby required, upon Oath made of the Commission of any such Offence, which Oath the said Vice-chancellor, or his said Deputy, or his said Assessor, or any of them, is and are hereby impowered and required to administer to any Person or Persons offering to make the same, to issue a Warrant or Warrants for apprehending the Party or Parties accused; or it shall be lawful for any Person or Persons whatsoever, who shall see such Offence committed, to apprehend, as also for any other Person or Persons to assist in apprehending the Offender or Offenders, and by Authority of this Act, to convey him or them before the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor, to be dealt with as herein after is directed; and the Party or Parties so accused being brought before the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor, or Oath being made before him or either of them, that such Party or Parties cannot be found and apprehended, which Oath the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor, is and are hereby also required and impowered to administer, the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor, shall proceed to examine upon Oath any Witness or Witnesses who shall appear, or be produced, to give Information touching such Offence; and if the Party or Parties accused shall be convicted of such Offence, either by his or their own Confession, or upon such Information as aforesaid, he or they so convicted shall, for the first Offence, respectively forfeit and pay, to be applied to the Purposes of this Act, a Sum not exceeding Ten Shillings, nor under Five Shillings, for each Lamp so broken or thrown down, damaged, or extinguished as aforesaid; for the Second Offence the Sum of Fifteen Shillings, and for the Third and every other subsequent Offence the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and full Satisfaction shall also be made to the said Commissioners, or their Surveyor, by such Offender or Offenders, for the Damage so by him or them done as aforesaid: And in case the Offender or Offenders shall refuse or neglect to pay the said Penalties, and make such Satisfaction to the said Commissioners as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the said Commissioners, or any Two or more of them, to proceed for and recover the same in the Vice-chancellor’s Court of the said University; and also for the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor, sitting in Judgement in the said Court to inflict, by way of further Punishment on the said Offender or Offenders, all or any of the Penalties, whether pecuniary or other, which by the Statutes of the said University they are impowered to inflict on matriculated Persons convicted of Violation of publick Authority, or other Disturbance of the Peace:

Penalty on other Persons breaking or Damaging the Lamps

And if any Person or Persons (not being matriculated or a Member of the said University) shall be guilty of any of the said Offences, the same may be inquired into, and the like Penalties inflicted under the Authority of any Justice or Justices of the Peace,, acting in and for the said County or City, as is herein before directed to be done with respect to matriculated Persons, under the Authority of the said Vice-chancellor, Deputy, or Assessor: And in case the respective Penalties shall not be forthwith paid, the Justice before whom such Offender or Offenders shall be convicted, is hereby required to commit him, her, or them, to the House of Correction for the said County or City, there to be kept to hard labour for any Time not exceeding Three Calendar Months; and such Offender or Offenders shall not be discharged before the Expiration of the Time for which he, she, or they shall be committed, unless such Forfeiture and Satisfaction shall be sooner paid and given, and the whole of the said respective Forfeitures, when recovered, shall be applied for the Purposes of this Act: And if any Person shall negligently or accidentally break, throw down, or otherwise Damage any of the said Lamps, or any of the Posts, Irons, or other Furniture thereof, and shall not upon Demand make Satisfaction to the said Commissioners, or any Five or more of them, or to their Surveyor, for the Damages by such Person done as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace for the said County or City, and here is hereby required, upon Complaint to be made by any Two or more of the said Commissioners, or by the Surveyor, to summon the Party complained of, and upon his or her Appearance, or making default to appear (Oath being made that the Party complained of was served with such Summons, or that the same was left at his or her Dwelling-house, or Place of Abode, if known, or that he or she could not be found) such Justice shall proceed to examine the Matter of the said Complaint, and upon Proof thereof, either by Confession of the Party complained of, or by the Oath of One or more credible Witness or Witnesses (which Oath the said Justice is hereby impowered and required to administer) shall award and order such pecuniary Satisfaction to be made by the Party complained of, for the Damage so by him or her done, as to such Justice shall appear just and reasonable; and shall cause the Sum so awarded, in case the same be not paid forthwith upon the making such Award and Order, to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Offender’s Goods and Chattels, rendering to him or her the Over-plus (if any be) upon demand, after the Charges of prosecuting such Complaints, and of such Distress and Sale shall be deducted; and in case sufficient Distress cannot be found, such Justice shall commit the Party complained of to the Common Gaol for the said County or City, until he or they shall pay the Sum so awarded, or for any Time not exceeding the Space of One Calendar Month.

For Damages done by matriculated Persons Complaint may be made

Provided always, That in case the Party who shall have done, through Negligence, or Accident, such Damage as aforesaid, shall happen to be a matriculated Person, then such Complaint as is herein laid before directed to be made to any Justice of the Peace for the said County or City, shall be made only to the said Vice-chancellor, or to his Assessor in the University Court, or in case of the Vice-chancellor’s Absence, to his Pro-Vice-chancellor, or his Deputy, on account of Absence, each or any of whom shall have full Power to examine the Matter of the Complaint, to administer Oaths, to award pecuniary Satisfaction, to levy the same by Distress and Sale of the Goods of the Party complained of, and to do all the other Things before mentioned, or incident thereto, in like Manner, and in the like Cases, as may be done when the Party complained of is not a matriculated Person, by any Justice of the Peace for the said City or County.

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013