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Oxford Mileways Act 1771: Outline of road improvements


The following part of the Act outlines all the measures to be taken: namely widening erecting toll-houses, widening the mile-ways leading out of Oxford as well as Magdalen Bridge itself, the compulsory purchase of property to be demolished, and the possibility of taking part of St Clement's churchyard into the road.


Tolls how to be applied

And be it further enacted, That out of the First Money arising by the Tolls and Duties which shall be collected by virtue of this Act, or out of the Money which shall be borrowed on the Credit thereof, and out of the Rates or Assessments hereinafter directed to be made, the said Commissioners, or any Five or more of them, shall, in the First Place, pay and discharge all the Expences and Charges of procuring and passing this Act; and shall apply the Remainder of the Money so raised in erecting a Gate or Gates, Turnpike or Turnpiks [sic], and Toll-house or Toll-houses, and in repairing, widening, turning, or altering the several Mile-ways, not included in any Turnpike Act; in rebuilding or repairing and widening the said Bridge; in repairing and paving the Roads and Streets which lead from Magdalen Bridge to the Two great Roads on the North Side of the City of Oxford, leading respectively, the One to Birmingham and Worcester [the Woodstock Road], the other to Banbury [the Banbury Road]; and also to the great Road on the West Side of the said City, leading to Gloucester and Bath [Queen Street]; and also to the great Road on the South Side of the said city, leading to Abingdon, Newbury, and Southampton [the Abingdon Road]; which said Roads and Streets are particularly enumerated an described in the Schedule hereto annexed, intituled, The First Schedule, in purchasing such Ground, Houses, Buildings, and other Erections as shall be found necessary or wanting for the widening, turning, or altering all or any Parts of either of the said Mile-ways, or the said Roads and Streets so directed to be paved and repaired as aforesaid; and in defraying the necessary Tolls, Charges and Expences attending the execution of the Powers relating thereto; and to such other Purposes as are herein directed, and to no other Use or Purpose whatsoever.

Commissioners impowered to widen the Roads, &c.

And be it further enacted, That the said Commissioners, or any Fifteen or more of them, shall have full Power and Authority to treat for and purchase the Houses, Gates, Shambles, Buildings, Grounds, and Estates, within or near the said University, City, and Suburbs, and the Parish of Saint Clement, mentioned and described in the Schedule to this Act annexed, intituled, The Second Schedule, in order to widen, turn, and alter the said Mile-ways, Roads or Streets, hereby directed to be repaired, paved, and amended; and to make such satisfaction as they shall think reasonable for any the Loss or Damage the Owners, Proprietors, Occupiers, and Persons interested, or any of them, shall sustain by such widening, turning, or altering, any of the said Mile-ways, Roads, or Streets; and also to order and direct the said Bridge, called Magdalen Bridge, to be pulled down, widened, repaired, or rebuilt, and the said Mile-ways, Roads, or Streets, to be amended, paved, raised, sunk, altered, or repaired, when, and in such Manner as they shall think fit.

Eight Days previous Notice being given of a Meeting for that Purpose

Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the said Commissioners shall not have Power to purchase any such Houses, Gates, Shambles, Buildings, Ground, and Estates, within or near the said University, City, or Suburbs, or the said Parish of Saint Clement, by virtue of this Act, unless Eight Days publick Notice be previously given in the Oxford Journal, or some other publick Paper, and also at the Schools and Town-hall, of a Meeting to be held for that Purpose; nor shall any Gates, Houses, Shambles, or other Buildings, be pulled down, or Grounds or Estates be thrown open, in consequence of any Order for that Purpose, unless Three Months Notice (at the least) shall be given to the Owners and Occupiers of the same respectively, to enable them to provide themselves accordingly.

Owners of Houses, Gates, Shambles, Stalls, &c. impowered to sell the same

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for all Persons whatsoever, Bodies Politick, Corporate or Collegiate, Corporations Aggregate or Sole, who are or shall be seised or intitled in their own Right, Trustees and Feoffees in Trust, Femes-covert, Guardians, and Committees for Lunaticks and Ideots [sic], Executors and Administrators and Guardians whatsoever, not only in Behalf of themselves, their Heirs and Successors, but also for and in Behalf of their Cestuique Trusts, whether Infants or Issue unborn, Lunaticks, Ideots, Femes-covert, or other Persons whatsoever, who are or shall be seised or possessed of or interested in any such Houses, Gates, Shambles, Buildings, Grounds, or Estates, to contract for, sell, convey, or surrender to the said Commissioners, or any Fifteen or more of them, or to any Person or Persons they shall appoint in Trust for them, all or any such Houses, Gates, Shambles, Buildings, Grounds, or Estates, or any Part thereof, or any Term for Years, or any Estate or Interest therein; and that all such Contracts, Agreements, Bargains, Sales, Assignments, Surrenders, and other Conveyances which shall be so made as aforesaid, shall be good and valid in Law to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, not only to convey the Estate of the Person or Persons conveying, but also all Right, Estate, Interest, Use, Property, Claim, and Demand whatsoever of their several and respective Cestuique Trusts, whether Infants or Issue unborn, Lunaticks, Ideots, Femes-covert, or other Persons whatsoever, and all Persons claiming, or to claim by, from, or under them; any Law, Statute, or Usage to the Contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding.

Part of Saint Clement’s Church-yard may be taken into the Road

And whereas the Church-yard of the Parish of St Clement aforesaid is so inconveniently situated, as to render the Road very narrow, incommodious, and dangerous to Travellers, and it may therefore become necessary and expedient, in the Execution of this Act, to take away and lay open Part thereof; be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Commissioners, or any Fifteen or more of them, according to their Discretion, to take in and lay open such Part of the said Church-yard as shall be thought necessary to be laid open and allotted to the said publick Road, they the said Commissioners, in case they shall take in and lay open any Part of the said Church-yard, purchasing (which they are hereby impowered to do) out of the Monies arising from the said Tolls, and making an Allotment of Ground adjacent to the said present Church-yard at least One Third more in Quantity than what shall be so taken away; which Ground so to be purchased by the said Commissioners for the Purposes aforesaid, shall be thereafter used as a Church-yard or Burying-ground for the said Parish of Saint Clement, and shall be vested, by virtue of this Act, in the Rector of the said Parish, and his Successors; and he and they shall be seised thereof, as in his and their Demesne, as of Fee, in Right of the Parish Church of St. Clement aforesaid; and shall have and be intitled to such Burial or other Fees (if any) in respect thereof, as have been usually and of Right accustomarily paid for and in respect of such Part of the said Church-yard as shall be laid open and allotted to the said Road.

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013