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Oxford Mileways Act 1771: Toll roads and gates


St Clement's toll gate

Turnpikes at St Clement's

Above: This painting shows the second toll house of 1818 right up against the former St Clement's Church. (It was the church that was removed in 1828, not the gate.) The toll house was on the site of the present Victoria Fountain, which resembles it in shape. There are two tollgates attached to the toll house: the one on the left protects the new (present) road to London, and the one on the right protects the former road to London via Henley (now Iffley Road).

Right: This 1789 map shows the pre-1818 toll house and gates, further away from the church. The road through St Clement's is described as “ROAD TO LONDON THROUGH UXBRIDGE”; the present Cowley Road as “OLD LONDON ROAD”; and the present Iffley Road as “NEW LONDON ROAD THROUGH HENLEY”.

Below: This engraving shows the second St Clement's toll house of 1818 from the east side. The toll gates were removed in 1869.

St Clement's Church

The Mileways Act provided for new toll-roads out of Oxford. For more information about these roads and their toll-houses, see the Milestones section of this website.


Commissioners may erect Turnpikes and Toll-houses

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or any Nine or more of them, shall cause to be erected, One or more Gate or Gates, Turnpike or Turnpikes, in or across any Part or Parts of the said Mile-ways, Streets, or Roads hereby directed to be repaired and mended as to them shall seem most proper, and also a Toll-house or Toll-houses adjoining to each of the same respectively; and the respective Tolls following shall be demanded and taken thereat, of the Person or Persons attending any Cattle or Carriage hereinafter mentioned, before such Cattle or Carriage shall be permitted to pass through the same, or any of them; (that is to say)

For every Coach, Chariot, Berlin, Chaise, Calash, or other Carriage,
drawn by Six Horses or other Cattle, the Sum of One Shilling and Sixpence.

For every Coach, Chase, Berlin, Chariot, or other Carriage as aforesaid,
drawn by Four Horses or other Cattle, the Sum of One Shilling.

For every Coach, Chaise, Berlin, Chariot, or other Carriage,
drawn by Two Horses, the Sum of Six pence.

For every Chaise, or other Carriage,
drawn by One Horse or other Beast, the Sum of Two-pence.

For each Horse, or other Beast, drawing in any Waggon, Cart, Wain,
or other Carriage, being a Common Stage Waggon,
or travelling for Hire, the Sum of Two-pence.

For each Horse, or other Beast, drawing in any Waggon, Cart,
Wain, or Carriage, not travelling for Hire, or employed in Husbandry, the Sum of One Penny.

And for every other Horse, Mare, Gelding, Mule, or Ass, laden or unladen,
and not drawing, the Sum of One Penny.

For every Drove of Oxen, or Neat Cattle, Five-Pence per Score;
and so in proportion for any greater or less Number.

Which Sums respectively shall be demanded in the Name of and as a Toll, and shall be and are hereby vested in the said Commissioners, and the same and every Part thereof shall be paid and applied in such Manner as is hereinafter mentioned and directed; and it shall and may be lawful to and for such Person or Persons as the said Commissioners, or any Five or ore of them, under their Hands and Seals, shall from Time to Time nominate and appoint, to demand and take the Tolls or Duties hereby granted and made payable; and also to levy the same upon any Person or Persons liable to pay the same, who shall, after demand thereof made, neglect or refuse to pay such Tolls or Duties as aforesaid, by Distress of any Carriage or Carriages, or Cattle upon which such Tolls or Duties are by this Act imposed, or by Distress of any other of the Goods and Chattels of the Person or Persons so neglecting or refusing as aforesaid, wheresoever the same may be found, and to detain and keep such Goods and Chattels so distrained until such Tolls and Duties, with the reasonable Charges of such Distress and keeping, shall be paid; and such Person or Persons so distraining, after the Space of Four Days after such Distress made and taken, shall and may sell the Goods or Chattels so distrained, returning the Overplus (if any be) upon Demand to the Owner thereof, after such Tolls and Duties, and the reasonable Charges for distraining, Keeping, and selling the same, shall be deducted and paid.

Half Toll for Carriages with Corn on Market Days

Provided nevertheless, That no more than One Half of the Tolls aforesaid shall be demanded or taken for any Horse or other Cattle, drawing in any Waggon, Cart, Wain, or other Carriage, laden with Corn only, coming into the said City, through any Turnpike Gate or Turnpike Gates, to be erected by the Authority of this Act, upon either of the Weekly Market Days there.

Toll to be paid but once in Twenty-four Hours

Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons shall have paid the Tolls by this Act granted and ascertained, for the passing of any Cattle or Carriage through any Turnpike erected by Virtue of this Act, such Person or Persons, upon producing a Note or Ticket of the Day denoting such Payment, shall be permitted to pass and repass through the same Turnpike, and also through all other Turnpikes erected by Virtue of this Act, with the same Cattle or Carriage, Toll-free, at any Time or Times during the same Day, to be computed from Twelve of the Clock in one Night to Twelve of the Clock in the next night; which said Note or Ticket the Collectors of the said Tolls are hereby required to give gratis (if demanded) on Receipt of such Tolls.

Exemption

Provided always, and be it further enacted, That no Person or Persons shall be charged with any of the Tolls or Duties aforesaid, for assign though any of the Turnpikes to be erected by virtue of this Act, with any Cattle or Carriage going empty for, or drawing or carrying, or returning empty after having drawn or carried, and any Materials for repairing the said Roads or Streets; or any Hay or Corn in the Straw, to be laid up in the Houses, Out-houses, Barns, or Yards, belonging to the respective Inhabitants of the said University, City, and Suburbs thereof, or the said Parish of St. Clement; or any Manure or Compost to be laid upon Lands or Gardens or with any Ploughs, Harrows, or other Implements of Husbandry; or with any Horses or other Cattle, going to or returning from Pasture or Watering Places, in any of the Parishes in Oxford aforesaid, or in the said Parish of St. Clement, or going to be shod or otherwise farried, or returning therefrom; or with any Horses or Carriages drawing or carrying the Post Mail or Packet; or attending any Soldiers in their March, or laden with their Arms or Baggage; or travelling with Vagrants sent by legal Passes; or going to, or returning from, any Election of a Knight or Knights of the Shire to serve in Parliament for the County of Oxford, or of a Burgess or Burgesses for the said University, or of a Citizen or Citizens for the said City of Oxford, on the Day or Days of such Election.

Penalty on claiming Exemptions fraudulently

Provided always, That if any Person shall claim and take the Benefit of any of the Exemptions aforesaid, not being intitled to the same, such person shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Forty Shillings for each Offence.

Commissioners may reduce or raise the Tolls

And be it further enacted, That if any Person or Persons shall go or pass with any Cattle or Carriage through or over any Land, Ground, or Place, lying by the Side of or near to the said Roads, the same not being a Publick Highway, in order or with Intent to avoid the Payment of the Tolls by this act granted, or any part thereof; or shall forge, counterfeit, or alter, or shall deliver to or receive of any other Person or Persons, any Note or Ticket, with Intent to avoid the Payment of any or any Part of the said Tolls; or if any person or Persons owning or occupying any Lands, Ground, or Place, not being a Publick Highway, shall knowingly and wittingly permit or suffer any other Person or Persons to go or pass with any Cattle or Carriage through or over such Land, Ground, or Place, in order or with Intent that the Payment of any of the said Tolls, or any Part thereof, shall be avoided; or if any Person or Persons shall do any other Act in order or with Intent to avoid the Payment of the said Tolls, or any Part thereof; such Persons and every of them, shall, for every such Offence, forfeit the Sum of Five Pounds, over and besides such Damages and Punishments as they shall be otherwise liable to by Law; to be levied and recovered by such Means and in such Manner as are herein after mentioned and provided for the levying and recovering of the Penalties and Forfeitures imposed by this Act; One Moiety whereof, when raised, shall be paid to the Informer, and the other Moiety shall be applied in such Manner as the other Penalties and Forfeitures are herein after directed to be applied.

Penalty on Persons avoiding the Tolls

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Com missioners, or any fifteen or more of them at a Meeting to be called for that Purpose, (whereof Fourteen Days Notice shall be given in some publick News-paper, and also fixed on the Turnpike Gate or Gates to be erected by Authority of this Act) from Time to Time, as they shall see Occasion, to vary, lessen, and reduce the Tolls by this Act granted, and afterwards raise the same again, so as not to exceed the Sums hereby granted; and such Tolls, so varied, lessened, and reduced, shall be collected, recovered, and applied in such Manner, as the Tolls hereby granted are directed to be collected, recovered, and applied.

Mile-way Monies to be collected by the Clerk of the Commissioners

And whereas it will be most convenient for the Publick, and also for the said University and City, that the Expenditure of all such annual Sums as now remain payable to the Vice-chancellor and Mayor (and are not disposed of by any former Turnpike Act), for or towards the repairing the said Mile-ways, should be under the Direction and Management of the Commissioners for putting this Act in Execution; be it therefore enacted, That from and after the Twenty-fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, the Clerk of the said Commissioners for the Time being shall be, during the Continuance of this Act, and he is hereby constituted and appointed the Deputy of the said Vice-chancellor and Mayor, for collecting the said annual Sums; and the said Clerk, for the Time being, shall and may demand and receive the said respective Sums of the Surveyor or Surveyors of the Highways for the Time being of each respective Parish and Township; and in Default of Payment thereof, shall and may levy the same by Distress and Sale of the Goods of such Surveyor or Surveyors, returning the Overplus (if any be) upon Demand, after deducting thereout the Charges of such Distress and Seizure: And it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Surveyor or Surveyors, who shall have paid such Sums, or on whom such Distress shall have been made, to reimburse themselves such Sums so paid or distrained for, by collecting the same of the Persons whose Estates have usually been chargeable therewith, or by any other Means whereby, according to the Laws now in being, Surveyors of Highways are to be reimbursed the Monies by them expended in buying Materials for amending the Highways; and the said Clerk of the said Commissioners shall pay the Sums so received by him to the Treasurer of the said Road for the Time being, to be applied to the Repairs of the said Mile-ways, and to the other Purposes of his Act.

Commissioners impowered to borrow Money, and mortgage the Tolls for Repayment thereof

And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, at their first or any subsequent Meeting to be held in pursuance of this Act, to borrow and take up at Interest, upon the Credit of the Tolls arising by virtue of this Act, such Sum or Sums of Money as they, or any Seven or more of them, shall think fit; and may and are hereby impowered to demise or mortgage the said Tolls, or any Part or Parts thereof, and the Gates, Turnpikes, and Toll-houses, for collecting the same (the Costs and Charges of such Mortgages to be paid out of such Tolls), as a Security to any Person or Persons, or their Trustees, who shall advance such Sum or Sums of Money, by the following Words, under their Hands, or by any other Words, to the same or the like Effect, viz.

By Virtue of an Act made in the Eleventh Year of the Reign of His Majesty
King George the Third, for the more effectual amending such of the Roads
as belong to and are Part of the Mile-ways leading to the University and City of
Oxford, and other Purposes: We                                        of the Commissioners,
in Consideration of the Sum of                                     to the Treasure of the said Turnpikes, in Hand paid, do grant, bargain, sell, and demise unto A. B. his Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, such Proportion of the Tolls arising by virtue of the said Act, and of the Gates, Turn-pikes, and Toll-houses, for collecting the same, as the said Sum of                                    doth or shall bear to the whole Sum advanced, or to be advanced, on the Credit thereof; to be had and holden from this                  
Day                                   Day of                                       , in the Year of
Our Lord                                                                              , for and during the Continuance of the said Act, unless the said Sum of                           , with Interest, at the Rate of                    per Centum per Annum, shall be sooner repaid and satisfied.

And Copies of all such Mortgages shall be entered in the Book or Books to be kept for that Purpose by the Clerk or Treasurer to the said Commissioners; but no Money shall be borrowed upon the Credit of the said Tolls after such First Meeting, unless notice be for that Purpose fixed in Writing upon all the Turnpikes across the said Road, at least Twenty-one Days before the borrowing thereof.

Manner of Transfer

And be it further enacted, That all persons to whom any such Mortgage shall be made as aforesaid, or who shall be intitled to the Money thereby secured, may, from Time to Time, assign or transfer his, her, or their Right, Title, Interest, or Benefit, to the said Mortgages, and the said Principal and Interest thereby secured, to any Person or Persons whatsoever, indorsing on the Back of Such Security, with or without a Witness, the following Words, or Words to the like Effect:

I Do transfer this Mortgage, with all my Right and Title
to the Principal hereby secured, and to all the Interest
now due upon the same, unto                  
His Executors, Administrators, and Assigns. Dated this
                          Day of                  

                                                                                     G. H.

And such Transfer and assignment shall intitle such Assignee, his, her, or their Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, to the Benefit thereof, and Payment thereon; and such assignee may, in like Manner, assign or transfer the same again, and so toties quoties; and it shall not be in the Power of such Person or Persons, who shall have made such Assignment respectively, to make void, release, or discharge the original Security, or any Monies thereby due, or any Part thereof; and all Persons to whom any such Mortgage or Assignment shall be made as aforesaid, shall be, in proportion to the Sum or Sums therein mentioned, Creditors on such Tolls, on the Credit whereof such Sum or Sums are advanced, in equal degree one with another, and shall have no Preference in respect of the prior Advancement of any such Money, or prior Date of any such Mortgage.

Commissioners may farm out the Tolls by the year / The Lease or Agreement to be void
in case of any Default of Payment of Money, and the Lessee accountable

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or any Fifteen or more of them, at any Meeting, may and are hereby impowered, upon Fourteen Days Notice being given in some publick News-paper usually circulated within the said City, to lease or farm the Tolls by this Act granted, or any Part or Parts thereof, to any Person or Persons, at and for the largest yearly Sums that can be got for the same; provided that such Lettings and Agreements be made in Writing, and signed by the Person or Persons taking or farming any such Tolls, and by the Commissioners that let the same, and be not made for more than Three Years at a Time; and that the Money which shall be so agreed to be paid for the said Tolls shall be made payable, and shall be paid to the Treasurer for the Time being, or to such Person or Persons as they, or any Fifteen or more of them, shall appoint, by Quarterly Payments: And if any Letting or Agreement for the said Tolls, or any Part or Parts thereof, shall be made, and any Default shall be made in paying the Money agreed to be paid contrary to the true Meaning of this Act, then every such Letting and Agreement shall be void, and the Person or Persons to whom the said Tolls shall be so let shall be liable to account for the same, and to have the same levied and recovered upon and of him, her, or them, by such Ways and Means, and in the same Manner as is by this Act directed concerning the accounting for other Monies by the Collectors or Receivers thereof, and the levying and recovering the same.

Commissioners may appoint officers and take Security / Officers to deliver in written Accounts
to Commissioners, and swear they are just: on Refusal, may be sued by Commissioners, &c.,
or brought before Two or more Justices / For want of Distress, Officers may be committed.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall and may, at their first or any subsequent Meeting, appoint One or more Clerk or Clerks, and Treasurer or Treasurers, and Collector or Collectors of the Tolls, Surveyor or Surveyors, and such other Officer or Officers for the execution of this Act, as they the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall think proper; and from Time to Time remove him or them, and appoint others in the Room of such of them as shall be so removed, or shall die, or shall otherwise relinquish or discontinue such Office; and out of the Monies to be raised by virtue of this Act, make such Allowances to the said Officers, and to all other Persons, by them the said Commissioners employed in the Execution of this Act, as they, or any Seven or more of them, shall think reasonable; and the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall and may take such Security from their Treasurer and other Officers, for the due Execution of their respective Offices, as the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall think proper: And all such Officers and Persons shall, under their Hands (at such Time and Times, and in such Manner, as the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall direct) deliver to such Commissioners, or such Person or Persons as they, or any Seven or more of them, shall appoint, true and perfect Accounts, in Writing, of all Matters and Things committed to their Charge by virtue of this Act; and also of all the Monies which shall have been by such Officer or Officers, and Person or Persons respectively, received by virtue of this Act, and how much thereof hath been paid and disbursed, and for what Purposes, together with the proper Vouchers for such Payments; and shall pay all such Monies as shall remain in their respective Hands to the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, or such Person or Persons as they shall appoint: And all the said Officers and Persons so accounting as aforesaid, shall, upon Oath, if thereunto required by the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them (which Oath the said Commissioners, or any Two or more of them, are hereby impowered and required to administer) verify their said Accounts: And if any such Officer or Person shall not make and render, or shall refuse to verify upon Oath, any such Account, or to produce or deliver up the Vouchers relating to the same, or to make Payment as aforesaid; then, and in any of the Cases aforesaid, such Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, may, and are hereby authorised and impowered to bring, or cause to be brought, any Action or Actions, in the Names of such Commissioners, or in the Name or Names of any Two or more of the, against the Officer or Officers, Person or Persons, so neglecting or refusing as aforesaid, in order for the Recovery of the Monies that shall be in the Hands of such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons respectively; or if Complaint shall be made by the said Commissioners, or by any Seven or more of them, or by such Person or Persons as they shall appoint for that Purpose of any such Refusal or Neglect as aforesaid, to any Two or more of the Justices of the Peace for the said County or City, such Justices may, and are hereby authorised and required, by a Warrant or Warrants under their Hands and Seals, to cause such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons, so refusing and neglecting to be brought before them, and, upon his and their appearing, or not being to be found, to bear and determine the Matter in a summary Way: And if upon the Confession of the Party or Parties, or by the Testimony of any credible Witness or Witnesses upon Oath, it shall appear to such Justices that any of the Monies that shall have been collected or raised by virtue of this Act, shall be in the Hands of such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons, such Justices may, and are hereby authorised and required, upon Nonpayment thereof, by a Warrant or Warrants under their Hands and Seals, to cause such Money to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Goods and Chattels of such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons respectively; and if no Goods or Chattels of such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons, can be found sufficient to answer and satisfy the said Money, and the Charges of distraining for the same; then, and in any of the Cases aforesaid, such Justices shall commit very such Offender to the Common Goal [sic] or House of Correction for the said County or City, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, until he shall give and make a true ad perfect Account and Payment as aforesaid, or until he shall compound with the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, and shall have paid such Composition, in such Manner as they shall appoint, which Composition the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them are hereby impowered to make.

Collector dying or incapable, another Person to be appointed

Provided always, That as often as any Collector of the Tolls shall die, resign his Office, or be incapable of performing his Duty, it shall be lawful for any Seven or more of the said Commissioners, (of whom the Vice-chancellor and Mayor, or their Deputies, to be always Two) though not assembled at any Meeting pursuant to this Act, by any Writing under their hands to appoint another Person to collect such Tolls, and such Person shall continue to collect the same, until the Commissioners shall, at a Meeting to be held in pursuance of this Act, appoint a Collector; any Thing herein contain ed to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Officers not to take Fee or Reward, other than their Salaries,
nor to be interested in any Contract, &c. under the Penalty of 50l.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person who shall be employed as a Clerk, Treasurer, Collector, or Surveyor, or any other Officer or Servant who shall be anyways employed by the said Commissioners in putting this Act, or any of the Powers thereof in execution, shall exact, take, or accept any Fee or Reward whatsoever, other than such Salaries, Allowances, and Rewards as shall be appointed, allowed, and approved of by the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, for or on Account of any Thing done, or to be done, by virtue of this Act, or on any Account whatsoever relative to the putting this Act in Execution; or shall anyways be concerned or interested in any Bargain or Contract made, or to be made, by the said Commissioners, or any of them, for the Purposes of putting this Act in Execution; every such Person so offending, shall be incapable of ever serving or being employed under this Act; and shall, over and above, forfeit the Sum of Fifty Pounds to any Person or Persons who shall sue for the same, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record, within Six Calendar Months after the Offence committed; in which said Suit, no Essoin, Protection, or Wager of Law, or more than One Impariance shall be allowed

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 herein-after 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 other to Banbury; and also to the great Road on the West Side of the said City, leading to Gloucester and Bath; and also to the great Road on the South Side of the said city, leading to Abingdon, Newbury, and Southampton;* 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 here in directed, and to no other Use or Purpose whatsoever.

* Presumably this means (1) The High Street and Cornmarket leading to the present Woodstock and Banbury Roads to the north (A4144 and A4165); (2) Queen Street leading to the present Botley Road and Cumnor Hill to the west (A420); (3) St Aldate's Street leading to the Abingdon Road to the south (the continuation of A4144).

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013