Thames and Isis: Navigation Act 1750

Publication Date:January 01, 1750
 
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Anno Regni G E O R G I I II. Regis Magn Britanni, Franci &Hiberni, vicesimo quarto. An Act for the better carrying on and regulating the Navigation of the RiversThames and Isis ,from the City ofLondon westward, to the Town of Cricklade in the County of Wilts .

(24 Geo. 2) C A P. VIII.

'W H E R E A S the Rivers ofThames and Isis have, Time out of Mind, been navigable from the City of London to the Village of Bercott in the County of Oxford ; and from the City of Oxford westward beyond Letchlade in the County of Gloucester : And whereas in and by an Act of Parliament, made and passed in the one and twentieth Year of the Reign of his late Majesty King James the First, (intituled An Act for making the River ofThamesnavigable for Barges, Boats and Lighters, from the Village of Bercott in the County of Oxford, unto the University and City of Oxford) the said Rivers were made navigable from the said Village of Bercott to the said City of Oxford : And whereas divers Abuses have heretofore been, and still are committed by the Owners of the several Towing-paths, and other Passages on the Banks of the said Rivers, and by the Owners of the Locks, Weirs, Turnpikes, Dams Flood-gates, and other Engines in and upon or near adjoining to the said Rivers; and also by the several Barge-masters, and their Servants, navigating thereon; by reason whereof and other Exactions, the Price of Water-carriage, on those Rivers, hath of late Years been very much raised, contrary to the Intent and Provision of divers wholesome and good Laws made and passed for the due Regulation of the said Navigation;' Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authorityof the same, That for preventing all Abuses and Exactions, which may or can lessen the Navigation of the said Rivers, and render the same less useful to the Publick, all and every Person or Persons who are or shall be assessed and charged, and do and shall pay towards the Aid granted unto his Majesty by an Act of this present Session of Parliament, (intituled,An Act for granting an Aid to his Majesty by a Land-Tax, to be raised in Great Britain, for the Service of the Year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one) or towards any future Aid, by any future Act or Acts of Parliament, for granting an Aid to his Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, by a Land Tax in Great Britain , for and in respect of an Estate in Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments in his or their Possession, or of some Person in Trust for him or them, of the yearly Value of one hundred Pounds in any or either, or all of the several Counties of Middlesex, Surry, Berks, Bucks, Oxon, Gloucester and Wilts ; and also the Vice-Chancellor, and the Heads of Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford ; and the Mayor or Chief Officer for the Time being of the Corporation and Borough Towns, lying upon the said Rivers, shall be and are hereby constituted Commissioners for putting in Execution all and singular the Powers in this Act contained; and that all and every Person and Persons constituted and appointed a Commissioner or Commissioners by virtue or in pursuance of this Act, before he and they respectively take upon himself or themselves to act as a Commissioner or Commissioners under this Act (other than the administering the Oath following to one another, which they, or any two of them, are hereby impowered and required to do) do and shall take and subscribe the following Oath:

'IA. B. do swear, That I will without Favour or Affection, truly, faithfully and impartially execute perform and discharge the Office and Duty of a Commissioner, according to the Powers, Authorities and Directions given and established by an Act of Parliament, (intituled, An Act for the better carrying on and regulating the Navigation of the Rivers Thames and Isis, from the City of London westward, to the Town of Cricklade in the County of Wilts) according to the best of my Skill and Knowlege.

So help me God.'

Which Oath so taken and subscribed as aforesaid, shall be kept by the Clerk of the Peace, among the Records of the Sessions of the Peace, in and for the respective Counties where the same shall be so taken and subscribed.

S-II Times and Places for the Meeting of the Commissioners.

II Times and Places for the Meeting of the Commissioners.

II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or any seven of them, for the further, better and more orderly putting in Execution the Powers hereby to them given and appointed, shall, for the first Time, meet on the first Day ofJuly next ensuing, at the Town Hall in Reading in the County of Berks ; and from thence by Adjournment, meet at the Town Hall in the City of Oxford on the fifth of August following; and for the like Purposes, shall for the Time to come hold a General Meeting upon the first Tuesday in July in every Year, at the Town Hall in the said City of Oxford , and another on the first Tuesday in September following, in every Year, at the Town Hall in Reading aforesaid, for such Time or Number of Days as shall to the said Commissioners seem convenient, and at any of the said Meetings shall adjourn themselves from Time to Time to such Place; and so from Place to Place, within the Counties of Middlesex, Surry, Berks, Buckingham, Oxford, Gloucester and Wilts , and near to the same Rivers, or some Part thereof, as they shall think proper; and the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, are hereby impowered and authorized afterwards, at any Time or Times, when it shall happen that no General Meeting is appointed to be held by Adjournment, to appoint General Meetings of the said Commissioners, for putting in Execution all or any of the Powers hereby in them vested, at such Times and Places as they shall think proper, within any or either of the said Counties, by or through which the said Rivers run, upon or near the same, upon giving twenty DaysNotice in theLondon Gazette , and some other publick News Papers, as to the Commissioners shall seem meet, of the Time and Place which shall be from Time to Time appointed for such General Meetings; (at which the Commissioners then present shall be at Liberty, and are hereby impowered to adjourn themselves to such Times and Places, within any or either of the aforesaid Counties, near the said Rivers, as they shall think proper; and the said Commissioners, or any seven of them, or the major Part of them assembled at such General Meeting, shall at any or either of such General Meetings, held at any of the respective Times and Places aforesaid, or in pursuance of such Notice aforesaid only, for such Number of Days, as to them shall seem convenient, upon due Examination of any Person or Persons, touching any Matters or Things which concern the better carrying on and regulating the Navigation of the said Rivers, or touching any Matters in Controversy between Party and Party relating thereto, upon Oath, (which Oath they are hereby impowered at such General Meetings to administer, and shall be in these Words:)

'IA. B. do swear, That such Information or Evidence as I shall give, shall be the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

So help me God.'

And make Orders and Constitutions for the setting and ascertaining reasonable Rates and Prices to be taken from the Owners of all Barges, Boats and Vessels, for the Use and Exercise of all the Towing-paths, Gates and Bridges, either by Men or Horses, as they are now used, or shall be used, at the Discretion of the said Commissioners, by the Tenants or Occupiers of all Locks, Weirs, Bucks, Winches, Turnpikes, Dams, Floodgates and other Engines, and Towing-paths, in, upon or near adjoining to the said Rivers ofThames and Isis , or which do or may affect the Navigation of the same, or shall be deemed by the said Commissioners, or any seven of them, or the major Part of them, assembled at such Meeting or Meetings as aforesaid, to be necessary or useful thereto, between the said City of London and the said Town of Cricklade , for the Help and Assistance which Barges, Boats or Vessels may or shall receive thereby, or by means thereof, in their Passage upon the said Rivers, Regard being had as well to the Burden or Tonnage of such Boats, Barges and Vessels that have, do and shall navigate on the said Rivers, as to the Charges and Expences which have been, and shall be, laid out in building, repairing inlarging, improving and supporting the said Locks, Weirs, Bucks, Winches, Turnpikes, Flood-gates and other Engines; and also to make Orders and Regulations touching the Sizes and Draughts of all Boats, Barges and other Vessels navigating the said Rivers; and to settle proper Gauges on the Sides thereof, and how deep they shall load at all Times, and in different Seasons of the Year, so as no Boat, Barge or other Vessel whatsoever, navigating the said Rivers, shall draw more than four Feet on the Sides, or draw morethan four Feetof Water at any Season of the Year; and also to constitute and appoint all such other necessary Rates, Orders, Constitutions, Rules and Regulations concerning the said Navigation, and also concerning such Locks, Weirs, Bucks, Winches, Turnpikes, Dams, Flood-gates and other Engines and Towing-paths, lying between the Places aforesaid, and the Shutting, Penning, Opening, Drawing, Use or Management thereof, for the Benefit and Safety of the said Navigation; and making Satisfaction for the Loss or Damage which any Owners or Occupiers of Mills or Lands shall or may sustain thereby; and concerning all Barges, Boats or Vessels passing by, through or with the Help of the same; and Behaviour of all Bargemen, Boatmen and Watermen belonging to or working in such Barges, Boats or Vessels, so as to remedy the Abuseswhich have been frequently heretofore committed, or may hereafter be...

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