Act of Common-Council October 27, 1671, for Paving, Cleansing, and
for preventing Nusances in, the Streets of London, and the Liberties thereof. [See p. 235.]
That the several pieces or parcels of ground hereafter named; that is to say, a piece or parcel
of waste ground on the south side of the hither end of Mile End Green, to the highway there,
extending from the place called the Fort, to the hither end of the wall of the house and ground called
the Red Lion; a piece of ground on the west side of, and contiguous to, Dowgate Dock, now or
late in the possession of Job Clark; a piece or parcel of ground on the east side of, and contiguous to
Puddle Dock, now or late in the possession of John Cock; and a piece or parcel of ground on the
west side of and contiguous to White Friars Dock, now or late in the tenure and possession of Robert
Gosting; shall be from henceforth places for common lay stalls, to be employed for the publick use and
benefit of this city, and liberties thereof, in such manner as the commissioners authorized or to be
authorized by this court, according to the said act of parliament, or any seven of them, shall order
and direct; to be purchased out of the monies arising by the imposition of two shillings per chaldron
upon coals, according to the aforesaid act of parliament.
And that the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them, are hereby farther authorized, as
need shall require, to appoint and set out such and so many other parcels of ground for common lay
stalls, and for publick stores, for all sorts of fuel, and for all sorts of materials for pitching, paving,
and cleansing the streets, and for other commodities for publick use, as from time to time shall be by
them found requisite and necessary; and to make agreement with the proprietors of the said grounds,
and to order payment for the same, in manner as aforesaid; and the ordering and managing of the said
places, when set out and appointed, shall be in the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them.
And that all the profits thereof shall be paid unto the chamberlain of this city for the time being, for
the use of the mayor, commonalty, and citizens of the same; and distinct books of accompts shall be
kept concerning the same. And the said profits shall be disposed of from time to time, as the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them, shall appoint, to be approved of by this court.
And that the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them, shall from henceforth have authority
and are hereby impowered, from time to time, to summon, enquire after, examine, and in default of
appearance upon such summons, or submission to the censure or judgment of the said commissioners,
or any seven or more of them, to cause to be indicted or informed against at the sessions of the peace to
be held for this city, all such persons as have made, and shall continue within this city and liberties
thereof, any bulks or stalls, contrary to the antient usage and custom of this city, and several late acts
of parliament; or have made and shall continue any stall boards above the breadth allowable by the
said antient usage and custom, and acts of parliament; or shall set goods and commodities, or materials for building, into the common streets and common passages within this city or liberties thereof; or
shall hang out goods, to the hindrance or damage of passengers, or their neighbours trade, or streightening the common passage; or shall throw out or cast into the streets any dust, soil, or rubbish; or
shall dig any pits or drains, or otherwise intermeddle with the pavements, (without licence from the
said commissioners, or any seven or more of them) which shall tend to the obstructing or annoyance of
the ways, passages, or water courses of this city.
And farther, that from henceforth no beggars or vagrants, tankard bearers, porters, or other persons
whatsoever, bearing any kind of burthens on their heads, backs, or arms, horses, or any kind of
cattle, shall be permitted at anytime of the day, from six of the clock in the morning until nine of the
clock at night, to go or pass, or be led upon the said flat pavements in any street between the houses
and the posts adjoining to the said flat pavements, except only for going into the said houses directly
cross the said pavements, under the penalty of five shillings for every horse, or other kind of cattle
whatsoever, and three shillings and four pence for every tankard-bearer, porter, and other person
carrying burthen as aforesaid, for every offence, and the said beggars and vagrants to be punished
according to the laws already in force: and that all constables within this city and liberties thereof,
and other officers, employed or to be employed by the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them
(who shall have power, and are hereby authorized and directed to employ such persons accordingly)
and all marshals and their men, and warders, are to take special care to prevent the said offences, and
to apprehend all such offenders. And, in case the said marshals or their men, or warders, shall be
negligent in doing their duty herein, it shall be lawful for the lord mayor for the time being, and his
successors, upon due proof of such neglect, to amove such marshals and their men, and other inferior
warders, and others to put in their places.
And farther, that no street car, or brewers dray, shall, from and after the tenth day of December
next ensuing, be drawn with more than one horse within this city or liberties thereof, unless in such
case only where the load cannot be divided, and that the weight thereof shall require more than one
horse for the draught thereof, and in case also of drawing up any the hills from Thames street, and up
Holborn Hill, upon the penalty of ten shillings, by the owner of such car or dray which shall break
this law, for the first offence, twenty shillings for the second offence, and thirty shillings for the
third, and every other offences; and that the supernumerary horse and horses shall and may be seized
and impounded by the officers appointed to take care of the before mentioned offences, or any of them,
or by such officer or officers as are or shall be appointed by the president, treasurer, and governors of
Christ's Hospital for the time being, for taking care of cars and carmen, until the said penalty
And that all cars, waggons, drays, and other carriages, during all the time of their loading and
unloading within the streets of this city and liberties thereof, unless before six of the clock in the
morning and after eight of the clock in the evening from Lady day to Michaelmas, and before eight
in the morning and after six in the evening from Michaelmas to Lady day, shall stand sideways the
long way of the street, and not cross the same, that so passengers may safely go between the houses
and carriages, (except for such goods and commodities as are not portable;) and that no dray, upon
any occasion whatsoever shall from henceforth stand in any street or passage within this city or liberties
thereof, but where a coach or other dray may pass by such cart or dray so standing, nor shall stand
any longer time than for loading or unloading, or other case of absolute necessity; and that, if any
person or persons shall cause his or their car or carriages to be set otherwise in loading or unloading,
he or they shall forfeit three shillings and four pence for every such offence; and the horse and dray
shall be impounded by any of the officers aforesaid, till payment thereof.
And that all pains, penalties, and forfeitures, in and by this act before limited and appointed,
in case the same shall not be paid to the said commissioners or seven or more of them, upon summons to
the respective offenders beforehand made for their appearance before the said commissioners concerning
payment thereof, shall and may be recovered by action of debt, bill, or information, in the name of
the chamberlain of this city for the time being, in his majesty's court holden before the mayor and
aldermen of the said city in the chamber of Guildhall of the city of London, wherein no essoign or
wager of law shall be admitted or allowed for the defendant: one third part shall be to the prosecutor,
and the other two parts and residue thereof (after all charges out of the said two parts deducted) to
the poor of Christ's hospital in London. In all which suits to be brought by this act, the chamberlain
shall recover his ordinary costs and charges, to be expended in and for recovery of all such forfeitures
against the offender or offenders: and in case the same pains, penalties, and forfeitures shall be paid to
the said commissioners, or any seven or more of them, upon summons as aforesaid, without any
farther process, one third part shall be disposed by the said commissioners, for encouragement of their
officers, who shall take pains in the matter aforesaid, in such manner as they shall think fit, and the
other two parts shall be disposed to the poor of the hospital, as is aforesaid.
Rules, orders, and directions.
I. Item, That hereafter all streets within this city, called, known, or set down to be High streets,
shall be paved round, or causeway fashion: and upon notice given to the commissioners of any
defective pavements in any of the streets, lanes, and passages within this city and liberties, the same
shall be forthwith made good and amended, unless by general consent some better expedient be found
II. That, inasmuch as it hath been found by common experience that the paviours, to hide and
cover their bad workmanship, have oftentimes spread and laid great quantities of gravel over their
pavements, to greater charge of the persons setting them on work than was needful, and which,
upon a sudden rain, did either choak the common sewers, or turn to dirt and mire in the streets; therefore the said paviours are required, that hereafter they do forbear to lay or spread any more gravel on
the pavements than will only fill up the joints of their work, and cause the same to be swept and well
rammed, and leave the pavements bare of gravel, and keep a regular method of paving, not paving
one door higher than another, upon pain of paying five shillings for every complaint.
III. That the breadth of six foot at the least from the foundation of the houses, in such of the said
high-streets which shall be allowed to be posted, shall be paved by the inhabitants or owners with flat
or broad stone for a foot passage; unless such parts thereof as shall lie before any gateway, which
may be done with square rag by the said breadth of six foot, upon pain of paying five shillings for
every week the same shall be omitted to be done after notice given.
IV. that every person having occasion to rebuild or repair any house or houses fronting any street,
lane, or common passage, do first procure licence of Mr. Chamberlain for the time being, to board
in a piece of ground before his building, within which to lay his materials for building; or in default
shall pay forty shillings, and twenty shillings for every week's omission so to do.
V. That a fall or cestpool of convenient bigness shall be made and continued to every grate of the
common sewer within this city and liberties, to receive the sand or gravel coming to the same, so to
prevent the choaking thereof. And, upon complaint at any time made of the want, decay, or defect
thereof, the commissioners will forthwith cause the same to be made or amended.
VI. That the fellowship of carmen of this city, having undertaken for one year, to commence
from the first of January 1671, to sweep and cleanse the streets, lanes, and common passages within
the said city and liberties, from dung, soil, filth, and dirt, and to carry the same, together with what
shall be brought out of the houses of the inhabitants, unto certain laystalls appointed, or that shall
be appointed, by the said commissioners for the time being, the several persons by them employed in
and about this affair, (whose names, places of abode, number of tunbrels or cars, and the wards to
which they are respectively designed, are hereafter set down) or such others as (by death, or removal of
any of them) shall be employed therein, shall keep, observe, and follow the rules and orders hereafter
VII. That they, their agents, or servants, shall come out with their tunbrels or cars and horses, on
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, in every week of the year, from the eleventh of
October to the eleventh of February, by five of the clock every morning of the same days; and not
to continue and remain in the streets, lanes, or passages, after the hour of nine of the clock the same
morning; and from the eleventh of February to the eleventh of October, to come out, as aforesaid,
by four of the clock every morning of the same days, and not to continue or remain in the streets,
lanes, or passages, after the hour of seven of the clock the same morning; and upon every Saturday in
the year to come out as aforesaid, by two of the clock in the afternoon of the same day, to remain and
continue till night, if need be: and within the hours and times aforesaid shall cleanse all the streets,
lanes, and passages, every man within his or their respective divisions, from its soil, filth, and dirt, by
sweeping of the same, and carrying it away, together with what shall be brought out of the houses of
the inhabitants, to the laystalls appointed, or that shall be appointed, upon pain to forfeit for every
offence ten shillings.
VIII. That the several inhabitants within this city and liberties, or their servants, do take care
that the dirt, ashes, and soil of their houses be in a readiness for the carmen, their agents, or servants,
either by setting out the same over night in tubs, boxes, baskets, or other vessel, near and contiguous
to their houses, or by bringing out the same within convenient time, before the hours for their departure as aforesaid.
IX. That the said carmen, their agents or servants, in their several wards or divisions, (with the
assistance of the servants of the inhabitants, who are hereby directed to give such assistance) shall in
times of frost and snow daily employ themselves in the opening of the channels, and heaping up the ice
and snow, that so the passages may be cleared, and upon a thaw of the same, that all the soil and filth
found in the streets, lanes, and passages be carried away, upon pain of ten shillings for every day's
X. That no person whatsoever do presume to cast out any soil, horse dung, or filth, or carry the
same into any street, lane, or common passage, after the hours aforesaid, either by night or by day,
upon the penalty that the person offending, if known (and if a servant, his or her master or mistress)
to forfeit and pay five shillings; and if not known, the party against whose house the same shall be
found, (having been laid there in the day time, after the hours before-mentioned) shall forfeit one
shilling; which said several forfeitures shall be paid, the one moiety to the discoverer, and
the other to the carman or carmen appointed to cleanse that ward wherein the offence shall be
XI. That the several tunbrels or cars employed in this work shall be marked or numbered according to the number of cars appointed for each ward, upon the penalty of two shillings for every load
carried without such mark.
XII. That the several carmen, undertakers in this affair, shall set upon the fore part of his tunbrel
or car, open and plain to view, a board, whereon to be painted the city arms, the ward to which he
or they are appointed, the mark or number of his tunbrel or car, upon penalty of paying three shillings
and four pence a day for want thereof; which said marking is to betoken the allowance of the commissioners, and to caution the inhabitants from employing of foreign cars.
XIII. That the said carmen undertakers, their agents or servants, shall give notice of their being
in the streets with their tunbrels or cars by loudly knocking a wooden clapper, especially in courts,
alleys, and other back passages, upon pain to forfeit three shillings and four pence upon every complaint duly proved.
XIV. That the said carmen, their agents or servants, do take care that the falls or cestpools
belonging to any grate within their respective wards be once in every week, or oftner, if need require,
cleansed of its dirt and filth, and the same carried away, upon pain to forfeit five shillings for every
complaint duly proved.
XV. That the aforesaid carmen, their agents or servants, and no other, shall also carry away to the
laystalls aforesaid all such soil, dirt, and dung, (rubbish or earth excepted) that shall be made or found
in any of the houses or stables of any inn-keeper, livery-stable-keeper, brewer, dyer, sugar-baker,
sope-maker, or other trader or inhabitant within any the wards to which they are respectively appointed
and designed. For which such quarterly allowance (over and above the customary rates by the scavengers book) shall be made by the assessors of each ward according to their best discretion, respect being had to the trade or other occasions in the making of more or less dung or soil by such traders or
XVI. That the aforesaid carmen, their agents or servants, and no other, shall take up and carry
away to such persons or places, as will receive the same, all such rubbish or earth that shall be made or
found within their respective wards or divisions. For which there shall be paid them by the owners
or proprietors thereof twelve pence per load, and no more. Provided they carry it away within one
day after notice given for the conveniency of the owners, and to avoid complaint of them, upon pain
that the person offending in either of these cases shall pay two shillings per load.
XVII. That no other tunbrel or car, than what is or shall be appointed and allowed by the said
commissioners for doing the works aforesaid, shall be employed, or shall intermeddle with the carrying of any soil, rubbish, earth, dung, paving-stones, Thames-gravel, or the like, within this city or
liberties; bricks or tiles from the water-side within the city or liberties; upon pain to pay to the
carman or carmen employed in cleansing the streets as aforesaid, of the ward where this offence shall
be committed, two shillings for every load so taken up or carried in a tunbrel or car: and for non-payment, that such tunbrel or car shall be carried to the city's pound, called the Green-Yard, and there
to remain till payment thereof. Provided, that if any the said carmen shall not, immediately after
notice, employ himself in carrying the said materials, to forfeit and pay two shillings for every load
thereof, and the owners at liberty to employ foreign cars.
XVIII. That no coachman, carman, carter, drayman, or other person, shall feed his or their
horse or horses with hay or grains in the streets, lanes, or common passages, within this city and
liberties, upon pain to forfeit and pay for every offence two shillings and six pence (over and above the
like sum formerly imposed to be paid to the governors of Christ's hospital) the one moiety to the discoverer and prosecutor, and the other to the carman or carmen of the ward in which the said offence
shall be committed; and in case of non-payment, to carry the horse or horses to the city's pound,
called the Green-yard; there to remain till payment thereof.
XIX. That none of the aforesaid carmen, their agents or servants, or other person or persons, do
sweep the filth or soil of the streets, lanes, or passages, into any the channels of this city, in time of
rain, or otherwise, upon pain to pay six shillings and eight pence for every complaint duly proved.
XX. That no man shall cast or lay in the streets, lanes, or common passages, or channels within
this city or liberties, any dogs, cats, inwards of beasts, cleaves of beasts feet, bones, horns, diegs or
dross of ale or beer, or any noisome thing, upon pain of ten shillings for every offence.
XXI. That no person set a tunbrel, car, or cart, in the street by night time, upon pain to pay two
shillings, besides satisfaction to any person hurt thereby.
XXII. That no person do ride or drive a tunbrel, car, cart, or dray, a trot in the street, (or sit on
any part of the car, cart, tunbrel, or dray, unless another skilful person lead the horse) upon pain to
forfeit and pay two shillings; and in case of non-payment, to carry the horse to the pound, as
aforesaid, to remain till payment thereof.
XXIII. That no waggon, car, or cart, shod with iron, or spignails, or having more horses than
is allowed by the aforesaid act of common council, shall take up any goods within this city or liberties,
to carry for hire about the streets, upon pain to pay five shillings for every offence: aud in case of nonpayment, to carry the horse or horses to the aforesaid pound till payment thereof.
XXIV. That no goung-fermer shall carry any ordure till after ten o'clock in the winter, and
eleven o'clock in the summer, at night, nor shall spill any ordure in the streets, upon pain to forfeit
and pay thirteen shillings and four pence.
XXV. That no pudding-cart of shambles shall go out till after the hours last before-mentioned,
upon pain to forfeit six shillings and eight pence.
XXVI. That no artificer, labourer, or other person, shall make any stop or dam in any
channel, nor shall slake any lime in the streets, lanes, or passages, upon pain to pay two shillings for
XXVII. That no man shall feed any kine, goats, hogs, or any kind of poultry, in the open
streets, upon pain to forfeit three shillings and four pence for every offence.
XXVIII. That no man shall cast into the ditches or sewers, grates or gullets of the city, any
manner of carrion, stinking flesh, rotten oranges or onions, rubbish, dung, sand, gravel, or
any other thing that may stop the course of the same, upon pain of forfeiting forty shillings for every
XXIX. That no man shall make or continue any widraughts, seat or seats, for houses of easement
over, or drains, into, any the common sewers, without licence of the commissioners for the time being,
upon pain to forfeit forty shillings, and forty shillings a month for so long time as the same shall be
continued after warning.
XXX. That no person or persons do presume to keep any laystall for dung, rubbish, earth, or
other soil, either at the water-side, or other place within this city or liberties, other than the common
or publick laystalls, appointed, or to be set out and appointed, by the said commissioners for the time
being; upon pain to forfeit and pay fifty-three shillings and four pence, and forty shillings a week for
every week he or they shall so continue to do after warning, or be indicted from time to time, as a
XXXI. That no tyler, bricklayer, or other person, do throw out of gutters, or off roofs or
other parts of houses, any tyles, loam, or rubbish, into any street, lane, or common passage; but do
bring down the same in baskets or trays; upon pain to forfeit three shillings and four pence for every
XXXII. That no person or persons do set out in the streets, lanes, or passages, any hogsheads,
barrels, or other casks or vessels, to hoop, wash, or dry, or otherwise encumber the passage; upon
pain to forfeit and pay twenty shillings for every offence.
XXXIII. That the dung, mud, filth, and soil of the wards of Billingsgate, Bridge, Langbourn,
Cornhill, Candlewick, Walbrook, Vintry, and Dowgate, shall be carried down to the laystall at
Dowgate-Dock: of the wards of Portsoken, Tower, Aldgate, Duke's Place, and Lyme-Street, to
the laystall set out at Mile-End: of the ward of Bishopsgate within and without to the laystall at
Holloway-Lane end, being part of a meadow there belonging to the city: of the ward of Cripplegate Within and Without, Aldersgate Without, Bassishaw, Coleman-Street, and Broad-Street,
to the laystall at Bunhill: of the wards of Cheap, Cordwainer, Queenhithe, and Bread-Street, to
the laystall at or near the Three Cranes, and in Dunghill-Lane near Broken-Wharf, until such
time as the publick wharf or key at the river-side shall be laid open, and afterwards to the laystall at
Puddle-Dock: of the wards of Farringdon within, Castle-Baynard, Aldersgate Within, and St.
Martins le-Grand, to the laystall at Puddle-Dock: of the ward of Farringdon Without, to the laystall at White-Friars: and this course to be used until the commissioners shall see cause to alter the
same; and whoso shall offend herein shall forfeit and pay five shillings for every offence.
XXXIV. That the carmen undertakers, their agents or servants, shall have liberty to carry rubbish from all parts of the city or liberties, into the Vineyard near [without] Aldgate, for levelling
the same, till the first of May next, and to shoot the same there gratis, and after that time to pay
such sum for what they there shoot as the commissioners shall require.
XXXV. That inasmuch as the said carmen have undertaken to do this work in a better manner
and to greater satisfaction than heretofore hath been done; and the commissioners believing from
what they have already observed, that they will accordingly perform the same, do therefore exhort
all persons, that shall be rated towards this work, willingly and readily to pay the same; so to prevent trouble to themselves, and discouragement to the said carmen, in a work of this nature, so
requisite and necessary to the health and trade of the inhabitants of this city.
XXXVI. That the several pains and penalties before-mentioned, not particularly expressed to
whom to be paid, shall be paid into the chamber of London, upon summons or warning by the
officers attending the commissioners, or either of them; or, in default, the offender or offenders to
be indicted at the sessions for his or their respective offences.
XXXVII. That if any the aforesaid carmen, their agents or servants, do offend in any the particulars aforesaid, or otherwise relating to this affair; that complaint be made thereof to the commissioners at the Guildhall, who will deal with them according to their offences.
XXXVIII. That the Scavengers for the time being, in the several wards and precincts within
this city and liberties, do take care, either by their own observations, or complaints to them by any
of the inhabitants, that the said carmen, their agents or servants, do accordingly perform the several
branches aforementioned to them relating; or to make complaint thereof to the commissioners; upon
pain that the said scavengers shall, from time to time, for their negligence or remissness, be indicted
at the sessions; unless they shall submit to the censure and judgment of the said commissioners for the