Recital of Inconveniencies of the present State of Bridge and Quay of Bridgewater.
Duty for 14 Years upon certain Goods unladed from Ships, or laded into Lighters, &c.
Whereas the Borough of Bridgewater in the Country of Somersett is of greate Importance to Trade and the
Bridge and Key thereof whilst in Repaire was of greate Use & Advantage to the Inhabitants and others
resorting to that Port and Towne which by reason of the Increase of Shipps (now belonging to that Port) is not
large enough for convenient Morage but by the overflowing of the Tides and the Violence of the Fresh Waters is
much decayed and must inevitably fall downe and become uselesse if not speedily repaired to the great prejudice
of the Inhabitants of the said Borough and the [County (fn. 1) ] adjacent the great Charge of inlargeing preserving and
repaireing whereof the Mayor Aldermen Burgesses and Co[m]monalty of the said Borough are in no wise able to beare
having expended greate Su[m]ms of Money beyond the Income appropriated to the Repaires thereof To the end
therefore that the said Bridge and Key may be inlarged preserved & repaired be it enacted by the Kings most
Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal & the Commons in
Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That for Fourteene Yeares from and after the First Day of
May in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety eight there shall be paid by every the Master or
other Person or Persons having the Rule and Co[m]mand of any Shipp or Vessell unlading or which shall unlade on
the said Key or into any Barge Boat Hoy or Lighter to passe through the said Bridge att the time of unlading
thereof for the Goods hereafter mentioned (that is to say) For every Weigh of Coals (according to the Measure
[now (fn. 2) ] used there) Last of Wheate Rye Barley Malt and other Graine and for every Weigh of Salt and every Tun
of any other Goods or Merchandizes whatsoever (and so proportionably for a greater or lesser quantity which shall
be imported and unladen in the said Port as aforesaid) such Su[m]m or Su[m]ms not exceeding Twelve Pence of lawfull
Money of England (inclusive of all Keyage Wharfage Pontage and Cranage heretofore payable) as the said Mayor
Aldermen Burgesses & Co[m]monalty and their Successors in Co[m]mon Council assembled or the major part of them shall
from time to time order or appoint.
II. Mayor, &c. may appoint Collectors of Duties.
who are to pay Duties, collected to the Receiver of the Borough.
And to the end that the Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money already payable and to be paid by virtue of this Act may be
duely collected and levied to the Use and Purpose aforesaid Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That
it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Mayor Aldermen Burgesses and Co[m]monalty in Co[m]mon Council
assembled and their Successors or the major part of them from time to time and att all times hereafter dureing the
said Terme of Fourteene Yeares to nominate and choose such Person or Persons to be Collector or Collectors of
every such Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money as shall be ordered or appointed to be paid as aforesaid as they shall think
fitt And all such Su[m]m and Su[m]ms of Money the said Collector or Collectors shall from time to time pay or cause
to be paid into the Hands of the Receiver of the Issues and Proffitts of the said Borough for the time being to the
Use of the Mayor Aldermen Burgesses and Co[m]monalty for the Use Intent and Purpose aforesaid and to no other
Use Intent or Purpose whatsoever.
Five of Eight Commissioners may inspect Accounts;
Four of such Commissioners nominated by Mayor, &c., and the other Four by Quarter Sessions for the County of Somerset; Five of such Commissioners may call Collectors before them; and appoint Expenditure; Mayor may administer Oath to Collectors.
And to the intent that all and every the Su[m]m and Su[m]ms of Money which shall be collected and levied by virtue
of this Act or already payable may be imployed for and towards inlargeing preserving & repairing the said Bridge
and Key Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That there shall be Eight or any Five of them Co[m]missioners
nominated and appointed to have Inspection and take the Accounts of the Receipts and Disbursements of such
Moneys as shall be so collected and levied dureing the said Terme Foure of which said Co[m]missioners shall be yearely
and every yeare from time to time nominated and appointed by the Mayor Aldermen Burgesses and Co[m]monalty and
their Successors in Co[m]mon Council assembled or the major Part of them and the other Foure of them shall be
nominated and appointed by the Justices of the Peace for the said County of Somersett att the respective Quarter
Sessions of the Peace to be holden for the said County Which said Co[m]missioners or any Five or more of them shall
and may from time to time dureing the said Terme call before them the Collectors and others who shall from
time to time be intrusted with the Collection Receipt or Imployment of the Moneys to be collected and received
in pursuance of this Act who shall and are by virtue of this Act required to render unto the said Co[m]missioners or
any Five or more of them a true Account thereof and of all and every Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money which shall rest
due upon such Account And the said Co[m]missioners or any Five or more of them shall and may order and appoint
all such Moneys as shall rest due upon such Account to be laid out and expended for and towards the Uses and
Purposes aforesaid as there shall be Cause And the Mayor of the said Borough for the time being is hereby enabled
and required to administer an Oath to every such Collector or Collectors or any other Person or Persons imployed
as shall be nominated and chosen as aforesaid for the true and faithfull executing his and their Office in and about
the Premisses according to the true intent and meaning of this present Act.
IV. Allowance to Collectors.
Provided That the said Collector and Collectors to be nominated and chosen as aforesaid shall from time to time
be allowed for their Pains in executing the said Office out of the Su[m]ms of Money by him or them received so
much as the said Mayor Aldermen Burgesses & Co[m]monalty and their Successors in Co[m]mon Council assembled or the
major Part of them shall think fitt not exceeding One Shilling in the Pound.
V. Power to Collectors to enter Ships and see what Goods are unlading. If Duties not paid
Collector may distrain for the same; And if Duties not paid within Ten Days after Distress taken, may sell the Distress for Payment of Duties, Costs, &c.; Overplus to Master of Ship.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said
Collector and Collectors for the time being and every or any of them from time to time and att all times convenient
and seasonable to enter into any Shipp or Vessell within the said Port of Bridgewater there to see and informe him
and themselves what Goods shall be in the same unlading And in case the said Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money ordered
and appointed to be paid as aforesaid shall not be paid by the Master or other Person or Persons having the Rule
and Co[m]mand of any Shipp or Vessell unlading as aforesaid according to the true Intent & Meaning of this Act
That then and so often it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Collector and Collectors and every or any
of them by Warrant first obtained from the Mayor or Aldermen or One of them of the said Borough for the time
being under his or their Hands and Seales to take and distraine every such Shipp or Vessell and all Tackle Apparel
& Furniture thereunto belonging or any Part thereof and the same to distraine and keep until hee or they be
satisfied and paid the said Sums of Money imposed by this Act And in case of Neglect or Delay of or in
Payment of the said Su[m]m or Su[m]ms or any of them or any Part thereof within Ten Days next after any such Distresse
or Distresses so taken that then it shall and may be lawfull to & for the Collector or Collectors and every or
any of them to sell the said Distresse or Distresses so taken and therewith to satisfie him or themselves as well for
& concerning the said Duty so neglected or delayed to be paid and for which any Distresse or Distresses shall be
so taken as aforesaid And also for his and their reasonable Charges in taking or keeping such Distresse or Distresses
rendring to the Master or other Person or Persons having the Rule and Command of the Shipp or Vessel of in or
from which such Distresse shall be taken the Overplus if any shall be.
VI. Mayor, &c. may raise Money on Security of Duties.
Such Money to be employed in enlarging the Bridge and Quay.
And forasmuch as the Moneys to be raised by the Duties aforesaid will not for a long time raise such a Stock
or Su[m]m of Money as may be sufficient for effecting the Ends and Purposes of this Act Be it therefore enacted by
the Authority aforesaid That the Mayor Aldermen Burgesses & Co[m]monalty and their Successors in Co[m]mon Council
assembled or the major Part of them are hereby impowered by Indenture under their Co[m]mon Seale to convey and
assure the Duties granted by this Act or heretofore payable or any Part or Parts thereof as a Security for any Su[m]m
or Su[m]ms of Money by them to be borrowed for the Ends and Purposes of this Act to any Person or Persons that
have already advanced or that shall advance any Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money upon such Security All which Money
to be borrowed shall be imployed for and towards the inlargeing preserving and repairing the said Bridge or Key
of Bridgewater aforesaid according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act.
VII. Certain Quays below the Bridge to be taken for lawful Quays.
And be it further enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid That the Keys or Wharfs now standing on
each Side of the River below the Bridge of Bridgewater aforesaid or that shall be enlarged or repaired (not
exceeding in Length on each Side of the said River One hundred and fifty Yards) are and shall be taken for lawfull
Keys or Wharfs for the landing or laying on Shore any Sort of Goods and Merchandizes whatsoever.
VIII. After the Expiration of the 14 Years, the ancient Duties of Keyage, &c. to be paid.
Provided always That from and after the Expiration of the Yeares hereby granted the ancient Duties of Keyage
Pontage and Cranage shall be demanded continued paid and received as heretofore they have been Any thing in
this or any former Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.