1819: Canal Rules and Byelaws
Historic Document, 15th June 1819
RULES, ORDERS and BYELAWS made by the Committee of Management of the Wilts & Berks Canal Navigation at their General Quarterly Meeting held on the Sixteenth day of June 1819 for the well and orderly using of the said Navigation and for the orderly behaviour of all Bargemen, Boatmen and Others employed or to be employed thereon.
1. That no boatman or other person shall navigate any boat upon this Canal at any other times than between the hours of seven in the morning and five in the evening during the month of November, December, January and February; between the hours of five in the morning and seven in the evening during the months of March, April, September and October; and between the hours of four in the morning and nine in the evening during the months of May, June, July and August, nor on any Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday without the consent of the Company's superintendent for the time being.
2. That no boat shall pass any lock or be navigated upon any part of this Canal which shall have a square head or stern or any projection at the sides or bottom thereof or be constructed in any respect so as to injure the locks, bridges, masonry, banks, lining, puddling or other works of the said Canal except by the special permission of the Committee of Management of this navigation or their Superintendent for the time being but the same shall and may be prevented from passing any lock or navigating the said Canal by any of the Lock-keepers or servants of the said Company.
3. That no boat shall be navigated upon any part of this Canal with the stern foremost (except in passing to the nearest turning place) or without a rudder and that the rudder shall be made upon such construction and hung in such manner as in no wise to injure or tend to injure any of the works of the said Canal and the Steerer or person having the care of any boat navigated contrary to this Byelaw shall for every offence against the same forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding forty shillings nor less than twenty shillings.
4. That no person or persons shall navigate on this Canal two or more boats fastened together whether loaded or unloaded but that each boat shall be haled by one horse only with the haling line fixed to the mast and the person employed to drive the horse shall be of the age of fourteen years at the least and there shall be another person of the age of eighteen years at the least at the rudder to steer or guide such boat and the steerer or person in care of any boat navigated contrary to this Byelaw shall for every offence against the same forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Forty Shillings nor less than Twenty Shillings.
5. That no boat or other vessel having on board any pole, shaft or other instrument used or intended to be used in punting or navigating such boat or other vessel, pointed, spiked or shod with iron or other metal of less area at each end thereof than ten square inches shall pass upon any part of this Canal and the steerer or person having the care of any boat or other vessel on board of which such poles, shaft or other instrument shall be found for every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Twenty Shillings.
6. That every empty boat passing on this Canal shall give way to every loaded boat until the loaded boat shall have cleared such empty boat and all loaded boats travelling towards Abingdon shall have passage given them by those boats going in a contrary direction and the steerer or person in care of any boat navigated contrary to this Byelaw shall for every offence against the same forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Forty Shillings nor less than Twenty Shillings.
7. That every person having the command or care of every boat shall before the same arrives at any swivel or drawbridge over this Canal cause such bridge to be effectively opened and shall so steer his boat as to prevent it from striking and injuring the platform, handrail or any other part thereof and any person offending against this Byelaw shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Forty shillings.
8. That the steerer or person in care of any boat navigating on this Canal shall on approaching any lock thereon cause the horse to be loosened from the line by which such boat shall be haled before the time such horse arrives at the beginnings of the wing walls thereof and shall pass his boat through any such lock without the use of the horse and that a strap or rope of sufficient strength shall always be attached to the stern of every boat and which the steerer or other boatman or person having the care thereof shall throw round a post for that purpose properly affixed in such manner as to check the too rapid progress of the said boat and prevent it from striking against the gates or other works of such lock and any steerer or person as aforesaid offending against these regulations and pay any sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Twenty Shillings.
9. That no boatman, lock-keeper or other person shall draw up or let down any paddle of a lock on this Canal without using a windlass for that purpose on pain of forfeiting for every such offence any sum not exceeding Forty Shillings nor less than Twenty Shillings.
10. That no boatman or other person shall take into or discharge from any boat or other vessel the whole or any part of the lading thereof from or upon the bank of any aqueduct or whilst such boat remains in the chamber of any lock or within the distance of fifty yards of any aqueduct, lock or bridge on this Canal except from any regular wharf which may be within the said distance or except with the consent in writing of the Company Superintendent for the time being.
11. That every boatman or other person having the care of any boat or vessel not navigating the same on the Canal, moor and fasten or cause to be fastened such boat at both ends on the opposite side of the Canal to the towing path, but that no boatman or other person shall tie up any boat within fifty yards of any lock, bridge, aqueduct or stop gate.
12. That no person or persons wilfully unmoor or unfasten any boat or cause the same to be adrift.
13. That no person or persons may make a road across, pull up, make gaps in or in any way whatsoever injure or destroy or cause to be injured or destroyed any part of the fences of the towing path or other works of this Canal.
14. That no boatman or person in care of any boat navigating on this Canal shall suffer the horse or other beast employed in haling the same to pass along the towing path thereof without being sufficiently muzzled at all times to prevent such horse or other beast from eating or cropping the quick or other fences belonging to the said Canal or shall suffer such horse or other beast to trample upon or in any way injure the same upon pain of forfeiting for every such offence any sum not exceeding the sum of Twenty shillings.
15. That no horse infected with the glanders, mange or other contagious disease shall be employed to hale boats or for any other purpose on the line of this Canal and the steerer or person having the care of any boat which shall be haled by any such horse or the person using such horse in any other way on the said Canal shall for every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Three Pounds.
16. That if any person should wilfully throw in any carrion or other nuisance or shall bathe in any part of this Canal or shall angle or fish with nets or otherwise without being entitled to do so by the Act for making the said Canal every such person shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Twenty Shillings.
17. That no person navigating a boat upon this Canal shall pass any lock or stop gate thereon without delivering his Permit to the Toll Collector for that purpose appointed in order that the same may be examined and compared with the lading of such boats.
18. That if any person shall wilfully and maliciously break open or cause to be broken open any padlock or other fastening of any lock or stop gate, bar or chain belonging to this Canal; or if any shall draw the paddles of or attempt to pass his boat through any lock during the time such lock is under repair or during the time that part of the Canal in which such lock is situated is shut up either for the purpose of repairs or of regulating the water belonging thereto, every such person offending against this Byelaw shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding the sum of Five Pounds.
19. That no person shall use the towing path of this Canal except for the purpose of haling the boats navigating thereon nor shall any person or persons load or unload any boat from upon or carry or convey such loading across the towing path without the express leave of the Company's Superintendent first obtained in writing.
20. That if any horse or other grazing beast shall be found loose on the towing path of this Canal except in such cases where the lands adjoining the same are not fenced off from the said towing path or except with the permission of the Company's Superintendent, the Owner or other person in care of such horse or other grazing beast shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding the sum of Twenty Shillings nor less than Ten Shillings.
21. That if any person shall needlessly and wantonly open or draw up any swivel or drawbridge on this Canal or shall wilfully leave any gate open upon or adjoining the towing path thereof, every such person offending against this Byelaw shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding twenty shillings nor less than ten shillings.
22. That at all wharves and other places upon this Canal where coals, goods, merchandise, materials and other things are landed out of or into boats there shall be a wall built or piles driven and a stank, stage or landing erected that boats may be fastened close to the side to be loaded or unloaded there, and that all coal, goods, merchandise, materials and other things which shall be unloaded at any wharf or other place in the side of the said Canal shall be placed at least five feet back from the edges of the stank, stage or landing to be erected.
23. That any boat coming up to a wharf, as soon as it is brought to its Station shall be haled to the side and fastened at both ends and be discharged of its lading with all convenient speed and that no boat after having completed its loading shall remain at such Wharf or upon any other part of the Canal longer than one hour without proceeding to the place of its destination provided that the time for its departure be reasonable and according to the regulations of the first Byelaw.
24. That the steerer or person having the care of any boat or other vessel coming into any bason or adjoining any Wharf or Warehouse belonging to this Company shall tie up and moor such boat or other vessel in such place and manner as the Company's Wharfinger for the time being shall direct, and that all coals, goods, wares, merchandise or other things unloaded or to be unloaded at any Wharf or deposited in any Warehouse belonging to this Company shall be laid and placed in such manner and on such part of the said Wharf or in the said Warehouse as the Company's Wharfinger for the time being shall direct.
25. That every carriage coming to any Wharf belonging to this Company for the purpose of being unloaded or unloaded shall after a reasonable time for such loading or unloading be removed as the Company's Wharfinger for the time being shall direct and that such carriages as are intended to be weighed at any of the Company's machines shall be weighed thereat in rotation according to the order in which they have entered the said Wharf, and not cross each other to gain a preference in turn.
26. That the hours of doing business at the Wharves and Warehouses belonging to this Company shall be the same as those for navigating boats upon the Canal and that no boatman or other person shall remain upon such Wharves or in such Warehouses after the expiration of the said hours upon being required to quit the same by the Company's Wharfinger for the time being, and that no lighted candle shall at any time be used in the Company's Warehouses except in a lantern and then only with the permission and in the presence of the Company's Wharfinger for the time being.
27. That no boatman or other person shall be allowed to sleep in the night in the cabin or on board of any boat within any of the Company's Wharves upon the Canal and that no fire be allowed to be made in any boat lying in the said Wharves without the permission of the Company's Wharfinger for the time being.
28. That any person or persons having the care of or belonging to any boat navigating on this Canal shall in the presence of any Toll Collector, Lock keeper or other Agent or Servant of the Company infringe any of the foregoing Rules, Orders and Byelaws, it shall be lawful for such Toll Collector, Lock keeper or other Agent or Servant to lock the paddles of the next or of any lock or to fasten any stop gate, bar or chain, so as to prevent such boat passing until the case has been investigated before a Magistrate or until such person or persons shall make reparation for the enquiry ordained by the Company.
29. That no Toll Collector, Lock keeper or other Servant of this Company shall under any pretence or colour whatsoever ask, demand, or receive for doing or executing any part of the business incident to his office or employment by the Company, any other pay or gratuity whatsoever than what shall be paid him by the said Company of Proprietors.
30. That every person guilty of any breach of any of the foregoing Rules, Orders and Byelaws where no particular penalty is specified in the same shall for every such offence forfeit and pay to the Company any sum not exceeding Forty Shillings.
31. That all persons convicted in any penalty under either of the aforesaid Rules, Orders and Byelaws shall over and above the same pay all the expenses attending such conviction provided the said penalty, fees and expenses shall not altogether exceed the sum of Five Pounds.
In Testimony whereof the Said Committee of Management have hereunto affixed the Common Seal of the Company of Proprietors of the said Canal Navigation, the day and year first above written.
For the Toll Collectors, Lock keepers and workmen employed by the said Company throughout the line of the said Canal.
They are respectively required to take notice that the several Rules, Orders and Byelaws as above written are observed and obeyed by all parties whomsoever within their several departments as far as they are able, and they are respectively required to give earliest information of any offences committed by any person or persons within their knowledge or observation in order that the offender may be punished according to law and in all cases of doubt or difficulties they are required to consult the Company's Principal Clerk or Superintendent previous to proceeding, and these instructions they are required strictly to observe on pain of the Company's displeasure.
Jas. Crowdy, Principal Clerk.