History of the boundary and the marks

The 1861 Act and the new London District


In 1861 the London District was redefined, and all powers for the collection of duties and the erection of markers thenceforth applied to the new area. As the boundary was not changed again during the lifetime of the duties, it is the district as defined by the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1861 which the surviving boundary marks demarcate.

The district was defined to coincide with the Metropolitan Police District together with the City of London. The Metropolitan Police District was originally defined in the schedule to the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 and was added to by various Orders in Council made under the Act and the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. These were consolidated by an Order of 1840 made under these Acts. The District remained unchanged until after the coal duties were abolished (it was not altered until the Police Act 1946 but has been changed a number of times since).

The change resulted in a considerable reduction in the area liable to duty. The difference between the two boundaries is vivdly illustrated on the London coal &c duties map

In addition the duties continued to be levied on coal entering the Port of London downstream to Gravesend, where the boundary presumably continued to be marked by the obelisk erected in 1826. However this aspect of the area of collection was not depicted on the various maps relating to the duties.

The marks originally set at 20 miles from the GPO were moved after the 1861 Act. Although many of the earlier marks were reused (See Coal and Corn and Finance Committee Minutes passim and the evidence of the dates and inscriptions on surviving posts), a large number of new marks were made for the 1861 Act. These were erected mainly on roads, tracks, etc which had not previously been covered systematically. Posts were also erected (eg on newly built railways) as they became necessary throughout the whole period up to the abolition of the duties (See Coal and Corn and Finance Committee Minutes passim).

Although most of the markers erected under the 1861 Act were on roads, etc very little coal came into London in this way, or indeed by inland navigation. Up to this period the greatest quantity was brought in by sea, as it always had been. Later on in the century the railways took over the leading position, though as the amount imported rose, the coasting trade was able to maintain the actual amounts it carried at a fairly constant level (see Mitchell & Deane's Abstract of British historical statistics, Chapter IV, table 2 and also An epitome of the progress of the trade in coal to London since 1755).

The involvement of parochial officials in the siting of road-side posts (see above in The London District 1845-1861) seems to have resulted in some unnecessary posts being erected where two parishes within the London District adjoined: eg Warlingham and Farleigh No 179 in the list, or Epsom and Malden (No 118 and No 119).

Page created by Martin Nail: Contact me. Last revised 11th August 2010

Creative Commons License This web site: Copyright 2010 Martin Nail. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Valid XHTML 1.0!  |  Valid CSS!  |  Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0