History of the City of London coal duties

The duties 1861 - 1890


As well as changing the boundary within which the duties were collected, as described in The 1861 Act and the new London District, the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1861 continued the duties to 1872 and directed that the duties of 1d. and 8d. should thenceforward be devoted to a "Thames Embankment and Metropolis Improvement Fund", again to be used as Parliament should later determine.

The wine duty imposed by the 1694 Act, which had remained a City revenue long after the repayment of the Orphans Fund debt, was also diverted to this fund. This duty remained payable on wine entering the Port of London and was not affected by the change in area of collection of the coal duties. The boundary markers erected under the Act had therefore no connection with the wine duties.

The residue of the coal duty (ie 4d.) was to remain in the hands of the City (as did the machinery of collection of all duties) but it was to be used for specific purposes of public works notably "making and improving Cannon Street in the City of London and for effecting other improvements in the said City", as previously authorised by the London (City) Improvement Acts of 1847, 1850, and 1852.

The London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1863 extended the 1861 Act to 1882 and directed that the 4d. duty should be used for improvements in the Holborn valley (that is, the building of the viaduct and associated works), after liabilities under the 1861 Act had been discharged. The London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1868 extended the duties to 1889 but in that year the London Coal Duties Abolition Act 1889 abolished all duties on coal and wine leviable by the City, except for the duty of 4d. which was extended until 1890 only, being charged with remaining expenses arising from the Holborn valley scheme. It thereby abolished the duties suspended by the London, Westminster and Home Counties Coal Trade Act 1831 and the wine duty of the 1694 Act; as just stated, the duties imposed by the 1868 Act expired in 1889 in any case.

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