Sources and bibliography

London coal dues map


Shows the 1861 coal duties boundary and the Metropolitan Board of Works boundary with the "Outside Area" -- ie the area between these two boundaries -- divided into parliamentary divisions (constituencies).

As described in The end of the duties, in 1887-88 the City and the Board of Works were trying to get the duties extended beyond 1889. In order meet the objection that residents of what the map calls the outside area were paying the duties but not benefiting from them, there was discussion of paying a proportion of the duties to authorities in that area. In the bills introduced in 1888 and 1889 provisions for money to be paid, in proportion to their rateable values, to the MBW and the urban and rural sanitary areas in the "Outer Area".

The urban and rural sanitary areas -- predecessors of urban and rural districts -- were fairly obvious authorities to which to allocate the money, so the question arises as to why the map shows the outer area divided instead into parliamentary divisions. The answer is probably that the figures had been prepared on the basis of parliamentary divisions for the conference in November 1887, before the 1888 bill was drafted. The evidence for this is that both the county totals in the Statement for the use of the conference meeting at Guildhall on the coal and wine duties 16th November 1887 in the files of the Coal and Corn and Finance Committee (COL/CC/CCF/04/006) and the more detailed breakdown on the map seem to be taken from the same calculation, represented by a manuscript in the same file. The use of parliamentary divisions may well have been to demonstrate to MPs attending the conference how their own areas would benefit.

The map must date therefore from about 1887/88. It could possibly have been produced in 1887 for the conference (though the Statement does not mention it and the reference to the Bill is not consistent with the implication in the Statement that a Bill was yet to be drafted). It seems likely therefore that it was produced between November 1887 and February 1888. Although by then (possibly as a result of discussions at the conference) the decision had been made to allocate money to urban and rural sanitary areas, the map still showed parliamentary divisions as these were the only figures that were available.

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