Postage, etc. Act 1813
(53 Geo 3 c.68, 3rd June 1813)
An Act to repeal the Exemption from Toll granted for or in respect of Carriages with more than Two Wheels, carrying the Mail in Scotland; and for granting a Rate for Postage, as an Indemnity for the Loss which may arise to the Revenue of the Post Office from the Payment of such Tolls.
[ 3d June 1813 ]
WHEREAS by an Act passed in the Twenty fifth Year of the Reign of His present Majesty, intituled An Act to exempt Carriages carrying the Mail from paying Tolls at any Turnpike Gate in Great Britain, it was enacted, That, from and after the Fifteenth Day of July One thousand seven hundred and eighty five, all Carriages of what Description soever, or Horses which should be employed in conveying from one Part of the Kingdom to another the Mail or Packet which should be made up under the Authority or Direction of His Majesty's Postmaster General or his Deputy or Deputies, should be and the same were thereby exempted, freed and discharged from the Payment of any Tolls whatsoever that should or might be demanded for the Passage of Carriages or Horses through any Turnpike, Toll Gate, or Bar at which any Toll was collected by any Art or Acts of Parliament then in force: And whereas a similiar Exemption has been granted by all or most of the Acts of Parliament which have been passed, since the said recited Act, for making and maintaining any Turnpike Road or Bridge, or for altering or enlarging the Powers of such Acts of Parliament; but which Exemption ought to cease and determine in that Part of Great Britain called Scotland, in so far as regards Carriages with more than Two Wheels, or any Horse or Horses drawing the same: May it therefore please Your Majesty that it may be exacted; and be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That, from and after the passing of this Act, the said recited Act passed in the Twenty fifth Year of the Reign of His present Majesty shall be and the same is hereby repealed, in so far only as the same applies to Scotland, and save and except in regard to Carriages with Two Wheels conveying only the said Mail or Packet, with their Driver, and any Horse or Horses drawing the same, and any Horse, not drawing, employed in conveying the said Mail or Packet, which shall continue exempted from the Payment of any Tolls or Duties; any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. And be it further enacted, That, from and after the passing of this Act, every Exemption granted by any Act or Acts of Parliament which shall be in force in Scotland at the passing of this Act, whereby any Carriages or Horses drawing the same, which shall be employed in conveying from one Part of the Kingdom to another the Mail or Packet which shall be made up under the Authority and Direction of His Majesty's Postmaster General, or his Deputy or Deputies, are exempted, freed and discharged from the Payment of the Tolls or Duties thereby granted, shall be and the same is hereby repealed; and such and the like Tolls and Duties shall thenceforth be paid and payable for and in respect of such Carriages or Horses carrying the said Mail or Packet in Scotland, as are and shall be paid and payable for or in respect of Carriages or Horses of the like Description, not carrying such Mail or Packet, passing through any Turnpike Gate in Scotland.
III. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That Carriages with Two Wheels, conveying only the said Mail or Packet, with their Driver, and any Horse or Horses drawing the same, and any Horse, not drawing, employed in conveying the said Mail or Packet, shall continue exempted from the Payment of any such Tolls or Duties; any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.
IV. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That no such Carriages or Horses carrying the said Mail or Packet shall be stopped at any Turnpike Gate or Bar in Scotland for Payment of the Tolls or Duties payable for or in respect of such Carriages or Horses; nor shall such Tolls or Duties be let to farm, but the same shall be paid out of the Revenue of the Post Office in Scotland, at such time and in such manner as may be settled and agreed upon by and between the several Trustees entitled to demand or receive the same, and the Deputy in Scotland to His Majesty's Postmaster General, in such manner as that Payment may be made, at least Once in every Three Calendar Months: Provided nevertheless, that whenever such an Agreement shall not be made, or being made shall not be performed, then the several Tolls or Duties leviable for or in respect of any such Carriages or Horses carrying the said Mail or Packet, shall and may be recovered, in the Name of the Treasurer or Clerks of the respective Trusts, in the Court of Session or the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, by summary Application, against the Deputy in Scotland to His Majesty's Postmaster General.
V. And be it further enacted, That if any Keeper of any Toll Bar, or any other Person, shall wilfully obstruct or delay any Carriage or Horse conveying the said Mail or Packet at or in passing any Turnpike Gate, every Person so offending shall, for every such Offence, forfeit and pay a Sum not exceeding Five Pounds Sterling, to be recovered within Three Calendar Months thereafter, on Proof upon Oath of the Offence either by the voluntary Confession of the Party or by the Oath of One or more credible Witness or Witnesses before any Justice of the Peace of the County or Stewartry or Place where the Offence shall be committed, or where the Offender shall be or reside, to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Offender's Goods and Effects under the Hand of such Justice, rendering the Overplus (if any) after deducting the Charges of such Distress and Sale, to the Person whose Goods and Effects shall have been so distrained or sold; and for want of sufficient Distress, such Justice is hereby required to commit such Offender to the Common Gaol of the County, Stewartry or Place where the Offence shall have been committed, for any time not exceeding Two Calendar Months, and every such Penalty shall and may be levied to the Use of the Person or Persons suing for the same.
VI. And, in order to make up any Loss which may arise to the Revenue of the Post Office from the Payment of the Tolls and Duty hereby directed to be made by the Deputy in Scotland, to His Majesty's Postmaster General, to the several Trustees entitled to demand and receive the same, be it therefore enacted, That it shall and may be lawful to and for His Majesty's Postmaster General, and his Deputy and Deputies by him thereunto authorized, to and for the Use of His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, from and after the passing of this Act, to demand, have, receive and take for the Post and Conveyance of all Letters and Packets which he shall convey, carry or send Post, in or by any Mail Coach or Carriage with more than Two Wheels, to or from any Place within Scotland, or from any Place within England and Ireland, or from any Parts beyond the Seas to any Place within Scotland, or from any Place within Scotland to any Place in England or Ireland, or from any Parts beyond the Seas, in addition to all other Rates and Duties now payable for the Conveyance by the Post of such Letters and Packets, the Sum of One Halfpenny for each Letter and Packet.
VII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the Rates and Duties hereby granted shall not be payable for Letters conveyed by the Post in Scotland upon Roads where Mail Coaches are not now established in Scotland; but in case Mail Coaches shall at any future time be established on such Roads, the like Rate of Postage of One Halfpenny a Letter shall from thenceforth be payable in like manner as the present additional Rate of One Halfpenny is hereby made payable.
VIII. And be it further enacted, That the Duties hereby granted shall from time to time be paid into the Hands of the Receiver General for the time being of the Revenue of the Post Office, who shall pay the same (the necessary Charges of collecting, paying, and accounting for the same being first deducted) into the Receipt of the Exchequer, and shall be appropriated and applied to such and the same Uses as the present Rates and Duties of Postage are by Law applicable.
IX. And be it further enacted, That if any Person or Persons hall at any time be sued, molested, or prosecuted for any thing by him, her or them done or executed in pursuance of this Act, or of any Clause, Matter or Thing herein contained, such Person and Persons shall and may, in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, plead the General Issue, and give the Special Matter in Evidence for his, her or their Defence; and if upon the Trial a Verdict shall pass for the Defendant or Defendants, or the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs shall become nonsuited, then such Defendant or Defendants shall have Treble Costs awarded to him, her or them against such Plaintiff or Plaintiffs; and in every such Action or Process brought before the Court of Session in Scotland, the Defendant or Defendants shall and may deny the Libel, and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evidence, and that the same was done in pursuance of and by the Authority of this Act; and if the same shall appear to have been so done, or if such Action or Process shall be found irrelevant, or be otherwise dismissed, or the Pursuer or Pursuers shall not prosecute the Action or Process, or suffer the same to fall asleep; or if the Judgment shall be given against the Pursuer or Pursuers, the Defender or Defenders shall have Treble Costs, and shall have such Remedy for recovering the same as any Defender or Defenders hath or have for Costs in any other cafes of Law in Scotland.
X. And be it further enacted, That this Act may be varied, altered or repealed, by any Act to be passed in this present Session of Parliament.