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Extracted from J E Smith's note book by Kay Collins 2007
Notes by J E Smith

These notes about the preparation for widening the road through Rushden were extracted
by J E Smith (local historian and Church Organist) in 1910. He had copied many notes on
the history of Rushden, probably in preparation for writing a book. The list of tolls charged
for travel along the road are listed for 1754 & for 1781. The Westwood Gate is on the main
road to London, at the county boundary with Bedfordshire. Another toll gate was near the
Parish Church in Church Lane (now Newton Road), and a third on the main road where the
parish joins Higham Ferrers.

Page Notes on the Turnpike etc. Act of Parliament
111 1781 Rushden Turnpike Road
  A petition of several Trustees appointed to put in Execution and Act of Parliament made in 27th year of the Reign of this late Majesty (1754) for Repairing & widening the road through Rushden. Ordered that the said petition be referred to the consideration of a committee to examine matter and report to the House. And it is referred to Mr Frederick Mantague & Mr Powey. And they are to meet tomorrow morning at Nine of the Clock in the Speaker's Chamber and have power to send for persons, papers and recorder. 21 Geo III From House of Commons Journal 1780-1782 p184
(copied at Northampton Library on Wednesday March 23rd 1910 JES)
112 A Bill for continuing the term & altering & enlarging the term of an Act made 27th year of his late Majesty for repairing & widening the High Road from Westwood Gate in the parish of Knotting thro' the town of Rushden & Higham, Artleborough Bridge to Turnpike at Barton Seagrave Lane. 21 Geo III 1781
113 Penalty on evading the Tolls by passing thro' Souldrop Gap. And whereas persons travelling between the said town of Rushden & the town of Bedford, by turning out of the said road & passing through a place called Souldrop Gap or over Wymington Wold evade the payment of the tolls hereby granted although they travel upon the said Road for a considerable distance, be it therefore enacted, that if any person shall, with any horse, cattle or carriage, turn out of the said road, or at between Church Hill in the said town of Rushden & Westwood Gate & shall afterward on the same day pass upon any part of the Turnpike Road between Westwood Gate & the said town of Bedford, or if any person shall, with any Horse, Cattle or Carriage, turn out of the said Turnpike Road between the said Town of Bedford and Westwood Gate, & shall afterwards on same day pass upon any part of the said Road between Westwood Gate and Church Hill in the town of Rushden aforesaid, every such person shall be deemed to have evaded the Tolls payable by virtue of this Act, in respect of such Horse, Cattle or Carriage & shall for every such offence forfeit & pay the sum of 20/-.
(The above is from 1781 Bill - JES)
116 Tolls under Act 1754
  Coach with 6 horses
  Coach with 4 horses
  Coach with 2 horses
  Coach with 1 horse
  Waggon with 5 horses
  Waggon with 4 horses
  Waggon with 3 horses
  Waggon with 2 horses
  Waggon with 1 horse
  Horse carrying
  Great Cattle per score
  Calves, Hogs, Sheep, Lambs per score
  Under the Act 1781
  Every horse &c drawing
  Every horse not drawing
  Score of oxen
  Calves, Hogs, Sheep, Lambs
  Every horse, mare, gelding, mule or ass drawing any carriage whatsoever
  Every score of Oxen, Cows or other Neat Cattle
  Every score of Calves, hogs, sheep, lambs
  Provided always & be it enacted That so much of said Act passed in 21st year of his present Majesty, as exempted the inhabitants of Higham Ferrers from paying Toll for the passing of horses, cattle or carriages through the Toll Gate or Turnpike erected between South End of Higham & road leading to Wellingborough, shall be & is hereby repealed.
118 1802 Act for continuing the Term & altering & enlarging the Power of two several Acts passed in 27th year of reign of King Geo II and in 21st year of reign of his present Majesty for repairing & widening the High Road from Westwood Gate in the parish of Knotting through the town of Rushden, Higham Artleborough Bridge to the Turnpike Road in Barton Seagrave Lane.
  Trustees John Achurch, John Day, William Day, Thomas Fletcher, John Fletcher, The Honourable George Germaine, Green Gascoyne, George Gascoyen, John Higgins of Higham Park, Charles Proby, clerk(Stanwick Rector), Thomas Sparke, Richard Stevens. Not lawful to erect any Toll Gate or Turnpike in Higham, North of present Turnpike or Toll Gate now standing South end of Higham & South of road leading to Kimbolton.
124 And be it further enacted That so much of the said recited Act of the 27th year of his late Majesty as directs the places at which Meetings of the said Trustees shall be holden, shall be and is hereby repeated, that for the future all Meetings of said Trustees for carrying the recited Act & this Act into execution shall be holden in the Town of Higham aforesaid and not elsewhere, and the first of such Meetings shall be holden on the third Monday next after the passing of this Act.
128 1822 3 Geo IV Act for continuing Term and enlarging, altering, amending and the powers of several Acts passed in the reign of Geo II & Geo III for repairing Road from Westwood gate thro' Rushden.
(From Vol II Notes & Queries - Northampton Library JES)

NRO Ref: 285P/276
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