Author Topic: Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800  (Read 976 times)

Offline USCRx

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Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800
« on: Tuesday 16 May 17 23:58 BST (UK) »
   I have a copy of a “Letter to the Editor” from the Berwick Journal, dated 19 Jan 1888, entitled “The Jeffreys of Berwickshire.” This letter has an intriguing story that refers to a “William Jeffrey,” that could be my g-g-g-grandfather. The story is as follows: “In the end of the last or the beginning of the present century, toll bars were first placed on Berwickshire roads. Popular feeling against the tolls ran so high that a number of them were burned down. My father’s uncle, Wm. Jeffrey, was one of those who took part in the burning of the tolls. The country was scoured by the military in search of the depredators, and a number of apprehensions took place. William Jeffrey, however, was able to escape. He lay for a considerable time in Whitehall plantation concealed in its dense foliage, and was supplied with food under cover of night. How long he hid there I do not know, but in the end he fled to America.”
   Does anyone have a suggestion on how this story might be verified? And does anyone know anything else about this period of history in Berwickshire, and why the toll bars were a necessity? Would love to know more.

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Offline Ruskie

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Re: Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 17 May 17 00:56 BST (UK) »
Presumably the owner of the road wanted those who travelled on it to pay to use it, and required them to pay a toll. The traveller would not be allowed to pass until they paid the toll. No one likes paying a toll (even today) some must have taken it upon themselves to burn the toll gates as a protest.

 :)

(This is just my assumption and is not based on any knowledge or research.)

Presumably you have tried googling key words?

Can you estimate a time that this may have occurred based on when these people lived and died? It might help in the search, as newspapers of the day may have covered the events.

I have not read this, but you may find something of use here:
http://www.oldroadsofscotland.com/Resources.htm

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Offline Falkyrn

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Re: Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 17 May 17 01:06 BST (UK) »
Most new roads of the time were either privately constructed or were financed by local trusts. The land owners or the trusts were empowered to collect tolls to pay for the roads.
It wasn't until later in the 19th century that there was a major public inquiry into the way roads were financed.
The tolls were unpopular for a number of reasons but primarily because they were seen as unfairly applied and were also applied to roads which had previously been free to travel.

Have a look at www.oldroadsofscotland.com which will give you more information, or the Statistical Accounts of Scotland which give a detailed look at each County
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Offline Skoosh

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Re: Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 17 May 17 09:41 BST (UK) »
We had the same problem in Scotland with the much resented bridge tolls, protests & refusal to pay was the result! so a long tradition. Fortunately the present government abolished them & the new Forth crossing which is due to open this year, will not be tolled.  ;D

Skoosh.

Offline Sunlaws

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Re: Burning of Berwickshire Toll Bars ~ 1800
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 17 May 17 18:21 BST (UK) »

Hi
According to the information in SBC's 'Duns Town Trail' leaflet, it looks like the date is 1792 rather than 1800:
" During the 18th century the road network was improved greatly in the Borders. This was due largely to the creation of Turnpike Trusts who undertook road improvements, the costs of which were
recouped by the imposition of tolls. The Duns area was turnpiked in 1791-2 and there was
great opposition to the seven tollbars, two of which were in the town itself. Almost as
soon as the tolls had been erected, the town ones were destroyed by fire and soon after,
two in the countryside were also destroyed.The tolls within the town do not appear to
have been replaced. "
Regards,
Lesley
Bradley, Gledhill, Dodson, Norcliffe, Kaye, Matthewman- all Berry Brow/Almondbury
Webster- Northowram
Brick wall: Maria Blaymires  c 1800 Northowram