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ney, that no goods should be landed at their quays or stairs, or put thence upon the water to be carried -abroad, before the said goods were entered in the queen's custom books, and to be laden in the presence of some searcher.” These quays mostly take their names from their antient owners. One of these, formerly called Somers Key, is worthy of notice; here all the goods belonging to the East India Company are housed previous to exportation; it is therefore denominated EAST INDIA WHARF.
COAL EXCHANGE. This is a very neat and convenient structure for the use of dealers in an extensive home commodity; and consists of a very handsome front, with a quadrangle behind, where every branch of the coal business is transacted.
In our first volume, we have stated, that this useful article was introduced into the city with great difficulty; and though employed in manufactures for several hundred years *, was not brought into common use till the reign of Charles I. and then sold for about seventeen shillings per chaldron. During the Usurpation, the usual price was twenty shillings per chaldron; there were three hundred and twenty keels or lighters employed at Newcastle, each of which was computed to carry annually eight hundred chaldron, New. castle measure, on board the ships for the consumption of the metropolis, and other parts of the kingdom: and that one hundred and thirty-six chaldron of that measure, made two hundred and seventeen of London measure. A few years after the Restoration it appears, that there were two hundred thousand chaldrons consumed in the metropolis; in 1670 two hundred and seventy thousand ; at the Revolution upwards of three hundred thousand chaldrons ; in 1766, șix hundred and fourteen thousand two hundred and forty-two chaldrons; and in the year 1800, the monthly supply of coals for the metropolis was estimated at three hundred cargoes of two hundred and twenty chaldrons each, or sixty-six thousand chaldrons; and the coal trade alone, which exceeds the fo
* In 1590, coals had been raised from four shillings to nine shillings per chaldron.
reign commerce in the number of ships annually discharged, requires double the number of craft which is found necessary for the whole import and export trade of the river. Two thousand one hundred and ninety-six barges, averaging about thirty-three tons each, (amounting in the whole to seventy-one thousand nine hundred and three tons), are chiefly employed in the coal importation. On some oc. casions, above ninety colliers (each requiring on an ave. rage thirteen barges) are discharged at once: one thousand one hundred and seventy coal craft will then be laden with coals, occupying different parts of the pool at the same time; while the chief part of the remaining craft above and below bridge, are used as floating warehouses, until the coals can be disposed of to dealers. The total revenue paid for coals by the consumers in the metropolis is upwards of 360,000l. per annum *.
LAWS RESPECTING COAL DEALER3. By stat. 16 and 17 Charles II. “ All sorts of sea coals brought into the river Thames and sold, shall be sold by the chaldron, containing thirty-six bushels, heaped according to the bushel sealed for that purpose at Guildhall; and all other coals commonly sold by weight shall be sold after the proportion of an hundred and twelve pounds to the hundred, avoirdupois ; upon pain of forfeiture of all coals otherwise sold or exposed to sale by any woodmonger or retailer, and double the value
Per Lond. chald. * The average cost of coals free on board at New- £. s. d. castle, was averaged in 1800, at
0 12 7 Freight to London, light money and charges taken on an average
0 10 6 Duty, 9s. per chaldron, charges of entry, 3d. per chaldron
O 93 Expence of delivery into lighters, including metage,3d.
coal-heavers, Is. 6d. factor's commissions, 4d. per
0 2 1 Lighterage
0 1 4 Expence from lighters to the house
thereof; to be recovered by any person in any court of record, or by complaint unto the lord mayor and justices of peace of London, or any two of them, or to the justices of peace of the places where such coals shall be exposed to sale ; who are upon due proof to convict the offenders, and to give warrant for levying the forfeitures; the one half for the use of the person prosecuting, and the other half for the poor, or repairing of the highways within the same, or adjoining parish; and the lord mayor and court of aldermen, and the justices of peace of the several counties, or three of them, one of the quorum, are to set the prices of coals sold by retail from time to time.
“ If any retailer of coals shall refuse to sell as aforesaid, the lord mayor and aldermen and justices of peace respectively, are to appoint persons to enter into any place where such coals are stored ; and in case of refusal, taking a constable, to force entrance; and the said coals to sell at such rates, rendering to such retailer the money, charges deducted.
“ No person sued by virtue of this act, shall be sued upon any other law for the same offence; and if any action shall be commenced for any thing done by colour of this act, the defendant may plead the general issue ; and if the verdict be found for him, &c, shall have his damages and double costs.
“ No person having interest in any wharf used for the receiving or uttering of coals, or that shall trade in that ar. ticle, shall act in the setting the price."
This act was found so beneficial, that it was made perpetual in the reign of William III.
In 12 Anne, the coal measure was ordered to be made round with an even bottom, nineteen inches and an half from outside to outside, and to contain one Winchester bushel and one quart of water; the sack to contain three such bushels; the bushel to be sealed either at the Exchequer office, or at Guildhall, London : persons diminishing it, or using it unstamped, to forfeit 501.
An act of 3 Geo. II. recites, that by antient custom in the port of London, one chaldron of coals is allowed in to
every score bought on board ship, and so in proportion for a greater or lesser quantity, which is called ingrain; not. withstanding which many persons dealing in coals, do load the same from on board ship bare measure, without the said ingrain, to the great injury of the consumers ;” a penalty of 100l. (recoverable in the superior courts) is imposed upon all lightermen, and others selling any quantity of coals as and for pool measure (viz. such measure as is usually given or allowed in the Pool or River Thames) and not delivering to such purchaser, the full quantity of coals, together with the ingrain, as measured to him from on board by the meter.
Notwithstanding the salutary laws above recited, many speculators in the coal trade pursued every method of cxtortion, to the detriment of the fair dealer and the consumer. This induced various statutes against the unlawful combinations of coal owners and others; wherein it was declared illegal to engross coals, under the following penalties; coal owners, 1001. fitters, 50l. masters of ships, clerks, agents, or servants, 201. "It was also enacted, “ That every fitter, or person selling or delivering coals, should give to the shipmaster a certificate within forty-eight hours, to be registered in the proper offices, stating the voyage, quantity, &c. under a penalty of 101. Any lighterman, &c. receiving any gratuity from owners or fitters, for preference in the quality, or in lading ships, to incur a penalty of 501.--this was, by 3 Geo. II. increased to 5001. A penalty of 50l. is also imposed on all crimps, &c. selling coals to their own agents, in trust for themselves. All bargains for coals at Billingsgate or elsewhere in the bills of mortality, must be entered in the factor's book, signed by buyer and seller, and witnessed by the factor, who shall give a copy of the contract to both, under penalty of 501.-refusal to sign such contract, or to produce it when required, the same penalty. One hundred pounds penalty is imposed on masters of ships refusing to give yearly accounts to their owners, provided that nothing be contained in such directions, which shall relate to the restraining or enhancing the price of coals in the river Thames, or to kceping of turn in delivering of coals there. A fine of one hun
dred dred pounds is also recoverable of owners giving directions to keep turn, and on all persons obeying such directions ; and masters of ships are to deliver their cockets within four days after the arrival of the ship at Gravesend, and not let them remain in the hands of any agents on behalf of the owners, under a penalty of 501.
The irregularities of this trade at last compelled the goyernment to establish LAND COAL METERS' officers, in London, Westminster, and Surrey, as well as at the wharfs on the river Thames within those districts. These offices were under the control of the lord mayor and aldermen, and the various justices of the peace; this establishment took place in 1767, and was extended from Tower Dack to Limehouse Hole, and afterwards to all the parishes lying between Patney and Rotberhithe. In 1786, a like office was established in Westminster and certain parishes in Middlesex, subject to the control of the justices at the quarter-sessions for that city and the county.
The united effect of the various acts for these establish, ments, with the penalties imposed on offences in each district, is subjoined by way of summary, distinguishing any difference made by the provisions of the respective statutes.
The principal land coal meter, in each district must take an oath respecting the duty of his office, and employ a suf. ficient number of sworn labouring meters to measure all coals sold by wharf measure. In Surrey, a deputy is appointed at each subordinate office; a general penalty of 207. imposed upon the principal meter, when neglecting to appoint; and 51. for every neglect of the labourer.
A labourer shall attend, upon notice given at the coal office at any wharf, or place named, within an hour or sooner, to measure coals for the person giving notice, upon 20s. penalty on his non-attendance, and the same fine exacted upon the principal for neglecting to send.
The principal meter or agents being interested directly or indirectly otherwise than officially, to be dismissed from their employment for ever, and pay a fine of 201. In Westmin- . Ster the fine is 1001. for the principal and 201. for the labourer ;