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covered; the residue to be account- 6 And whereas the allowance of ed for to the auditor.
sending and receiving letters and The regimental and battalion * packets free from the duty of clerks, and captains of independent postage, heretofore granted to, companies, shall deliver in accounts or customarily exercised by, cerof their receipts and disbursements, (tain persons not being memand
pay over the balance to the bers of parliament, in respect of receivers general ; who shall trans- • their offices, has not been suffimit the accounts into the auditor's 'ciently confined to such letters office. Penalties, &c. thall be re- and packets only as relate to coverable in any court of record. " the business of their respective
No fee shall be payable for any offices, and may, therefore, if warrant or sum of money issued in (continued without further repursuance of this act.
6 strictions and limitations, be ' liable to great abuse : in order, ' therefore, to put the more ef
' fectual stop to these and the like Heads of the act for preventing frauds and abuses, and at the frauds and abuses in relation to ' fame time to ascertain, for the the sending and receiving of let- better guidance and direction ters and packets free from the of his majesty's post master duty of postage, which received
general, and the officers to be the royal assent on the 18th of employed under him, in the April, 1764.
performance of their duty, by The Preamble.
· what persons only, and under
what regulations or restrictions, HEREAS, under colour ' the privilege or allowance of
of the privilege of send- ' sending and receiving letters and ing and receiving post letters by packets free from the duty of pof*members of parliament, free tage shall thenceforce be enjoyed from the duty of postage, many s and exercised : May it please great and notorious frauds have
your majesty, that it may be enbeen and still are frequently acted, and be it enacted, &c. practised, as well in derogation That from and after ist May of the honour of parliament, 1764, while the revenue of the
as to the detriment of the pub- post office shall continue to be ' lic revenue ; divers persons hav- carried to the aggregate fund, no ing presumed to counterfeit the letters or packets shall be exempt. "hand, and otherwise fraudulent- ed from postage, but fuch as shall ly make use of the names, of be sent from or to the king ; and members of parliament, upon fuch, not exceeding two ounces letters and packets to be sent by in weight, as shall be sent during
the post, in order to avoid the the session of parliament, or with 'payment of the duty of postage*. in forty days before or after fum
* It appeared, on examining witneffes previous to the passing of this bill, that a waiter at one of the coffee houses of this city made a practice of selling counterfeit franks at the rate of about a crown a dozen.
mons or prorogation, and be fury, admiralty office, office of the figned on the outside by a mem- secretaries of state, plantation ofber of either house, and the fice, war office, general post office whole of the superscription to be at London, chief offices at Edinof such member's writing ; or, di- burgh, Dublin, and America, inrected to a member, at his usual dorsed for the king's service, and relidence, or place where he shall sealed with the seal of office, or of then be, or at the house, &c. of the principal officer in the departparliament.
ment. And in like manner, letters and Commissioners of the treasury packets sent from and to places in and admiralty, the fecretaries of Ireland, during the session there, state, commissioners for trade and or within forty days before or after plantations, fecretary at war, poftfummons or prorogation, signed master general, and his deputies, and directed by a member of that are impowered to authorise cerkingdom as aforesaid.
tain persons in their respective Also all letters and packets to offices, of whom lifts to be transthe lord high treasurer, or com- mitted to the general poft-office, missioners, and secretaries to the London, to indorse the letters treasury ; lord high admiral, com- and packets upon the king's fermissioners and secretaries to the vice, and seal" the same with the admiralty ; principal secretaries of seal of office, &c. None to be state, and their under secretaries ; so indorsed and sealed, but by commissioners for trade and plan- direction of their superior offitations, or their secretary ; secre- cer, or which concerns the busitary at war, or his deputy ; lieu- ness of the office, on forfeiture tenant general, or other chief of 51. for the first offence, to be governor or governors of Ireland ; recovered and applied as by act or their chief secretary, or fecre- 9 Annæ is directed ; and for the tary for the provinces of Ulster second offence, the offender to be and Munster; their secretary re- dismissed. siding in Great Britain ; the un- Persons appointed to make such der secretary, and first clerk, in indorsements, not to exceed two the office in Ireland of the chief in any office, admiralty and war secretary ; and the first clerk in offices excepted : and in the admithe office of the secretary for Ul. ralty not to exceed eight in time ster and Munfter ; the postmaster of peace, and twelve in time of war ; general, of deputy, for Scotland, and in the war office, not to exceed Ireland, and America ; the secre- fix in time of peace, and ten in time tary, or deputy of the postmaster of war. general ; farmer of the bye and Where any privileged person, cross-road letters ; surveyors of disabled from writing the whole the post-office; and letters and fuperfcription, fhall authorise fome packets sent from any of the said person to sign his name upon, Offices, figned by them on the and write the fuperscription, and outside, and the whole super. give notice thereof, under his fcription of their writing; and hand and feal, to the postmaster letters and packets from the trea- general, letters and packets fo
[igned and subscribed shall go its contents, has added the fol. free.
lowing notice : viz. “ That all carPrinted votes, and proceedings riers, coachmen, watermen, wherin parliament, and news-papers, rymen, dispersers of news-papers, sent without covers, or in covers higlers, and all other persons open at the fides, and signed on whatsoever, hereafter detected in the outside by a member, or di- the illegal collecting, conveying, rected to a member, according to or delivering of letters and packnotice given by him to the post- ets, will be prosecuted with the mafter general, or his deputy at utmost severity. The penalty is Edinburgh or Dublin, are to go five pounds for every letter so free.
collected or delivered, contrary Clerks in the offices of the secre- to law, and one hundred pounds taries of state, and post office, be- for every week fuch practice is ing duly licensed, may continue continued : one moiety to his mato frank the votes, and proceed- jesty, and the other to the inings in parliament, and
former." papers, as heretofore ; sending the Upon examination before the fame without covers, or in covers committee, it appeared that the open at the sides.
postage of freed letters amountThe postmaster general, and of- ed, one year with another, to ficers under him, may search any 170,0001. packet sent without a cover, or Those, on whom this abridge
cover open at the sides ; ment of the privilege of franking and if they shall find any other will fall the heaviest, seem to be paper or thing inclosed therein, or the clerks in the secretaries of there shall be any writing other state's office ; some of the clerks than the superscription upon the of the post-office acknowledged beprinted paper, or cover, the whole fore the house, that the profits acof such packet is to be charged cruing to them from `franking with the postage.
&c. amounted from If any person shall, after 1st June, 8001. to 12001. a year, each ; and 1764, counterfeit the writing of to one in particular, 17001. a year ; any person in the superscription while the gentlemen belonging to of any letter or packet, to avoid the secretaries of state's offices, to the postage, he shall be adjudged whom the great secrets* of goof felony, and be transported for vernment are necessarily entrustyears.
ed, have no more than 1001. a Remarks on the alove act. year salary, and this privilege in no These are the heads of the proportion to the post-office clerks. act; to which the postmaster gene. It is somewhat extraordinary, thereral, in an advertisement, reciting fore, as a writer in their behalf ob
It perhaps may not be generally known, that all the iniportant dispatches between our ministers abroad, and those at home, are written in cypher; it necessarily happens, therefore, that all the confidential letters are entrusted to the decyphering clerks, before either his majesty or his minifters can know a. fyllable of their contents. [K] 3
ferves, that, how many pensions and cated from house to house, consalaries are daily granted and aug- trary to the intentions of the said mented, whenever the justice or act; fubfumes, that the workmen the generosity of the legislature appointed by the said act to exais applied to, no other notice mine party-walls are often equally should be taken of these gentlemen divided in opinion about the necesbut to involve them in a prohibi- fity of pulling down and rebuild. tion, which will almost annihilate ing them, whereby a certificate their former means of subsistence. from the major part cannot be obFor what now remains of the per- tained, and the purposes of the said quisite of franking news-papers, act are in many instances evaded : will become almost the entire pro- Wherefore it is enacted, that, from perty of persons, who have no and after passing this present act, other title to it than that of pre- fo much of the said act as relates scription.
to party walls, within the city and liberty of Westminster, or any
parish, precinct, or place comHeads of the act for the better re- prised within the weekly bills of
gulating of buildings, and pre- mortality, or within the parishes venting mischiefs that may hap- of Saint Mary le Bone, Paddingpen ly fire, within the weekly ton, Chelsea, and Saint Pancras, bills of mortality, and other in the county of Middlesex (explaces therein mentioned, which cept the city of London and liberreceived the royal assent on the ty thereof, and also except the 5th of April, 1764.
party-walls of houses on the river
Thames, below bridge) shall exHE preamble, after reciting tend, and be constructed to extend,
part of the act of 11 Geo. 1. in all cases whatsoever, within for the better regulation of build- the said liberties, &c. aforesaid, ings, &c. , fo far as relates to where it is or shall be necessary pulling down or re-building party- to pull down and rebuild any walls between house and house, party-wall, whether any of the confined to cases in which one of adjoining houses shall, or shall the houses is to be erected ; or not, be, or require to be, rebuilt party-walls may be so far out of or new built. repair as to render it necessary to That in case the major part of pull down and rebuild the fame, the workmen appointed to view although neither of the adjoining the party-wall of any such house houses require to be rebuilt ; or or houses intended to be pulled party-walls may be so far de- down, shall not, within one cafective and bad, by falling out of lendar month, after fuch appoint. the perpendicular, as to become ment, fign a certificate ; it shall unsafe for the builder of the next be lawful for any two or more house to rest timbers thereon, or of his majesty's justices of the oblige such builder to run his tim- peace, residing in or bers quite through, whereby fire place, upon application of the may be more readily communi- owner, or occupiers, of either
near the parts
houses, to name and appoint one bricklayer, or workman,
workman, shall other able workman, to be added erect, or cause to be erected or to the workmen appointed by built, any party-wall, contrary to virtue of the said recited act, who, the directions of the act, or use, on ten days notice given, shall in building, any other than good meet, and view the party-wall found-burnt bricks, or shall lay proposed to be taken down ; and any timber in any party-wall conthey, or the major part of them, 'trary to the true intent and meancertifying that the same is defec- ing thereof; he shall, for every tive, and ought to be pulled down, offence, forfeit and pay 501. it shall be lawful to and for the That from and after the first day owner, or occupier, to cause the of July, 1764, no timbers whatfame to be pulled down and rebuilt, foever be laid or placed under the and a moiety of the expences there- hearth of any room, or within of recoverable.
nine inches of the funnel or flue That, to prevent the fatal con- of the chimnies, of any
house withsequences of fire, all party-walls in the limits aforesaid. built within Westminster, &c. af- That no timber buildings whatter the expiration of three calendar foever be built adjoining to any months from the passing hereof, house, so as the timbers thereof be shall be two and a half bricks thick laid in the wall of any such house, in the cellar, two bricks thick up- built or to be built, under the like wards to the garret floor, and one penalty of 501. brick and a half thick at least eigh- And that no person, on any proteen inches above the roofs or gut- tence whatsoever, shall cut into or ters; to be built of stone, or good wound any party-wall, erected or sound burnt brick, and none built pursuant to the directions of other.
the act, nor lay into the same That, after the expiration of any other timbers than are thereby the faid time, no timbers (except allowed, under the like penalty those of the girders, binding joists, of 501, and templets under the fame) nor That from and after the first day timbers of the roof (except pur- of July, 1764, every master build. loins or kerbs) be laid into party- er, who shall erect or build any
and that the ends of gird- house within the limits aforesaid, ers and binding joists, lying with-fhall, within fourteen days after in such walls, shall not exceed it is covered in, cause the same to nine inches, the ends of which be surveyed by one or more surveyin adjoining houses shall be at least ors, who are to make oath, befourteen inches distant. That nine fore a justice of the peace, that the inches at least of solid brick-work fame has been built and erected shall be between the ends of all agreeable to the directions of the lintels, wall plates, and bond tim- act. The master builder, for evebers, which thall be laid in or up- ry such neglect or default, forfeits on the walls of the fore and back 501. fronts of all houses which shall ad- That in all cases where disputes join to each other.
may arise between the owners of That if any builder, mafter adjoining houses, concerning any