Inclosure Act 1773

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The Inclosure Act 1773[1]
Long title An Act for the better Cultivation, Improvement, and Regulation of the Common Arable Fields, Wastes, and Commons of Pasture in this Kingdom.
Citation 13 Geo 3. c. 81
Territorial extent Great Britain
Dates
Royal Assent 1773
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Inclosure Act 1773 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database

The Inclosure Act 1773 (13 Geo 3. c. 81) (also known as the Enclosure Act 1773) is an Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Act is still in force in the United Kingdom. It created a law that enabled landowners to enclose land and remove the right of commoner's access.[2]

Effect[edit]

The Act required the procedure to start with a petition delivered to Parliament signed by the landowner, tithe holders and a majority of people affected. The petition then went through the stages of a bill with a committee meeting to hear any objections. The petition would then go through to Royal Assent after passing through both Houses of Parliament. Commissioners would then visit the area and distribute the land accordingly.[3]

The powers granted in the Act were often abused by landowners as the preliminary meetings that were intended to be public when enclosure was discussed, were often made only in the presence of the local landowners. They regularly chose their own solicitors, surveyors and Commissioners to decide on each case. In 1774, Parliament added an amendment to the Act under the Standing Orders that every petition for enclosure had to be affixed to the door of the local church for three consecutive Sundays in August or September.[3]

The Act eventually limited the amount of traffic on culverted paths as they often fell within land that was to be enclosed. This often meant that traffic eventually stopped going along certain routes such as the culverted path next to Shit Brook in Much Wenlock.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ This short title was conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule.
  2. ^ "The Global Land Grab: The New Enclosures". The Wealth of the Commons. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  3. ^ a b "English Farming: Chapter XI". Soilandhealth.org. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  4. ^ RPS Consultants. "Archaeological desk based assessment" (PDF). Bridgnorth DC. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Introduction: Much Wenlock town culvert". Shropshire County Council. 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.