Acts of Parliament
Acts of Parliament
Lee Navigation
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These are the Acts of Parliament for both the Lee and Stort combined with the New River Acts and references to each waterway. The New River references are highlighted in red type. The full, searchable, text of the Act is available if there is a link.

Reign Date Subject
Statutes 3 Henry VI c5 1424 Commissions awarded to reform the River Ley  (for full text, click here)
Statutes 9 Henry VI  1430 Commissions awarded to scour and amend the River Ley  (for full text, click here)
13.Elizabeth.c18 2.4.1571 Bringing the River of Lee to the North Side of the City of London (for full text, click here)
3.James I.c18 1606 An Act for the bringing in a fresh Stream of running Water into the North Part of the City of London
4.James I.c12 1607  
11.George II.c14 1737 An Act vesting Ware Mills in the New River Co
12.George II.c32 to 1.2.1738 Improving the Navigation of the River Lee from Hertford to Ware.   (for full text, click here)
    New River to continue to take water, though limited by a gauge 6' wide and 2' deep and 14' in length.  Any overflow to return to the Lee
    New River Co to keep the lock in good repair
    Ware Mills to allow passage of boats through the Lock, on receipt of one shilling with return free.
    Water to be supplied from Ware Mills for cleaning the streets
    Set up River Lee Trustees
    New River Co to pay £350 per year to the Trustees in two equal payments
    Trustees to set up a weir or Turnpike between the Mills and Water Lane.  Boats to pass without charge
32.George II 23.3.1759 An Act for making the River Stort navigable, in the Counties of Hertford and Essex, from the New Bridge in the town of Bishops Stortford, into the River Lee, near a place called The Rye, in the County of Hertford  (for full text, click here)
6.George III.  30.4.1766 An Act for making and continuing navigable the River Stort, in the counties of Hertford and Essex (for full text, click here)
7.George III.c51 to 11.11.1766 Act for Improving the Navigation of the River Lee from Hertford to the Thames, (for full text, click here) including
    One new cut or canal, to be used for the said Navigation, leading from the ...Folly into and down Part of Dicker Mill Stream…to a place between Constant's Weir and the Manifold Ditch
    from the tail of  the Lock above Ware Mill to above Water Lane near the Priory Orchard
    from any place above Ware Weir and below Ware Bridge to any place above Stanstead Bridge
    from there to the tail stream of Stanstead Mill
    from above Field's otherwise Rye Bridge Weir  to between Archer's Weir and Field's Weir
    from above Dobb's Weir,otherwise the New Turnpike, to below the stream leading into the head of Broxburn Mill
    from above Carthagena Turnpike to a little below
    from above King's Weir, over Cheshunt Mill Stream, to the Tail Stream of the Powder Mills at Waltham
    from above Sotheby's Upper Weir otherwise called Newman's Weir to the Enfield Mill Stream within 100 yards below Enfield Lock with provision to build a new lock
    through Enfield Mill Stream (widened) to 340 yards above Enfield Mill and a new cut to 304 yards below Enfield Mill and then to use the Tail Stream
    from there a cut through part of Enfield and Edmonton Marshes across the ditch to Tottenham Marsh into the tail stream of Tottenham Mill
    from below Flander's Wharf to above the tail stream of Walthamstow Mill
    from between Lee Bridge and Hackney Waterworks, through Hackney Marsh to the channel between Pudding Mill Stream and Hackney Brook
    from there to a place between Bromley Lock and Bromley Hall
    from there to the Thames at Limehouse
    To protect France's Weir and the feed to Tottenham Mills
    To protect the Powder Mills, the Corn Mills and the Calico Grounds at Waltham Abbey
    Satisfaction to the various weir owners for the loss of their weirs (Archer's, Newman's or Sotheby's, Parkinson's,
    Satisfaction to the owners of Sewardstone Mill for loss of their water in annual payment of £45.
    Navigation extended to the Flood gates of Hertford Town Mill from the Folly
    The lock at Lee Bridge Mill being lately built by Abraham Ogier and others
    The New River no longer to charge one shilling for passage of Ware Lock.   Satisfaction for this in  annual payment of £40 (paid quarterly). 
    The Trustees to charge tolls for passage of barges depending on cargo.
    Names of owners and steersmen to be put on each side of the bows of every vessel 
19.George III. c58 to 26.11.1778 For Preserving the Navigation of the River Lee, (for full text, click here) including
    Additional tolls
    Proper operation of locks
    Names of owners and steersmen to be put on sterns of every vessel instead of the bows
    All craft to be marked with graduated figures denoting their burden
    Mill posts with the minimum level marked.  Millers not to draw below.
45.George III.c69 27.6.1805 Better Preservation and Further Improvement of the Navigation of the River Lee, (for full text, click here)  including
    Proper Mill operation
3.George IV.c109 1823  
13/14.Victoria.c109 14.8.1850 Lee Navigation Improvement Act  (for full text, click here) including
    New Cuts
    1.Fields Weir to Charlton Mill 
    2. Nazeing Marsh to Carthagena Lock
    3. Waltham Marsh to Enfield Lock
    4. Stonebridge Lock to Tottenham Mills Lock
    5. Walthamstow Marsh
    6. Hackney Cut
    7. Lee Bridge
    8. Four Mills
    New Lock at Old Ford and Hunter's  (otherwise Saint Thomas's Mill Stream) Gates
    Water to Temple Mills (Rockholt Mills) to be discontinued
    XVI. And whereas by means of the Construction of the proposed Works, and the Alteration of the level of the Water in the River Lee at and near the Point where Sir George Duckett's Canal otherwise the Lee Union Canal forms a Junction with the River Lee, the  Depth of Water in the Pond between such Point of Junction and the First Lock on the Canal will be materially increased, and it is expedient to provide for the raising of the Banks of the Pond, and for maintaining the Water in the same at a proper Level.  Be it therefore enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Trustees to raise the Banks of the Pond between the Point where the Canal forms a Junction with the River Lee and the First Lock on the Canal to the Extent and in the Mode defined upon the Sections deposited as herein-after mentioned and also to maintain the Level of the Water in the Pond at the intended Height shown upon the Sections.
    Raising the banks to Old Ford
    Building of Bow Tide Gates
    Bow Creek to Old Ford to be free of tolls for ever
    Rates to be charged at Kings Weir, Newmans Weir, Lee Bridge, Bromley Lock
    Compensation to the various Waterworks for changes made in the Act
18/19.Victoria.c196 14.8.1855 River Lee Water Act, (for full text, click here) including:
    The New River Company have consented to compromise their claim by restricting the Quantity …to two thousand five hundred cubic feet a minute
    The current annual payment of £1850 to cease, replaced by a one-off payment of £42,000 and an annual payment of £1500.
    First, Old Ford Lock shall be replaced by a Pair of Locks with communicating Sluices, one of those Locks to be Ninety-six Feet long and Eighteen Feet Six Inches wide in clear Inside Measure, and the other of those Locks to be Ninety Feet long and Sixteen Feet wide in clear Inside Measure; the Hackney Cut between Old Ford Lock and Homerton Lock may be raised to the Level of Lee Bridge Cut; Homerton Lock may be removed, but before such Removal the Trustees shall provide a suitable Place between Homerton Lock and Lee Bridge for inserting Stop Planks, which shall be inserted there, and shall be so made and maintained by the Trustees as effectually to prevent all Escape of Water whenever they draw down the Water at or above Old Ford Lock, for its Repair or Alteration, or  for any other Purpose
    Secondly, Stanstead Lock and Weir shall be removed; Field's Weir Level shall be carried back to near Amwell Marsh, where a new Lock shall be built of no greater Dimensions than Tottenham Lock; Hardmead Lock shall be rebuilt
    Thirdly, Tottenham Lock may be raised to a Fall of Nine Feet Eight Inches, and the Banks thence to Stonebridge Lock may be proportionately raised; Edmonton Lock may be removed; the Level of Stonebridge Cut may be raised; Stonebridge Cut may be continued up to Picket's Lock, where a new Lock may be built suitable to the new Fall caused by those Alterations; and no such new Lock shall be built of less Width than Thirteen Feet Eight Inches.
    The erection of the New Gauge limiting the off take to 2500 cu ft per minute
    2500 cu ft per minute = 3600000 cu ft per day = 22,424,400 GALLONS PER DAY (Conversion cu ft to gall x 6.229)
    The depth shall be 3' 9'' whole length of the Navigation
31/32.Victoria.c154 31.7.1868 The Lee Conservancy Act, (for full text, click here) including
    Constitution of the Lee Conservancy Board
    Powers granted to purchase the Stort
57/58.Victoria.c205 25.8.1894 Canal Tolls and Charges Confirmation Act  (for full text, click here)
63/64.Victoria.c117 30.7.1900 Lee Conservancy Act (Alteration and confirmation of powers) (for full text, click here)
    Increase of New River payment to £3750 per annum
1/2.George V.c93 18.8.1911 Metropolitan Electric Tramways Act (Construction of a new bridge over Ferry Lane)
10/11 George V.c8 20.5.1920 Lee Conservancy Act (Regulation and mitigation of flooding)
11/12. George V.c78 17.8.1921 Lee Conservancy Act (Increase of Tolls and Charges)
20/21.George V.c192 1.8.1930 River Lee (Flood Relief Act)
1/2 George VI,c33 23.6.1938 Lee Conservancy Act Further powers



This site was last updated 02/08/14