Statutes 3.  Henry VI  AD 1424.  Chap V


(Translated from the Norman French)


Commissions may be awarded to Certain Persons to reform the River Ley running from Ware to Thames.


Item, whereas in the last Parliament it was granted that a Commission for the water called the LEY one of the great Rivers which extends from the town of Ware to the water of Thames in the Counties of Hertford Essex and Middlesex to survey redress and amend all the defaults in the said water for the passage of ships and boats as in the ordinances and statutes in the time of the noble progenitors of our said Lord the King is contained.


And for as much as the said Commission was directed to divers great Lords and other persons who might not thereunto attend it is ordained and established that the Chancellor of England for the time being shall have power to grant such indifferent persons dwelling thereabout who thereunto can abd may best attend to enquire redress and amend all the defaults in the said water being as well by divers trenches made out of the said water as of all other kinds of stanks kidels waers or mills harmful to the passage of boats in the said water being or made according to the purport and tenor of the statutes in the case provided and ordained.


Stank = a ditch, pool, pond or tank

Kidel = a stake fence set in a stream for catching fish




Statutes 9.  Henry VI  AD 1430. 


(Translated from the Norman French)


The Chancellor of England may grant his Commission to certain Persons to scour and amend the River LEY in the Counties of Essex, Hertford and Middlesex.

Item. Whereas it was ordained by a statute made in the time of King Edward III after the Conquest in the year of his reign 25 (1352) that all the wears mills stands stakes piles and kidels which were set in the great rivers of England in the time of the Lord Edward sometime King of England (Edward I 1239-1307) son of King Henry (Henry III 1216-1272) and after whereby ships and boats are disturbed that they cannot pass as they were wont to pass should be removed and pulled down.

And whereas afterwards in the Parliament of the Lord Henry sometime King of England (Henry V 1413-1422) father of our Lord the King that now is held in the first year of his reign (1413) it was ordained that as well the said statute made the said 25th year (1352) as another statute made in the time of the said King Edward III the year of his reign 45 (1372) in all their articles shall be held and firmly observed joining to the same that Commissions shall be made to sufficient purposes to be Justices in every County of England where it shall be needful to survey and keep all the waters and great Rivers within the said realm and to correct and amend defaults and to make due execution of the said statutes according to their effect as well by their surveying advisement and description as by inquisitions within liberties and without thereof to be taken when need shall be and all the premises to have and determine.

And notwithstanding all the said statutes and many other statutes made for the conservation of the said great rivers there is so great a number of shelfs within the River of LEY which is in the Counties of Essex Hertford and Middlesex which runs from the bridge of the Town of Ware to the river of Thames the which shelfs are made and come by force and course of the said water of LEY that ships and bats may not pass by the said water of LEY as they were wont because that no power or authority is given by any statute heretofore made how and in what manner the said shelfs may be removed as by a petition delivered in the Parliament by the Commons of the same was fully declared.  Whereupon by advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and also at the request of the said Commons it is granted and ordained that the Chancellor of England for the time being may assign certain sufficient Commissioners who shall have power by authority of this Parliament to remove and cast all shelfs out of the said river of LEY upon the banks of the same river so that any may be found who will undertake to do this without excluding the right of any.  And in case that any creditor shift of any sums of money be or may be made to put out and remove the said shelfs that then the Commissioners of the said river for the time being by them and by their deputies may be authority of the same Parliament take and gather of every ship and boat freighted passing or coming in the same river four pence for the payment of the said credits made or to be made for the conservation of the said river without such shelfs until the end of three years next following.


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