Document referenceQAH
TitleRecords relating to highways : North Riding Quarter Sessions
DescriptionThis sub-fonds consists of the administrative records of the North Riding Quarter Sessions. It consists of records relating to highways, including:

- records relating to the Highways Acts of 1862 and 1878 [1862-1890]

- minutes, papers and plans relating to highways [1867-1901]
Catalogue statusCatalogued
Administrative historyUntil the middle of the 16th century, the repair of highways was the responsibility of the landholders of the manor, supervised and enforced through the manorial courts. Reforms of this system, necessary because of the increasingly bad condition of the roads and the growth of traffic, were effected by the Highways Act of 1555 (2 & 3 Philip & Mary cap. 8). This laid down that the inhabitants of each parish were to maintain all public roads within it, and were to be supervised by unpaid parish surveyors of the highways. At first the Surveyors were appointed by the parishes, but after 1691 the Justices of the Peace in special Highway Sessions assumed responsibility for appointments.

The North Riding Justices supervised the activities of parish surveyors in the 17th and 18th centuries by making presentments of parishes which did not appoint a surveyor, or of surveyors who neglected or refused to exercise their duties. Surveyors were also sometimes ordered to present their accounts before the Justices. Presentments or indictments of out-of-repair specific roads were were frequent, and after 1693 the Justices could order highway rates for the repair of specific roads.

These methods of highway administration and superficial supervision lasted until the 19th century, when the provisions of the Highways Acts of 1862 (25 & 26 Victoria cap. 61) and 1878 (41 & 42 Victoria cap. 77) were implemented.

Further information about highways may be found in the North Riding Record Office's Annual Report for 1968
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