A PROPOSAL FOR Maintaining and Repairing THE HIGH WAYS.


LONDON: Printed and are to be sold by Randal Taylor near Stationers-Hall, 1692.


IT is most certain, that the High Wayes of England are extremely bad at present. And it is as certain, that this badness of the High Wayes is a great and publick Incon­venience; so that it much concernes us to have them mend­ed. But this cannot be done without Charge. For the Wayes must still ly in the ill condition they are in, if we will not be at the Charge to repair them. The way to have the Work well done, is by raising Money for that purpose, and laying it out in due Method. For the scambling way of sending in Carts and Labourers will never do it. Nor will it ever be done by single Parishes: tho you fine them over and over, for not do­ing more then they are able. And surely it seemes a hard case, that when a great and foule Road passeth through a Corner of a poor Parish; those people must maintain it whe­ther they can or no, when perhaps themselves have the least Use of it. But a Hundred can do those things, which a Parish cannot do: and what the Hundred cannot, the County can. Tho some things there are, that to be done as they should, would be too great a burthen to a County: and therefore re­quire the Assistance of the whole Kingdom. Which, tho given in a very small and easy proportion, would perform great matters.

It is therefore humbly proposed;

1. That a constant yearly Tax be laid upon Land of four pence in the pound.

2. That the Collectors of it in each Parish pay the one moie­ty to the Parish Surveyor, and the other moiety to the Surveyor of the Hundred.

3. That the Surveyor of the Hundred employ the one half of his moiety upon the Wayes within his Limits, and pay over the other half to the Surveyor of the County.

4. That the County Surveyor remit one quarter part of his Money to the Surveyor General of England; employing the residue upon the Bridges and great Roads of the County.

5. That the Surveyor General employ his whole Money in the London Roads, the whole Kingdom being concern'd in them.

There is great reason to hope and believe, that such a con­stant Tax, disposed of in this manner, would make wondrous Alterations for the better in a few years. It would make the Wayes of England another thing from what they are now.

The Parishes will have two pence in the pound, to lay out upon those Wayes that are particularly most useful to them­selves. And when they have done this, they have done their whole Duty: nor are they to be now punish'd or molested upon the account of High Wayes. As for such of their Wayes as are useful to others also, they will be maintain'd (or help'd to be maintain'd) by those others: that is, by the Hundred or the County. Moreover every Parishioner will have benefit, by what is done by and in the Parish.

The Surveyor of the Hundred will have a penny a pound from the whole Hundred: To be laid out in those Wayes that are most useful to the Hundred. Of which the particular Pa­rishes, and every particular Man, will have the benefit.

The County Surveyor will have three farthings a pound from the whole County. Which will also redound to the benefit of the particular Hundreds and Parishes, and of every parti­cular Man.

The Surveyor General will have a farthing in the pound [Page 5]from the whole Kingdom: to make good the Roads (where it is needful) from all parts to London. which will be a great benefit and advantage, both to the Counties, and to the Hun­dreds and Parishes. to all Men in general, and to every Man in particular.

The Parishes therefore need not grudge, that the half of their Tax is carried from them; since the whole is employed for their Good.

The Summe to be laid out by the Surveyor of an ordinary Parish will be under ten pound. For the yearly value of all England is about ten Millions, (tho some think it twelve Mil­lions or more:) and the Parishes we know are neere ten thou­sand. Which gives a thousand pound a Yeare to each Parish, taking one with another. And a thousand two pences make eight pound and a Noble.

The Summe to be laid out by the Surveyor of an ordinary Hundred may be threescore or fourscore pound. And the Surveyor of an ordinary midling County may have about six Hundred pound. But the Surveyor General will have at least ten thousand pound yearly. For ten Millions of Farthings make something above that Summe.

In a great Parish there may be two or more Surveyors; and so in a great Hundred, and in a great County.

The Parish Surveyors may be chosen by the Parishes, as now they are: and they may have liberty to lay out their Money (as far as it will go) in what part they please. But the Survey­ors of the Hundreds and Counties, may be by the Appoint­ment, and under the Direcetion, of the Justices. And the Sur­veyor general may be under the Governance, and by the No­mination, of such Persons as the Parliament shall please to appoint; or may even deserve the Care of his Majesty and Councel.

Let me advise both the greater and lesser Surveyors, to do their work substantially as far as they go. And what is now left undone, may be done another time. But a thing done slightly is good for nothing. A due thickness of Stones and Gravel, may (with a little reparation) last for ever: whereas too small [Page 6]a Quantity will soon be swallowed up in the Dirt, and no signe left of it. Moreover where the Ground is false, and rotten, and of the nature of a Quagmire; all the cost and labour be­stowed upon it is meerly lost, unless you lay faggots or bavins of Brush wood, acrosse and under the made Way. And in this and all other sorts of ground, it must be a principall care to lay the Wayes dry: so that no water may run along them or over them, or ly upon them.

Beside the ordinary Work which is done to the High Wayes, there are three things that will greatly conduce to their A­mendment: That is to say, Turning, Opening, and Level­ling.

The Turning of a Way in some places will make it much better, and in some places will make it also much shorter. A Surveyor therefore, with the approbation and consent of two or three of the next Justices, should have power to do it: he making Satisfaction to the Land-Owners, out of the Tax-Money he hath to lay out. And if he and the Owners cannot agree it, then a Jury to be empannell'd (by the Surveyor or the next Justice) to determine the matter. But 'tis likely a good part of this Satisfaction must be allowed by those, through whose Lands the old way did go, and who now are eas'd of it.

The Opening and Widening of the Wayes is highly requi­site in the Inclosed Countries: where the Roads generally are too narrow, and in many places shaded with Trees. Which things as they have extremely spoyl'd the Roads hitherto, so the removing of these things would go a great way to­wards their Cure. I confess, in strictness, they that have thus streighten'd the Wayes (that is the Owners of the Lands adjoyning) might be compell'd to open them. But it may seeme too hard: whereas no hardships are here in­tended. And the making new Fences would be more grievous to them, then their loss of Land. It seems there­fore most equall that this Charge be divided. Let the Owners allow more Land, and the Surveyor make the Fen­ces. Or if the Owners will do this themselves, the Surveyor to give them a just Consideration for it. The Land, I said, [Page 7]must be allowed by the Owners: that is, so much as will give the Wayes a reasonable breadth. But if the breadth be extraordinary, the Surveyor to pay for the extraordinary Land that makes it. You will say, If the Roads be widen'd in this manner, many a fine Row of Trees must go to wrack. To which I answer; that it is very good Husbandry, to cut down Trees full grown, and plant young ones in their stead. But it seems a little unfortunate, that such care hath been taken to plant Trees, where they may do most Mischief. The planting of Trees upon High Wayes is the same sort of Wit, as the building of Houses upon Bridges. for both of them destroy the End for which High Wayes and Bridges are ordain'd, that is, convenience of pas­sage. Yet I confess that Trees on the North side a Way do little harme. in regard they only keep off the Sun for part of the day in the height of Summer, when the Wayes can best spare it.

When I speak of Levelling the High Wayes, my meaning is, That by abating the Hills and raising the Hollowes and Vallies, the Wayes may be brought neerer to a Levell then now they are: and that so the Ascents and Descents may be made more easie. And here (which is a great advantage) two things will be done at once. For the same Earth that is taken from the Hills, will be carried down to the Hollowes. And by this meanes, if the Hill be cut downe six foot, and the Hollow raised as much; the Ascent will be made easier by twelve foot.

A few Carts will carry abundance of Earth in a short time, going not far and down the Hill. If it should be half a mile, (and it will seldome be so much); each Cart may easily carry ten load a day, provided it be fill'd quick. Which that it may be, we should use the way of Barbados: where Industry is at the heighth, and where they study to carry on great Works to most advantage.

They do there make great Walls or Weares, in the low places where there comes a good stream of Floud-Water; thereby to stop the running Mould that is washt from their Land. And without these Walls, there is in many of those low places a mighty depth of rich Mould. This Mould (however it come to be there) they carry out to their Grounds neer adjacent. to [Page 8]manure them for planting. And when they go about it, they do not (as we do in England) set two or three Fellowes to throw up the Earth into a Cart with Spades, so that one Cart would be an houre in loading; but their way is this. Foure or five good How-men a breast lead the way, and fall upon this Earth with their Howes: cutting it down (after they are a little enter'd into it) half a yard deep or more; and each Man taking about a yard in breadth. And so they pass on, leaving behind them the loose Mould they have digg'd. After these How-men come nine or ten Fillers (part Men, part Women) with every one a Box. which is nothing else but a broad board at the bottome, with narrower boards at the sides and one end, the other end and the top being left open. Into these Boxes, at the open end, they pull the loose Mould with broad Howes. and (with the help of one another) getting it up upon their heads, away they go with it to the Cart; which stands close by, with the Carter up in the taile of it. Who swiftly takes the Mould from off their heads, throwes it into the Cart, and gives back the empty Boxes. Thus the work goes on merrily: And by that time each Filler hath brought foure Boxes, the Cart is loaded: and presently drives away, ano­ther Cart being ready. which they quickly serve in the same manner. And three or foure Carts, plied in this manner, will carry out in few dayes a mighty quantity of Earth. More­over when the How-men have gone as far as is convenient, they then come back: and either begin a new breadth, or go over the first breadth againe.

In the work here described, the How-men are but foure or five, when the Fillers are nine or ten: because of the softness and easiness of the ground. But in the Roads of England, where the ground is harder, there must be as many How-men as Fillers: or rather more. And eight or nine Inches may be found a sufficient depth, to go on with at one time. Also whereas in the Barbadian Affaire there is mention made of Howes, that sort of Tooles is little used in England. But in such work as pulling down Hills, and cutting through Hills, I account it much better than the Spade. The rather, because these Works must be carried on in Summer; when generally all [Page 9]ground is hard, so that a Spade can hardly touch it. And withall it will looke most proper and natural, when the Work­men go on forward up the Hill, the Earth they have digged being still carryed away from behind them.

In the great Roads, the breadth of these cut Wayes should be about twenty yards. which will take up twenty How-men abreast at once, or ten at twice. This (I think) should be the breadth; beside the Splay, which may be made last. And the rais'd ground below may have the like breadth, beside the Slope. But where the heighth of the rais'd ground is more then ordinary, there should be no Slope, but a Wall on each side.

In this kind of Worke, a Man of Skill will know before hand, how many load of Earth the low ground will require, to be raised to such a heighth; and how many load the high ground, cut down to such a depth, will yield. And he will so order it, that when the Work is brought to the Line pro­jected, there shall not a Spade-full of Earth be either to spare or wanting.

If neer to a Hill there be a Hollow, that is, such a low ground as rises presently on the other side, and a Way goes throu the Hollow over the Hill; that Hollow will easily be raised. And if from the brow of the Hill the ground soon falls as you go further on, that Hill may be easily cut throu and abated. And by both or either of these things the Ascent is made less. But if both the high ground and the low ground be a great continued Plain; in this case the Ascent cannot be made less, but yet it may be made more easy. For Example: There is a Hill twenty yards high: and as the Slope is now, you go a hundred yards to mount it. So that you rise one yard in five. But if the brow of the Hill be cut throu, and the Ascent be carried (by an easier Slope) fifty yards farther on; if also, by laying this Earth at the bottome, the Ascent is made begin fifty yards farther back; you must now go for­ward two hundred yards to get up the twenty yards in heighth, and you will rise now but one yard in ten.

This kind of Work belongs only to the greater Surveyors, and chiefly to the Surveyor General. who with his ten thousand pound a year will do wonders. He will do such things as our Forefathers never dream'd of.

Let us now consider the Cost and Charge of these Workes. In a great piece of Work, or a Jobb of the first magnitude, there may be ten Carts, twenty Howers or Diggers, and as many Fillers. The Carts will need but three Horses a piece, in regard they go down the Hill when they are loaden, and and come up empty. However, to reckon largely, we may allow ten Shillings a day for each Cart: which for the ten Carts is five pound a day. And the Wages of the Diggers and Fillers, with the Salaries of those that Over-see the Worke, and other Incidents, may come to another five pound. which makes ten pound in the whole. Ten pound a day is sixty pound a Week, six hundred pound in ten weekes, twelve hundred pound in twenty, and eighteen hundred in thirty. which I think are as many weekes as are proper for such work in one yeare. The first ten weekes will make a great Notch in the top of a Hill, and lay a great Heap at the bot­tome. enough to cure any ordinary Steep. But if ten weekes will not perfect the business, perhaps twenty will: and that which cannot be done in twenty weekes, may be done in thirty. And surely there are few places, that will not by the Labour of thirty weekes receive a very great amendment. Labor omnia vincit Improbus. this Improbus labor will do strange things.

We see an Example of raising a Hollow, at Fleet Bridge. From whence, in former times, it was a hard Steep up Lud­gate Hill, and not much better up Fleetstreet. But by making the Bridge higher, and filling up the ground at each end, the As­cent is now made easie both wayes.

And to shew what Money can do in these Matters, I shall give two Instances. The one is, That during the times of the Usurpation, they in some places tax'd the Parishes by a pound rate, for repairing the High Wayes. Particularly it was done [Page 11]in Herefordshire, about Lemster: where the Tax was no less then six pence a pound. This way did not last long. but it did so effectually do the business, and it wrought such a refor­mation, that the like was never there seen before or since. The other Instance is, in what hath lately been done in Kent, up­on Canteerbury Road. which they have made very substantially good, where it was extremely bad before, by a small Tax of about a half-penny in the pound laid upon the County.

Perhaps the sum here proposed to be constantly payd, that is a groat in the pound, may seem at first hearing too great a burden. But either I am exceedingly mistaken, or it will be found and deem'd (upon tryall) the best money that ever was bestowed. so sudden, so great, so generall, will the benefit be. However if it be thought too much, let it be the half, or even less then half. but then the work will not be half so well done.

It would be a great help toward the charge of the High Wayes, if there were Tolls erected, in fit places, and where they are needfull. And surely it seemes just and equall, that those should give something toward such work, who have a present benefit by it. A Toll therefore is not to be payd to make the way good hereafter, (for many that go there now, will perhaps never come that way again, and so would have nothing for their Money); but the Way must be first made good, and then the Toll payd. Which thing may be easily so order'd. For there will be People, we need not doubt, that will advance Money for such Works, to be reimburs'd with Interest out of the Toll: and then the Toll to continue no longer. Also a Toll for High Wayes mended, should be payd only in those Months, in which the Wayes would otherwise be bad. For the Traveller hath then a present benefit. But 'tis hard to pay Toll in Summer, for a Way that was foule only in Winter. A Toll is most proper, when a Bridge is made, where there was only a Ferry before. And people in that case may well afford to pay a Toll; if it be something less, then what they must otherwise have payd for Ferrying.

I have said already, and say again now, that the Surveyor General, with his ten thousand pound a yeare, will do great matters. I suppose the first thing he will do, will be the Paving or Pitching the Towns Ends here about London: which now ly in such a beastly pickle. to the annoyance of the people of the whole Kingdome, who are perpetually coming in hither and going out hence, on all sides. The reparation of these Pavings may be put upon those who are to maintain the Wayes. And surely the Charge of the Gravell that is carried yearly to these Wayes, to little purpose, will easily repaire the Pavings.

In the next place, this Surveyor ('tis like) will fall upon Shooters Hill. The Steep, which is the thing to be remedied, is on the farther side: and at the bottome of it there is a small Hollow. If this Hollow were filled up, so as to begin the As­cent at the further Edge, it would be a great advantage. But we must not run up to the Beacon, as now we do, where the Hill is highest; for an easy compass to the right hand, (throu the Wood), will bring us to the top of the Hill, where it is much lower then where the Way goes now. Also this Hill may be cut quite throu: it presently falling on the other side, that is, on the side next London. and the Earth will fill the Hollow before spoken of. I suppose one ten weeks Labour, af­ter the rate above described, will abundantly do this whole Business. But this new Way must go upon new Ground, which must be payd for. I answer, that the Cost will not be great. Every Acre will come to ten pound: reckoning it at ten shillings an Acre, and at twenty yeares purchase. and the new Way cannot take up three Acres. Also this new Way will not be far about: and neer as much will be saved in the up hill and down hill, as will be lost in the compass.

The going up to Black Heath is not so bad a place as Shooters Hill, but yet is more difficult to cure. However it may be helped very much; By widening the passage that is there al­ready: By cutting throu the Brow of the Hill, and carrying the Ascent on further; And by employing all this Earth, to raise the Way below quite to Deptford Bridge. from whence the Ascent should begin, and be gently carried on. Also this [Page 13]Bridge should be made a little higher: and likewise broader, and every way better. For it is a shame to see such a pitifull pimping Bridge, upon a great Road, so neere our Capital City. The Surveyor may bestow upon this piece of Work, full ten Weeks Labour, or more if he please. And he will also be out Money, beside the Cost at the Bridge, for removing some Houses upon the Road below; which streighten the Road, and will hinder its convenient raising.

About a Mile short of Deptford, as you go from London thither, the Road to Tunbridge turns off upon the right hand. where you presently climbe a steep Hill; and afterwards you go down another Steep, upon Leusham Bridge. But if you went further on in Deptford Way, and then turn'd to the right hand; the Hill would be avoided, and the way would go to that Leu­sham Bridge, almost upon plain ground. Our Surveyor therefore will probably take care of this matter, among the first. The Land that this new Way will go upon, may be eight or ten Acres: which will cost twenty or thirty pound an Acre; in all, two or three hundred pound. And this is no such frightful Summe to a Surveyor General. Moreover the Surveyor must pay for making the Fences on both sides the new Way. And he should make a better Bridge at Leusham.

The particular Works already mention'd, will be for the service and benefit of the Men of Kent. So likewise it will be a service to the Essexians and East Angles, to have Bow Bridge made better. And surely a handsome and noble passage in this place, would also be an Ornament to the City of Lon­don: and to the whole Kingdome likewise. For such Publick Workes are Markes of a Peoples Wealth and Greatness: giving also a Tast of their Spirit and Genius. But to return to our business; the Main Bridge at Bow is very firm and strong, and of a good heighth. But the made way beyond it over the Low Grounds, with the Bridges upon the lesser Channels of the River, are but just enough to make the Way passable. Which therefore looks like a Way leading to a Mill, or at most to some little Market Town; and not like a great Road, lead­ing directly (and at a very close distance) to the Metropolis of [Page 14]our Nation. The thing that is here to be done, is to make this Way something higher and broader, with a handsome Wall on each side, and handsome Bridges over the lesser Chan­nells. Also the Hollow on this side the main Bridge should be fill'd up: which would make the Ascent more easy and less dirty. And Earth may be had (for this and all the rest) out of the next Fields toward London, where they now digg Gravell. I doubt this Work, to be well done, will cost three or foure thousand pound.

The Northern Men must be served next: and there is a tough Jobb to be done for them, which is, the curing of Highgate Hill. There are two Wayes from London to go up this Hill; the one by Islington, the other by Pancras. From Islington you go along a deep rotten bottome, and then come to a terrible hard and long Steep: at which many a poor Horse hath had his Heart broken. Upon the whole matter, we must allow it to be a very bad place. And what remedy is there for it? Truly if we keep the old way, we may lay out a great deale of Money to little pupose. But a Ridge of high ground (the same that faces London) goes declining from Highgate towards Hornsey. And if a new Way were carried on (between the present way to Highgate and the way to Hornsey, but neerer to Hornsey Way) to the said Ridge, where it is many Yards lower then the top of Highgate over which the great Road goes now; and likewise if this Ridge were cut throu, and the Earth carried down to raise the Way below; the Ascent would then be easy so farr. But still there remain several other Ridges, and several Hollowes: which must be all made level, or brought neer the Levell, by cutting throu the Ridges and filling the Hollowes; till we come into Barnet Road, half a Mile or more beyond and below Highgate.

As for the Way by Pancras, it is a vile Way, and no way becoming the Metropolis of a great Kingdome. We must therefore endeavour to make it better. In the first place, when we come to a Watercourse about half a Mile out of Town, we must not go creeping along this Watercourse, as we do now; but we must lay a good Bridge over it, and keep [Page 15]upon the higher ground on the right hand. In the next place, whereas there is a great Hollow just beyond Kentish Towne, that Hollow must be filled up: as likewise a lesser Hollow a little further on. For otherwise we must go down into them. And to go down hill when we should be going up hill, is dead loss. Thirdly, when we are past these Hollowes, we must not go up the steep Hill to Highgate, but keep to the left hand, a­long the lower ground, till we come to the Way that crosses from Highgate to Hampsted. Fourthly, beyond this Way is a high and narrow Ridge of ground: and this Ridge must be cut thorow. Which Earth will fill up in a great measure the Hollowes below. and what is wanting may be otherwise sup­plied. Fifthly, from the Notch here made, the Way will go upon pretty even ground, bowing a little to the Right; till it come in to Barnet Road, about the place where Islington Way comes in. And this is the place where the Innes will be. And whereas formerly Islington Way and Pancras Way did part on the top of Highgate, they will now part here; the one going on one side of Highgate, and the other going on the other side. And both Highgate and its Hill will be wholly avoided. For you must take notice, That we are not now making Ways to Highgate; but to Barnet, and so to S. Albans, and all the North-West of England. The making these two Wayes may cost ten thousand pound: but the Money were well bestowed, if they should cost ten thousand pound each.

The South-Country Men are concern'd in Portsmouth Road: which truly is a very bad one. But two places especially will cry out to our Surveyor for speedy help. One of these places is a few Miles beyond Godalming. When you have gone a while upon the higher and open ground, you pass over a Mill­pond Damme: and I think there is a Way likewise above the Pond. But when you have past this Water, instead of keep­ing on to the South, which is the direct course, you turn short to the left hand Easterly, and climbe a Sandy Hill for almost a Mile. And then you turn about to the right hand Westerly; down a Hill likewise, but with an easier Slope. All which is done, to avoid (and get to the head of) a deep narrow Val­ly, [Page 16]which lies just acrosse the direct way or course. And I con­fess, the sides of this Valley are so steep, that (as things stand now) there is no going that way. But if the Surveyor Ge­nerall take this place to taske, with his whole strength before described, he will perfect the Cure in one Summer. so that the Road may cross this Valley, without much up hill or down-hill, and in a Line not much bending. But the way and manner of doing the thing, is too long to be here set downe.

The other bad place upon this Road is further on towards Portsmouth: how much further I do not remember. but the manner of it is this. As you go on from London, you see be­fore you a high steep Hill. and coming neerer, you find inter­posed a narrow Ridge of ground, twenty or thirty foot high: between which and the Hill there is a Hollow or small Valley. You do not cross over this Ridge: but keepe under it to the right hand, till you come to the End of it. and then you turn to the Left, and come to the foot of the Main Hill. Where you find such a desperate Steep, being a very long one withall, and the Way also being hollow and narrow; that the like is hardly to be seen upon any Road. So that in short the place is next Neighbour to impassable. But if you were got to the top of the Ridge before mentioned, which I said is twenty or thirty foot high, and to which a Way is soon made; if also you were got up as many foot more, in crossing the said Valley to the main Hill, the way still rising from the top of the Ridge; and if the top of the main Hill were cut throu, and the Earth or Chalk (for it is a Chalky hill) were carried downe into the Valley, and there laid with a Wall on each side; by these things the Hill would be wonderfully tamed, and the Ascent made gentle and easy. Here let me adde; that the Brow of this Hill may be cut throu to better advantage, and the Notch made deeper, in regard the ground falls presently (tho gently) on the other side. And I conceive this piece of Work may be done in less then a Summer

But there are places neerer London upon this Portsmouth Road (where it is also the Road to Winchester,) that deserve our Surveyors care. in particular the Way to Kingston: which is very uneven. But the Survey or General would soon change [Page 17]the face of things. There is a deep bottome at Richmond Park Wall: which by reason of its broadness seemes hard to cure. However a full strength of twenty Howmen with the appurtenances, by abating the Hills on each side and a little raising this Bottome, would make a great alteration for the better in one Summer. And the Ascent from this Bottome to Putney Heath would be made equal and easy, which is now very hard at the upper end.

A Bridge at Putney will build it self, without the help of Projectors, if our Surveyor General lay out the Money, to be reimbursed by a Toll. which will do it in a few yeares. And the Toll may be renewed for a time necessary, when the Bridge wants repairing. Moreover the making this Bridge at Putney will give a sensible Advance, to the Lands and Houses there­abouts beyond the Water. and therefore the Owners ought to contribute. For it seemes unreasonable, that particular persons should receive great Advantage by a Publick Work, and pay nothing towards it. This Advance will be known soon after the Bridge is finish'd: for it will be notorious. And it may be found by an Inquisition duely made. I think the Owners may afford to give the one half, of what their Estates are clearly and evidently made better: keeping the other half to themselves, as cleer Gaines. If Land be worth more by three shillings an Acre, let it pay eighteen pence: and if a House be worth more by forty shillings a yeare, let it pay twenty. to be settled upon it as a Rent; but the Rent to be bought off, when the Party pleases, at fifteen or sixteen years purchase. If the one half be thought too much, let it be less: but they should pay some­thing, if the Advance be considerable. Otherwise it is not worth the looking after.

Let us now looke upon Worcester Road: where also there is Work for the Surveyor Generall. I mean such things as cannot be done by the other Surveyors. This Road, as far as Ʋx­bridge, is pretty good: only there are three Hollowes or nar­row Vallies which it crosses, which may be cured after the manner of Fleet-Bridge. That is, the Bridges may be made something higher, and the ground raised at each end; so as to [Page 18]have the Ascents both wayes, to begin immediately at and from the Bridges. The first of these Hollowes is a little beyond Tyburn, where a small River falls into Hide-Park: the second is at Acton, and the third at Brent-Bridge three miles beyond. But the Road from Ʋxbridge to Wickham (for I will now look no farther) is very untoward: going over high and rugged ground. and there is no good way to cure it, but by turning it. If you ask where and how this turning must be, I'le tell you. As we come from Wickham toward Ʋxbridge, we keep along the Vallie for two Miles and more, and then we mount to the higher ground: where we quickly meet with a deep Hollow. From the bottome whereof we turn to the Left hand towards Beaconsfield, up a hard and a long Hill, which brings us into a Common. But if this Hollow were quite fill'd up, (as it might) and the brow of the opposite Hill cut throu; we might go straight forward, by a short and easy Ascent, to another part of the same Common. And then, instead of turning to the Left Hand to Beconsfield, we might keep to the Right Hand, and fall into the Road that goes between Wickham and Windsor. Which will quickly bring us to a Range of plain dry Commons, all of the same Levell. along which Com­mons there lies a direct way to Ʋxbridge: about half a Mile short of it, coming in to Beconsfield Road. I grant that here also are some Hollowes: but they may be easily cured. So that upon the whole matter, it will be one of the pleasantest Roads within forty Miles of London. And whereas it may be thought a great way about, it will be found very little. For the straight Line to Ʋxbridge from the deep Hollow before mention'd, goes between Beconsfield Road and the new Road here intended. And Beconsfield Road bowes neer as much to the Left, as the other does to the right.

I come now to Hampsted Road; which I confess is but a pri­vate one, in comparison of those others before named. But it will be for the Glory of our Metropolis, and of great Use with­all (for abundance of Horses, Carts, and Coaches, are per­petually passing that Way;) to have it made easy, and handsome, and noble. Which (I acknowledge) is a very difficult piece of Worke. The best way to do it, in my appre­hension, [Page 19]hension, is this. When we are come from London to Totten­ham Court, we must not sink on the right hand down into the Bottom, as we do now, which makes the Ascent afterward ex­tremely hard; but we must go straight on upon the Wind Mill, keeping still (by this meanes) on the higher ground. I confess the ground here is very uneven: which I suppose is the reason why the Road was turn'd the other way. But it must be le­vell'd, at least in great measure, by cutting throu the high grounds and raising the low. And this thing requires no small labour and charge: but the Surveyor Generall can do it. [Note, that when I speak of the Surveyor Generall, and what great things he will do; I chiefly mean the Curators or Directors whose Orders he executes. but for shortness I name only the Surveyor.] This therefore is the course we must steer, till we come to the Main Hill that goes up to Hampsted. And then we must bend to the right hand, still ascending gently and equally, till we meet with the old Road: which meeting place will be above the hard steep that toiles us at present.

From hence we must follow the old Road, till we come to the top of the first Hill, where the great Elme stands. But since the Road is here very broad, and one side much higher then the other, we should do well to keep on the lower side: which would much ease the Draught. Whereas now, the gra­vell'd way is made to run up the highest ground: as if it were contrived, to make the draught as hard as may be. You will say this was done to keep the Way dryer. But the Way might be kept as dry on the lower ground, with ordinary Skill.

From the top of this first Hill, to the lower end of the Town or Street, it would be a very easy Ascent, if the Hollow were fill'd up that is between. And within the Town the Ascent is not hard, nor can it be made easier. But to raise the Hollow now mention'd, I shall offer an Expedient; which will also make good the Way further on. But first I must tell you how things are there now. Toward the upper end of the Town the Way divides in two. One way turnes to the right hand, and leads to the greatest Heighth of the Main Hill or Heath; and from thence goes towards the Left down a terrible [Page 20]steep, to Hendon and those Parts. The other way goes straight forward just on the right hand the Wind-Mill: and over a high and narrow Ridge of ground, being a Spurre of the main Hill, upon which the Mill stands. The way being hardly passable (if at all) for Carts or Coaches. This Ridge of ground I would have cut throu to the bottome, and the Earth to be carried to the Hollow that is below. which will hold our Surveyor Tack for Ten or fifteen Weeks. And this is the Expedient I had to offer.

Beyond the Windmill there is another Spurre, which is too bigg to be cut throu: nor will the Earth be of any use. But we may avoid it by bowing a little to the Left, still plaining the way as we go and then bowing a little to the right, we may go down with an easy descent (partly along the Heath under the main Hill, and partly throu Inclosures) into Hendon Road. This new Snugg Way, being a near way withall, will be a mighty advantage to the whole little Country about Hen­don; which hath now no other way to London, but one that is almost impassable. And it will give such an advance to their Estates, that halfe of it paid as is above proposed, would go a great way towards the Charge of the whole Worke, though it should cost ten thousand pound. Otherwise a Toll may be set up to reimburse the Charge, or at least a good part of it.

I shall not now mention any more particular Works. And I doubt those that have been mention'd, will seem to some people to be idle Fancies, and little better then Dreames. But I am in good earnest: having great assurance, that the things may be done, and that in a very short time, with such a Sum as ten thousand a yeare. And this is but the thousandth part of the Revenue of England: which (as hath been noted) is ten thousand thousand pounds, or (to speak shorter) ten Millions. And surely this is a small proportion to be set aside for a Pub­lick Work, which brings so much Profit and Convenience, and so much Honour withall. Private great Workes and Buildings are a Species of Luxury: Publick great Workes that are unpro­fitable, are meer Folly: but Publick great Workes that are be­neficial and useful, (and nothing is more so than High-Ways) [Page 21]are the Glory of a Country. But no Country wants them more then Ours; We have not Publick Spirits.

As it hath been said already, the great Works about the High Wayes will belong to the Surveyor Generall. And the other Surveyors will the while be doing, to very good Effect. So that in one dozen Yeares and less, there will be such a Re­formation, such a Transformation, as can hardly be imagined.

Thus I have proposed a Method for making good the High Wayes of England; which hitherto have been strangely (I must not say shamefully and barbarously) neglected, to the great disparagement and dishonour of our Nation.


THE Summe here allotted to the Parish Surveyors may perhaps seem too little. But if it be thought fit, it may be doubled. that is, The Tax may be made six pence in the pound: whereof foure pence to go to the Parish Surveyors, the rest continuing as before. And I confess this would bring the whole into good proportion, and make it compleat. But I durst not propose so high a Tax.

I doubt the Tax that hath been proposed, will be thought too high by some people. But they should consider; That it must be laid out in their own Business, and plainly for their own Good. They will perhaps say, that however Compulsion is odious: and that they know what's good for themselves, without being taught by Acts of Parliament. In answer, I confess they might speak at this rate, if the Concern were private and particular. As it were very hard, if a Man should be compell'd to make good Wayes, to his own House or his owne Grounds: though it were ever so much for his Good. But in a com­mon Concern, and where a thing is to be done by many, and for the Good of Many; there must be Compulsion, or else the thing will never be done. As Men that have Lands in a Marsh, are compell'd by Law to contribute to the maintaining of the Banks and Walls. And High Wayes are of the same nature, tho not in the same degree. Moreover they should remember, [Page 22]that they are already under Compulsion, and at Charge, about the High Wayes: tho in a Method that is uneffectuall.

But still they will say; Here is a certain Charge and Burden, settled upon our Land in the Nature of a Rent, by which our Land is plainly made worse. To which I answer, that by the Amendment of the High Wayes their Lands will be plainly made better. Which thing is sensibly found, in Middlesex and other parts about London. Where Lands are much better and more valuable, and will yield a greater Rent, for being neer a good Road. And why should this Burden seem more grievous, be­cause it is certain? I think there is little difference, between having the Charge of the High Wayes to come to about four pence in the pound one yeare with another, and the paying of four pence a pound yearly to the High Wayes. But the Land­lord must pay this certain Tax to his loss and wrong. I an­swer, that if the Law provide that the Tenants shall pay it, the Tenants will pay it, as they payd the Chimney Money.

But the great Cry will be, that ten thousand pound a yeare must be carried out of the Counties. and if it be answer'd, that it must be all laid out upon London Roads, which are a general Concern; they will reply, that most of it will be laid out upon the Roads neer London it self: so that all England must contribute towards the Convenience and Glory of London. Here I must confess, that probably the Roads about London will be first look'd after because, this City being the Center, the Roads neer it are more used by the people of the whole Kingdome, then any other Roads. and it is for the Glory and and Convenience of England, as well as of London, to have them made good. But within a short time, the Assistance of this ten thousand pound Stock will reach all parts of the King­dome, where it is most wanted: either by acting separately, or by helping the Surveyors of the Counties. Also it should be again consider'd, how light and easie the proportion is, of what must be thus advanced. It is but the thousandth part, or a farthing in the pound. Moreover a great part of these Works about London may be done by Tolls. It is not long, since the Northern Road by Stamford hath been made good this way: and why should not other Roads have the like ad­vantage?

Perhaps it may be feared, that upon the removing of so much Earth, (in the particular Workes beforemention'd, and in others of the like kind), this loose Earth will be long in settling, and will in the mean time be hardly passable. But I am very confident; that the Earth being brought by Carts, it will be as hard and firme, in the very doing, as if it had lain seven yeares. This I know, that the carrying of Earth in Carts to a Poole Damme, is better than any Ramming.

There should be some Care taken also of Foot-wayes: which now, in most places are wholly neglected. Every great Road, (and every great Bridge likewise, after the Example of the new Bridge at Brentford), should have a Foot Way by the side of it, Convenient and Pleasant.

Some think the High Wayes would be set right without more adoe, if the Justices of Peace had power to lay Money-Levies, when they see occasion, upon the severall Parishes: having power already to make one Parish help another. And I confess it would much further the Work. But the way lookes too Arbitrary. and in some places something would be done, and in other places nothing would be done. and 'tis not occasio­nal Orders; but a constant course and application, under Offi­cers who make it their business, that will do this Work effectu­ally and compleatly.


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