tolls parliament money
TOLL is a sum of money paid for the use and enjoyment of a privilege. In England it is now always or almost always a sum of money; but formerly tolls in kind were not unknown. An instance is afforded by the Act of 36 Geo. III. c. 85, substituting a money payment for tolls of corn in kind taken by millers, with an exception in favour of tolls taken by custom in soke mills. Such customary tolls, if any such now exist, are apparently the only examples remaining of tolls in kind. The Weights and Measures Act, 1878, enacts that all tolls are to be charged and collected according to imperial weights and measures.
The word toll, in its earliest use, appears to have signified a franchise enjoyed by lords of manors, and is defined by Glanvill as the liberty of buying and selling in one's own land : "to], quod nos vocamus theloneum, scilicet libertatem emendi et vendendi in terra sua." The word then became used to denote duties payable to the crown, especially on wool, generally with an inseparable epithet indicative of unpopularity. It thus took the form of " maletote " or " malum tolnetum," 1 against which many early statutes were directed, from the Magna Carta of John till the final abandonment of the duty by Edward III. In modern English law toll is either an incident of a FRANCHISE (q.v.), as of a market or fair, or is independent of franchise. In the latter case it is claimed by prescription, as toll traverse or toll thorough, or is created by Act of Parliament, as in the case of turnpikes, railways, harbours, navigable rivers, and canals. Toll traverse is paid for passing over a private way, bridge, or ferry. No consideration need be proved. Toll thorough is paid for the use of a highway. In this case, if charged by a private person, some consideration, such as repair of the highway, must be shown, as such a toll is against common right. In one case, that of the Cornish custom of tin-bounding, the right to tin tolls may depend upon custom. At common law a toll must be reasonable. The same principle appears in various Acts of Parliament. The Statute of Westminster the First, 3 Edw. I. c. 31, inflicts a penalty for taking excessive toll. The Railway Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, and most special Acts of railway companies provide, by what are known as the Shaftesbury clauses," for the equality of tolls, that is, that all persons and classes of goods shall under like circumstances be treated alike as to charges. A right of distress is incident to the right to impose tolls, but the distress cannot be sold unless an Act of Parliament expressly authorizes the sale. Tolls are rateable for the relief of the poor where they are appurtenant to land, but not where they are extrinsic profits not arising from the possession of land. Exemption from tolls may be claimed by the prerogative, by grant or prescription, or by Act of Parliament. The king pays no toll, and may grant to another exemption from toll. The exemptions by Act of Parliament mainly affect persons in the public service, clergy on their parochial duty, and persons going to or returning from their usual place of religious worship. Most of the exceptions from turnpike tolls will be found in 3 Geo. IV. c. 126. Turnpike tolls, bridge money, and causeway mail were abolished in Scotland by the Roads and Bridges Act, 1878, as from the 1st June 1883. In England there has been no such general abolition, but the abolition of tolls has been facilitated by several recent Turnpike Acts, and their entire disappearance is only a question of time.
In the United States tolls are a subject for State legislation, except in a few instances in which Acts of Congress have dealt with tolls in rivers and harbours (see Revised Statutes, tit. lxiii.).
The question of tolls was at one time an important one in international law. Tolls were exacted on certain straits and tidal rivers by virtue of the sovereignty of a particular state. Such tolls have mostly ceased or been redeemed. Notable instances were the Scheldt tolls and the Sound dues levied by Denmark.
See NAVIGATION LAWS.