Town Commissioners

1810 Brighton Town Act

Reproduced with permission from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder, 1990

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

b) 1810 BRIGHTON TOWN ACT (50 George III ch.38): After thirty years the commissioners found their powers limited and unsuitable for the proper regulation of the growing town, and a new Act agreed with the vestry was passed in 1810. The number of commissioners was increased to 106 plus certain ex-officio members, viz: the lords of the manors of Brighthelmston, Atlingworth, Brighthelmston-Michelham, and Old Shoreham; the M.P.s for Sussex and the Sussex boroughs; the high constable; and the vicar. The financial requirements of the commissioners were increased, but, importantly, replacements were to be elected by the parish ratepayers.
The Act additionally empowered the commissioners to appoint watchmen, beadles and constables; to widen and improve streets by compulsory purchase; to name and number streets; to regulate sewers; to inspect weights and measures; to license hackney-carriages, sedan-chairs and bathing-machines; and to build a new town hall. It also transferred the responsibility for the poor of the town from the parochial authorities to thirty 'Directors and Guardians of the Poor' who were to be appointed by the commissioners. Among other additional clauses were the requirements that new pavements should be provided at the expense of the owner of a newly-built house; no new buildings other than shops should project over pavements; no new buildings were to be thatched; no rubbish should be dumped in the streets, on the beaches, or over the cliffs; no night soil was to be tipped into the streets or sewers; and no games or other nuisances were allowed in the streets.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

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