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Regulations Concerning the Ferries Over the Tay, 1809


Regulations to be observed by the Boatmen, and others, plying the passage betwixt the counties of Fife and Angus, by the ferries of Woodhaven, Newport, Balmerino, and Ferryportoncraigs in Fifeshire, and Dundee and Broughty Castle, in the county of Angus; established and enacted by the Justices of his Majesty's Peace for the said counties of Fife and Angus.

1. The said Justices judging it necessary, for the service of the public, have enacted, and do hereby enact that there must always be three stout boats, and three pinnaces, belonging both to the Dundee and Woodhaven ferry side; and two boats and three pinnaces at the east water, or Newport ferry; that one of the boats at each of the Dundee and Woodhaven ferries, must be at least 20 tons carpenters measurement ; the remaining two, at each of these ferries, must not be under 14 tons burden. At the Newport Ferry they shall not be under from 10 to 12 tons: each of the pinnaces not to be under 22 feet in length in the keel, and at least 7 feet broad.

2. That there must always be, at least, in these boats, two good ferrymen and a boy, and the same number in each of the pinnaces when they cross; and that on all occafions, night and day, Sundays and holidays, these boats must cross, except when it is blowing so hard that a seafaring, neutral man, not belonging to the passage, gives it as his opinion, that it is impracticable, and such seafaring men must be appointed at each of the ferries for that purpose: the one for Dundee to be under appointment of the birthmaster, or deputy shoremaster at the harbour of Dundee for the time; those for Woodhaven and Newport to be under the appointment of Mr Morison of Naughton, Mr Wedderburn of Wedderburn, Mr Berry of Tayfield; the one for Ferryportoncraig to be under the appointment of Mr Dalgleish of Scotscraig; and the one for Broughty Castle to be under the appointment of Mr Guthrie of Craigie.

3. It is recommended by the Justices to Lord Douglas, who has the privilege of licensing the ferry boats, that no new boats or pinnaces be licensed, but those coming under the description mentioned in the first article; and that each of these boats and pinnaces, with the list of their crew, must be registrate in a book, kept under the appointment of the Magistrates of Dundee, before they can be allowed to ply at any of these ferries; and that the boats who have been already licensed, are also to comply with this injunction. And in order that the proper conditions of the said boats and pinnaces may be ascertained, the said Justices authorise and empower the birthmaster, or deputy shoremaster at the harbour of Dundee, at all times he may think necessary, to inspect, or cause to be inspected, the boats and pinnaces plying at the said passage; and in case he find any of them not in a proper and suffiicient condition for that purpose, he is hereby authorised to stop the boatmen from plying the passage with the boat so found insufficient, until the proprietor of the said boat do produce to him a regular bred and respectable carpenter's certificate of its sufficiency; and that the licences of such boats be suspended, until they are put in proper order and repair, in terms of the report; and that none but those licensed and registrated as aforesaid, are allowed to serve on the passage, or interfere with the licensed and registrated ferrymen, in any respect.

4. That one of these boats and a pinnace must be constantly at each of the above-mentioned ferries, to serve the lieges, and obliged to cross instantly when ordered, at the present fares, as herein after expressed. And it is further enacted, that no double or additional freights be exigible by the boatmen for crossing under cloud of night, or altho' the boatmen, from stress of weather, and the wind being contrary, should be obliged to land at Ferryportoncraigs, or Balmerino, on the Fife side, or Broughty Castle on the Angus side, the hardships being the same to the passengers as the boat's crew: and it is likewise enacted that a boat or pinnace must always be stationed at low-water mark.

5. It is enacted, that the boats belonging to the respective ferries of Woodhaven, Newport, Ferryportoncraigs, Dundee, and Broughty Castle, be the only boats which have a right to their turn at the said ferries; and all other boats and pinnaces must, in an hour and a half, set out, in order to return to their own ferries, except in the case, of there being no boats at the ferry to which they belong, and then they are obliged to set out for the said ferry without loss of time: that if any boat take in passengers, or goods, at the ferry where they have no right to their turn, they are obliged to account for the freight of such passengers and goods to the birth-boat where such goods or passengers are taken in: that a boat is obliged to depart at high-water, and another at half tide, if the wind is westerly, and at half ebb, if the wind is easterly, and that in the event of a single passenger offering, at the ordinary fare of such passenger: that the birth-boat must, on no account, be hired, or freighted, but must wait the above periods, for the accommodation of passengers.

6. It is enacted, that the name of each boat, the master's name, and the tonnage of the boat, must be painted both in the inner and outer stern of each boat and pinnace, so that passengers may know whom to sue when they are not served in terms of the regulations: and that each night, one of the licensed ferrymen, or boys, must be on the watch, to attend the service of the public; and that each of the boats or pinnaces must have always a printed copy of the regulations to show, otherwise to forfeit their freight; and that pinnaces are excluded from taking on board carriers baggage, or luggage of any kind. Pinnaces are hereby restricted to take in six passengers, and no more; and all yawls are restricted to four passengers.

7. That the following rates and fares are to be exacted and levied at the said passage, and no other, on any account whatever:

Each person,L.0 0 3
Each horse, mare, ass, mule, ox, or cow,0 0 6
Sheep,1s. 3d. per score,
Swine, each,0 0 3
Calves, each,0 0 3
Lambs,9d. per score,
Each horse load of merchandise,0 0 6
Each cart load of merchandise,0 1 6
Empty carts, each,0 1 0
Each landau, coach, or chariot, and four-wheeled chaise, besdes the freight for horses and servants,0 4 0
Two-wheeled chaises, each, besides horses and servants,0 2 6
In this last article, all two-wheeled chaises, tax-carts, and carriages of that description, are included.
Each cart load of lime,0 1 4
Each boat's full freight, of not less than 14 tons burden,0 3 6
Each ditto, from 7 to 14 tons,0 3 0
Each pinnace with 4 oars,0 3 6
Each ditto, with 2 oars,0 2 0

And the above freights are hereby ordained to apply equally to the passage from Dundee to Portoncraigs and Balmerino, and from Portoncraigs to Broughty Castle.

8. It is enacted; that every one of these regulations be punctually observed, under the penalty of a sum not less than 20s. sterl. or more than 2l. 2s. for each offence, by and attour the parties contravening to be suspended from any employment on the said passage, during the pleasure of the Justices of the Peace of Angus and Fife, or Magistrates of Dundee, respectively: And that all persons who are not duly served at either of the said ferries, in terms of the above regulations, and wishing not to be at the trouble of prosecuting the offender, or offenders, that such person or persons must send to the clerk to the peace, or procurator fiscal for either of the counties where such offence happens to be committed, the note of the offence, the offender or offenders name or names, and the names of two or more witnesses, and they will be prosecute by the fiscal before such courts, without putting the complainer to any trouble or expence.

9. It is enacted, that the Justices of the peace for the counties of Angus and Fife, and the Magistrates of Dundee, respectively, do enforce the above regulations; and that they be printed and published, that none may pretend ignorance.

From: The Dundee Directory for 1809, pages 97-103, original at National Library of Scotland


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