1806 Enclosure Act

Depending on your politics, Enclosure was either a vital step in encouraging investment and increasing productivity, or a cynical land-grab by the rich and powerful from the poor and weak. Either way, it happened in 1806 in Eversholt, when an act was passed in Parliament to appoint a commissioner with wide powers to grab land and give it to new owners.

The act isn’t on the Hansard website, so we’re one up on them. Anna Blomfield provided an original, 1806 printed copy of the act, acquired through ebay. Typically, there would have been about 50 copies issued to landowners at the time. Emrys Williams photographed it to produce the large pdf attached to this page. Acts are covered by Crown Copyright, but that lasts only 50 years, so the attached pdf is placed in the public domain. Anyone can copy it and use it any way they want.
Sandy Richardson very generously took the scanned original and typed it all in – Thank you, Sandy! – and the whole text is here. A version editable in Google Docs is available here.
The map produced in 1808 showing who got what is available here.
act – 12Mbyte pdf photographic copy

PLUS: Iain Dickson provided photographs of the handwritten notes that went with the map. They are hard to read, but may be useful to someone:

but be warned, that is a 120MByte file!

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