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Benjamin Manning Fined for Toll Evasion in 1847


While the 'Save Manning's Pit' team was doing research for the Exhibition at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon in May 2017 they searched the British Newspaper Archives for mentions of Benjamin Manning and came across a cutting from the North Devon Journal of May 13, 1847 at which time he was living in Pilton Street. This describes how he was summoned by the collector of turnpike tolls at the stop-gate of Mare-top, charged with an evasion of toll. He had driven his cart with animals from Sherwill (now Shirwell) to Westaway, close to where the North Devon Hospital now is, and then proceeded to drive the animals into Pilton leaving the cart at Westaway. Presumably Maretop was what we now know as Maer Top and the toll gate was thought to be at the head of Shearford Lane (see 'The Turnpike Roads of Pilton 1763-1879' on the archive) which ties in with the description of its position in the cutting. Download the short item to find out what happened.
Many thanks to the 'Save Manning's Pit' Team for unearthing the cutting.

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