that it would be possible to pay more than 2% if they
were to maintain a surplus and repay their creditors.
The officers of the Trust were:
Clerk. J. N. Dudlow (in 1843)
Treasurers — Sutton (dead in
H. Wildes appointed 1861
J. N. Dudlow appointed 1877.
Surveyors. John Norris (removed 1837)
Thomas Taylor Collis (1837-1876)
John Collis (joint surveyor with his
brother T. T. Collis 1854-1866)
H. H. Chapman of Snodland 1877.
When the Minute Book opens John Norris is the surveyor but
it was reported in 1837 that there were various irregularities in the
conduct of the affairs of the Trust and that the Road was not properly
managed. Norris was therefore ‘removed’ and Thomas Taylor Collis was
appointed. He was a member of the family of Collis well known among
Kentish Trusts, and his salary was £20 p.a. He held this office till
near the end of the Trust when the family failing showing itself, he had
some difference of opinion with the Trustees, and failed to attend a
meeting. His ‘Absence was noted with regret’ and his salary stopped
from Dec. 31st 1876. A full and complete account of the money in his
possession and a full statement of expenditure
demanded gives a clue to the trouble. It is evident that the Surveyor
was allowed to hold considerable sums of money for current payments,
sometimes well over £100. This is the result of too little supervision
by the Trustees, too few meetings and too few Trustees taking any active
part in the control of the road. John Collis appears to have been
appointed assistant to his brother as a kind of foreman of the labourers
and between the two of them they had almost complete control of the
maintenance of the road.
The finances of the Trust were managed entirely by the
Treasurer, and as the Tolls were practically always let there was little
labour involved in this matter. Payment of Interest or Principal and the
imprest account of the Surveyor seem to comprise the whole of his duties
with the exception of the preparation of an annual statement of
accounts. From these the following table’ is compiled. There does not
appear ever to have been a proper balance sheet.
Note. In the last column of the following table figures as £500—£250
indicate that the lenders of £500 were willing to accept £250 in full
settlement of their loan. This was the outcome of many deliberations in
1852 and the provisions of the Act 14/15 Vie. e.58.