New River Company receipt

Water Bill from the New River Company


SKU: 001368 Categories: ,


[001368] [Hervey, Augustus]; New River Company. Water Bill from the New River Company. London: H. Reynell, 1775. First Edition. 48mo (Oblong). Unbound. Ephemera. Good+. Double sided, part printed, part manuscript water bill for the Rt. Hon. Augustus Hervey from the New River Company, approximately 150mm x 80mm in size.

Small pin holes (where once attached?), otherwise quite bright and clean.

The bill, dated February 7th, 1775, notes ‘Received of Rt. Hon. Augustus Hervey the sum of thirty shillings for one years rent for water, due at xmas last, to the New-River Company [signed] Heathcote – New River Collector, Paviour and Turncock at the Kings-Arms, Marybone Street, St. James’s, Tuesdays and Fridays, from Nine to Ten. The reverse gives the details of ‘The following persons to be sent to in Case of Fires – Mr Heathcote, Collector, Hay-Market. Paviours, John Pennel, Jermyn-street, John Long, Castle-street, Oxford Market – Turncocks, Job Tidbury, Castle-street, John Bunney, Rupert-street, J. Edwards, Knaves-Acre, with a pencilled note to side reading 1775, New River ?State, pd. £1.19.10.

Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl Bristol (1724-1779), naval officer and politician, member for Bury until March 1775 when he succeeded his brother to be Earl of Bristol. Hervey had a house in Chesterfield Street, north of Piccadilly (Holmes, Augustus Hervey – A Naval Casanova, page 262).

The New River Company (effectively an aqueduct), was set up to bring water from Hertfordshire into London, where there was a shortage of supply. By 1605 Hugh Myddelton and partners took over from Edmund Colthurst (who stayed on as overseer of the works), work recommenced in 1609, but by 1611 various disputes with landowners had stopped progress, James I then stepped in taking on half the costs in return for half the profits, and the project was complete by 1613. (‘New River Head’, in Survey of London: Volume 47, Northern Clerkenwell and Pentonville, ed. Philip Temple (London, 2008), pp. 165-184).

An interesting receipt, with the added benefit of the protection of an early ‘fire brigade’