The Hayling Railway Company and The Oyster Company by Ron Lamont

The following article was donated by Ron Lamont who spent considerable time in researching the complicated negotiations between these two companies and has laid this out in his very interesting article. It takes us back to the time of the original proposed line on embankments across the harbour and the changes in route introduced by Francis Fuller. See The birth of the railway for the background.


Summary of Lease drawn up 31.03.1873, (with appended timeline and probable story)

The trustees of the late Robert Hume Esq & others to The South of England Oyster Co Ltd This Indenture is made 31.12.1873 between • The Lessors (William Paxton of Little Godsden in the county of Hertford, Land Surveyor, and Robert Andrew Gibbons of Northfleet in the county of Kent, Cement Maker, they being Robert Hume’s executors) • The Hayling Railways Co • George William Hart of Letterpack in the county of Galway in Ireland Esquire • The South of England Oyster Co Whereas • In 1863, Robert Hume, late of Berners Street in the county of Middlesex (since deceased) contracted to buy the piece of Mudland shown (it was actually conveyed to him 24.04.1869 – see indenture mentioned later).

• In 1865 Hume agreed with Hart that he would lease him for 99 years some of the Mudland for Oyster Culture, Hart having the option to take more of the Mudland on similar terms • Hart later passed his interest to the Oyster Co.

• The Hayling Railways Act of 1860 authorized the Railway Co to construct (inter alia) a Railway across the Mudland from point A to point G on the plan.

• In 1867 the Railway Co promoted a Bill allowing them to change their route to the island itself (blue on the plan); this was opposed by the Oyster Co, which led to the agreement mentioned next.

• On 22.03.1867, it was agreed between the Railway Co and the Oyster Co that the Hayling Railways Bill 1867 should not be read a third time in the House of Lords until a lease was agreed by all interested parties, a Mr John Bullar to thrash out and arrange the agreement.

• Bullar set the new requirements out in paper A. These were:

1. All parties interested in Mudlands and Railway Banks to concur in Leases

2. Leases to include Railway bank on the western side of oyster beds and bank on north side formerly used as contractors road

3. Lease of the enclosed portion (known as the 48 acres) to the Oyster Co for 99 years, determinable by a years rent or a years notice, at one pound per acre per annum. The banks to be put and kept in repair by the Railway Co and/or the lessors.

4. Railway Co may take up existing rails and shall substitute fifty pound rails (rails and sleepers to belong to Oyster Co)

5. ((no item))

6. Oyster Co to be able up to 25.03.1875 to take more of the mudland on the same terms.

7. If any of the mudland is enclosed other than by the Oyster Co, they are to have the option of taking it, on the same terms.

8. ((no item))

9. ((no item))

10. ((no item))

11. The Oyster Co may make bridges over the railway.

12. ((no item))

13. ((no item))

14. A head of waters may be kept by the Oyster Co on both sides of the railway where it crosses oyster beds.

• The agreement of 22.03.1867 (to delay the parliamentary Bill pending arrangement of leases to be supervised by Bullar) was adopted by Hume [reference an agreement 15.05.1867 between Hume, Hart, the Railway Co, the Oyster Co, Francis Fuller, and Selina Elizabeth Padwick and George Mouncey Gray, in which it was agreed that Bullar should draft the lease and arrange matters].

• The Hayling Railways Act 1867 received the Royal Assent on 12.08.1867, allowing abandonment of the mudland route and substitution of the blue route.

• By an indenture dated 24.04.1869 between Hume, Padwick and Gray, Joseph Pulley and Joseph Taylor, the freehold of the mudland to the west of Hayling was conveyed to Hume. A “parcel of waste of the Manor of Hayling”, it was estimated to be 1750 acres from low water to high water. Hume was tenant of the land for a short time before (from 04.04.1869).

• Hume’s will of 30.11.1866 appointed Paxton and Gibbons as executors.

• Hume died in 1870 and his will was proved by Paxton and Gibbons on 19.02.1870.

• Gibbons and Paxton are administering Hume’s estate under the oversight of the High Court of Chancery. • Bullar has since died.

• The Oyster Co has enclosed more mudland since the agreement of 22.03.1867, and now has 101 acres (pink on the plan), and has paid the rent due up to 24 June last.

• The Vice Chancellor Sir James Bacon has approved this documentation 09.08.1873 and directed that it be executed. Now this Indenture witnesseth that

• The lessors lease to the Oyster Co the 101 acres coloured pink, with the Railway bank on the west and the contractors road bank on the north, and as much of the 799 acres coloured brown as the Oyster Co takes by 25.03.1875.

• The 101 acres and the banks will be leased for 99 years from 25.12.1865, the rest from enclosure to 99 years after 25.12.1865.

• The yearly rent to the lessors for the 101 acres will be £101 payable half-yearly on 24 June and 25 Dec, the first payment to be made on 25 Dec next. The yearly rent for any further enclosures will be £1 per acre. The yearly rent to the Railway Co for the banks will be a peppercorn if demanded, The Oyster Co

• Agree to pay the rents without deductions.

• Agree to pay all taxes and the like and all works etc related to oyster farming. Mud can be removed and replaced with shingle etc, but may not be taken away from the mudlands. All farming works must be completed within seven years from 25.12.1865 for the pink bit or within seven years from enclosure for parts of the brown bit.

• Agree to keep all in good order throughout the lease, and allow the lessors to inspect the land and give notice of any defects found, and agree to repair such defects within a year.

• Agree to return the land and all thereon (other than tools of trade etc) in good condition to the lessors at the end of the lease or earlier termination, and similarly return the banks to the Railway Co. The Railway Co

• Allow the Oyster Co to build bridges between points A and B.

• Allow the Oyster Co to keep a head of waters on both sides of the railway where it crosses the beds.

The Oyster Co have until 25.03.1875 to enclose any brown Mudland on the terms agreed. If the rent is 21 days in arrears or the Oyster Co is in breach of any covenant other than the one to keep the oyster farm in good order, the lessors may repossess the land and terminate the lease.

The Oyster Co can terminate the lease by a year’s notice or rent. Provided the Oyster Co pays the rent and observes the covenants the lessors will not disturb them.

The Railway Co will maintain the banks The lessors will keep the indenture of 24.04.1869 (giving freehold to the lessors), and at requestor’s cost produce it and copies of it on request. If legally required to, they will hand it over at their own expense and their obligation to produce it or copies will cease. The lessors shall not enclose any brown mudland before 25.03.1875. If they do so after, they must offer the lease of it to the Oyster Co who have six months to think about it.

The annual rent per acre would be £1 for the first 2 years, £2 for the next 2 years, and £4 thereafter. The Oyster Co would pay for drawing up the lease, which must be basically the same as this one.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the said parties to these presents of the first and third parts have hereunto set their hands and seals and the said Railway Co and the said Oyster Co have hereunto caused their Common Seals to be affixed the day and year first above written.


• Hayling Railways Act empowers the Railway Co to build a railway over the mudland from Langstone to Sinah. 1863

• Hume contracts to buy mudland. 1865

• Hume agrees to lease mudland to Hart. 1865?

• Hart passes interest in mudland to Oyster Co. 25.12.1865

• Agreed commencement of 99-year lease. 1867

• Bill to change route of railway. 1867

• Oyster Co oppose Bill 22.03.1867

• Agreement (Oyster Co and Railway Co) to have leases arranged by Bullar to allow third reading of Bill. 15.05.1867

• Agreement by all as above. 12.08.1867

• Bill gets Royal Assent 24.04.1869

• Mudland conveyed to Hume 1870

• Hume dies, Paxton and Gibbons are his executors. 25.12.1872

• Oyster Co to have completed all works on pink bit (for other bits they have 7 years from enclosure) 31.03.1873

• Lease drawn up. 31.12.1873

• Lease signed. 25.03.1875

• Right to enclose mudland passes from Oyster Co to Lessors. 25.12.1964

• Lease expires


Hume and his Railway Co get an Act through Parliament (1860) to authorise the Hayling Railway, secure the mudland (1863), and they agree (1865) to lease the mudland to Hart and his Oyster Co. Having (maybe?) managed to acquire land for an on-shore route, they seek (1867) to abandon the costly mudland route.

This does not suit the oyster folks as they will now have to do all the enclosure themselves, and they therefore oppose the change.

It is agreed that Bullar will hammer out a compromise (although he dies before completing it), and the present lease is the result.

The sweetener appears to be that the oyster guys get another 8 years to enclose as much mudland as they like at the old rates and terms, and get the banks thrown in for free (complete with reduced-grade railway track).



Meet the Author

0 comments… add one