© Cor Snabel
Toll collector (tolgaarder)
In order to bear the costs for maintenance of roads and
dikes local authorities introduced toll passages. The
establishing of tolls needed the approval of the national
government, but in most cases that was no problem. They were
normally situated at the entrance of the village or town.
The inhabitants didnít have to pay toll money, because they
already paid the local taxes, but every non-resident was
liable to pay toll money. And of course it made a difference
whether a horseman would pass or a stagecoach with four
horses and a number of passengers. Every vehicle had its own
tariff, some tolls even charged a pedestrian.
The toll collector usually lived at the toll passage, which
was a fence or a stonewall with a gate. Some had a barrier
bar, but normally it was open and only closed during the
night. The toll collector rented the toll passage from the
authorities, was allowed to free housing and a small fee.
This way the City Council did not have to hire expensive
personal and was assured of their toll money. Despite this
tenancy the collector had a special police-protection if he
had trouble with defaulters.
Some toll passages were bridges and then it worked two ways.
The pedestrians and coaches had to pay, but the track boats
and other vessels too.
In many cases the tollhouse turned into an inn. Late
travelers who found the city gates closed could find a
sleeping place at the toll and this way the toll collector
could earn some extra money. Some of the toll passages of
Amsterdam became famous establishments, where even today one
can sit at the waterside and enjoy a cool beer.
>Choose from the following ancient occupations
Seat Caretaker |
Ship Shanghai |