This book deals with the development and administration of turnpike trusts in England from the creation of the first turnpike authority in 1663 to the coming of the the railways in 1840. It is concerned specifically with assessing the economic importance of the trusts before and during the Industrial Revolution. The author begins by analysing the importance of the roads in relation to the entire transport network in the seventeenth century and then examines the legislative development of the trust device and spread of the turnpike trusts throughout the country. The financing of the trusts and the way in which they were managed are considered and the relative success of the turnpikes are assessed by looking at the movement in the costs of land transport. The study is based on parliamentary records and on original trust documents, studied on a country-wide basis. By examining this material Dr Albert is able to provide a detailed and comprehensive history of English turnpike trusts which will supersede in many respects the standard accounts of the subject written in the early 1900s.