A series of General Enclosure Acts had been passed during the first half of the Nineteenth Century. This was an attempt to streamline the parliamentary process, dispensing with the need for individual Bills to be laid before Parliament. The 1845 Act in particular delegated much of the investigative and administrative process to the Board of Inclosure Commissioners.
Applications were made by persons representing at least one-third in value of the interests in the land to be enclosed in the parish. An Assistant Commissioner was appointed to carry out an inquiry. He was to call a meeting local to the parish with fourteen days’ notice. His report then formed the basis of a provisional order, which is deposited in the parish. To progress, it required support from persons representing two-thirds in value of the whole interest in the land to be inclosed. The last part of that process was the inclusion of recommendations in a consolidated Report from the Board given an Authorising Act of Parliament. Tottie (1862).