Don’t damage this Dorset bridge, the punishment will be transportation for life!

This metal notice is attached to the bridge over the river Char at Charmouth in West Dorset. There are similar ones elsewhere in Dorset including one over the river Stour at Stuminster Newton and the one pictured below at Benvile near Corscombe and Evershot.

The sign warns that damaging the bridge may be transported, presumably to Australia.

I wonder when the sign was erected, and for that who T Fooks was and what was his job? Fooks is still a common surname in Dorset.

The text on the plaque reads:

NOTICE

DORSET

ANY PERSON WILFULLY INJURING ANY PART OF THIS COUNTY BRIDGE WILL BE GUILTY OF FELONY AND UPON CONVICTION LIABLE TO BE TRANSPORTED FOR LIFE BY THE COURT

T FOOKS

Benville Bridge Notice
Notice on bridge at Benville, near Corscombe, West Dorset.
Benville West Dorset - Bridge Notice
Notice on bridge at Benville, near Corscombe, West Dorset.

I did wonder if all these metal signs had been cast in one go from one mould but looking at the two pictures on this page it is obvious this is not the case.

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