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Posts Tagged ‘Penny Post’

Sending letters was expensive in the days before the penny post: the cost was usually paid by the recipient, but letters sent to or by peers and Members of Parliament went free under certain conditions. Whilst she was in Lord Ilchester’s household Agnes would have been able to obtain from her employer franked, post-dated covers for her letters, which meant that she did not have to worry that she might be imposing an unwelcome expense on her many correspondents. In later years Anges was sometimes able to obtain covers from acquaintances: two letters sent from Fairford in 1806 and 1807 are endorsed “Free, W. Windham’, and a letter from Malvern in 1810 has a cover signed by Charles Lemon. – A Governess in the Age of Jane Austen, Agnes Porter, 1998

Postman 1810

Postman 1810

Penny Post

Penny Post

Franking privilege, characterized by sir Heneagh Finch as “a real poor mendicant proviso,” is granted to knights etc, chosen to represent the commons in parliament … 1660

Penny post first established in London and its suburbs by Robert Murray, who assigned his interest in the undertaking to Mr Dockwra 2 years later … 1681

Penny post annexed to the revenue of the crown … 1690

General post established throughout the British colonies … 1710

Cross posts established by Ralph Allen deputy-postmaster of Bath, whom Fielding has immortalized as Mr Allworthy in “Tom Jones”, and of whom Pope writes:

“Let humble Allen with an Awkward shame, do good by shealth and blush to find It fame” … 1720

Royal Mail Coach, toy model

Royal Mail Coach model

First mail coaches started by John Palmer, theatre manager of Bath, leaving London 8 AM arriving at Bristol 11 PM, 24 Aug … 1784

[These coaches were attended by an armed guard to prevent robbery of the mail then very common]

Money order system in England founded by 3 post offlce officials as a private speculation (incorporated into the general system in 1838)  established … 1792

Mails sent in steamers first by British post office … 1821

First contract made by postmaster general of England with the Mona Isle Steam company to run mail steamers twice a week between Liverpool and Douglas … 1833

First travelling post carriage used on the Grand Junction railway between Liverpool and Birmingham … 1 July, 1837

Rowland Hill’s plan of penny postage adopted … 1839

Harper’s Book of Facts A Classified History of the World; Embracing Science, Literature, and Art By Charlton Thomas Lewis, Joseph H. Willsey

My Dear Cassandra, I will endeavour to make this letter more worthy of your acceptance than my last, which was so shabby a one that I think Mr. Marshall could never charge you with the postage, Jane Austen, January 21, 1798-99

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