It is currently Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:20 am (UTC [ DST ])



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
 Post subject: How did the early post messenger system work?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 35
I’ve read in a number of books about how postmasters used to be under contract to the Crown to provide horses for post messengers, or to provide messengers and horses, to move mail along the post roads.

How did the postmasters get their horses back if they just provided horses ? Who looked after the horses (eg. feed and stabling) when the messenger had finished the stage (10 to 20 miles I understand) and got a fresh horse from the next postmaster ?

What did the messenger do when he’d handed the mail over to the next messenger ? Did he just set off back to where he came from or did he wait for a post coming the other way ? If so where did he stay, who paid for his meal ( and his horse’s feed and stabling) ?

Was all of this covered in the contract that the postmaster signed, and if so what were the details ? Have any contracts survived ?

_________________
Regards,
Leamphil

Somerset Postal History Blog
Somerset & Dorset Postal History Group
Leamington & Warwick Philatelic Society
Midland Philatelic Federation Web Officer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 2030
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 16
I think I have the answer to the provision of horses.
Remembering the matter of 'Hobson's Choice' and how Hobson ran the stables for the supply of horses for the early post service, I am sure that he relied on the exchange of animals - as one was brought in after completing a post stage so another was issued for the delivery continuance - therefore, as a supplier, there was no strict ownership of a horse rather a total number of horses in use being circulated when required.
As to the Messenger/Postal Courier he would have either continued on a new horse to the next main Post Town or waited to return with a London bound bag. I have no idea as to the rules on accommodation but logic would suggest that the messenger/courier would be allocated funds to meet known needs of himself (and the horses he used).
Has a contract survived - I wish!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 2037
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 35
The idea of "one in - one out" would work for the post messengers (except for the start and end of the post road) but would not work for horses hired out to people who want to "ride post", ie. to hire horses to ride the post road.

There was mention in one of the books I've read about the hire of guides, but that was in the early days of the post (when presumably the roads were not so well known). A guide could have been responsible for the return of the horses.

_________________
Regards,
Leamphil

Somerset Postal History Blog
Somerset & Dorset Postal History Group
Leamington & Warwick Philatelic Society
Midland Philatelic Federation Web Officer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 2041
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 16
There are a couple of books that may help and which you might not yet have seen?
'Moving the Mail by Road'; by the BPMA and published Dec 2011.
'Packhorse, Wagon and Post' by J L Crofts and published by Routledge, Kegan and Paul in 1967.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 2044
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 35
Thanks, I'll look into them.

_________________
Regards,
Leamphil

Somerset Postal History Blog
Somerset & Dorset Postal History Group
Leamington & Warwick Philatelic Society
Midland Philatelic Federation Web Officer


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group