General Postal Directories and Guides

John Copeland's extensive listing provides links to all relevant documents that have been found while searching and are available free on the internet – directories, annual works, guides to places, and some local topographical and historical works.

Specific copies of some important guides are held on the GBPS site.

In 1794 cartographer John Cary was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey England's roads, resulting in successive editions of Cary's New Itinerary, or An Accurate Delineation of the Great Roads which give the mileages of the main roads and are thus very helpful for working out pre-1840 mileage-based rates.

The 1802 volume was used by Alan Robertson in working out his list of mileages.

The volumes by Army officer and cartographer Daniel Paterson also list roads and distances, with a table of postage rates to places from London, and may or may not have involved some plagiarism from Cary!

Cary's New Itinerary, 1798 (1st edition)
John Cary
[469pp, 55MB, 1798]

Cary's New Itinerary, 1802 (2nd edition)
John Cary
[783pp, 79MB, 1802]

The Direct and Principal Cross Roads 1803
Daniel Paterson
[607pp, 45MB, 1803]

The Direct and Principal Cross Roads 1811
Daniel Paterson
[655pp, 46MB, 1811]

The Post-Office Annual Directory for 1814
[598pp, 49MB, 1814]
London almanac, principal persons and postal information

Cary's New Itinerary, 1815 (6th edition)
John Cary
[716pp, 62MB, 1815]

Cary's New Itinerary, 1817 (7th edition)
John Cary
[745pp, 81MB, 1817]

Cary's New Itinerary, 1819 (8th edition)
John Cary
[770pp, 79MB, 1819]

Cary's New Itinerary, 1821 (9th edition)
John Cary
[797pp, 80MB, 1821]

Post Office London Directory, 1843
[783pp, 125MB, 1843]
London almanac, principal persons, postal information

Harris Brothers Universal Post Office Guide
Harris Brothers
[60pp, 2.8MB, 1847]
An early privately produced guide

Lettis's Post Office Guide
[153pp, 3.8MB, 1851]
An early privately produced guide