Rowland Hill, originator of the penny post, 1848.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mezzotint by William Geller after Wivell. Hill (1795-1879) helped found the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1826. In 'Post Office Reform' (1837), he proposed cheap postage at a single rate, to be prepaid in the form of stamps. As a result, a uniform penny rate for mail was introduced in 1840. Hill was made secretary to the Post Office in 1854, and knighted in 1860. Part of the Woodcroft Collection 'Gallery of Portraits'.