'The Mail Coach', c 1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Vignette from a lithographic plate showing a mail coach pulled by horses. Taken from 'The Horse' in 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals - Showing Their Utility to Man in Their Employment During Life and Uses After Death' (1845), a book illustrated by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. The improvement of the rail network in the mid 18th century led to the introduction of the mail coach in 1784, providing a combined pasenger and mail delivery service. Mail was stowed both in the foreboot beneath the coachman's feet and in the rear compartment. The coach carried four pasengers inside and four more on top behind the the driver. Fares were paid to innkeepers at coaching inns along the route. Printed by J Graf. Published by Thomas Varty.