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The King's Post Being a volume of historical facts relating to the posts, mail coaches, coach roads, and railway mail services of and connected with the ancient city of Bristol from 1580 to the present time   By: (1842-1923)

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[Illustration: [ Frontispiece.

THE RIGHT HON. LORD STANLEY, K.C.V.O., C.B., M.P.

(Postmaster General.) ]

The King's Post

Being a volume of historical facts relating to the Posts, Mail Coaches, Coach Roads, and Railway Mail Services of and connected with the Ancient City of Bristol from 1580 to the present time.

BY

R.C. TOMBS, I.S.O.

Ex Controller of the London Postal Service, and late Surveyor Postmaster of Bristol ;

Author of "The London Postal Service of To day" "Visitors' Handbook to General Post Office, London" "The Bristol Royal Mail."

Bristol

W.C. HEMMONS, PUBLISHER, ST. STEPHEN STREET.

1905

2nd Edit., 1906. Entered Stationers' Hall.

TO

THE RIGHT HON. LORD STANLEY,

K.C.V.O., C.B., M.P.,

HIS MAJESTY'S POSTMASTER GENERAL,

THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED

AS A TESTIMONY OF HIGH

APPRECIATION OF HIS DEVOTION

TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE AT

HOME AND ABROAD,

BY

HIS FAITHFUL SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

When in 1899 I published the "Bristol Royal Mail," I scarcely supposed that it would be practicable to gather further historical facts of local interest sufficient to admit of the compilation of a companion book to that work. Such, however, has been the case, and much additional information has been procured as regards the Mail Services of the District.

Perhaps, after all, that is not surprising as Bristol is a very ancient city, and was once the second place of importance in the kingdom, with necessary constant mail communication with London, the seat of Government.

I am, therefore, enabled to introduce to notice "The King's Post," with the hope that it will prove interesting and find public support equal to that generously afforded to its forerunner, which treated of Mail and Post Office topics from earliest times.

I have been rendered very material assistance in my researches by Mr. J.A. Housden, late of the Savings Bank Department, G.P.O., London; also by Mr. L.C. Kerans, ex postmaster of Bath, and Messrs. S.I. Toleman and G.E. Chambers, ex assistant Superintendents of the Bristol Post Office.

I have gathered many interesting facts from "Stage Coach and Mail," by Mr. C.G. Harper, to whom I express hearty indebtedness; and I am also under deep obligation to Mr. Edward Bennett, Editor of the "St. Martin's le Grand Magazine," and the Assistant Editor, Mr. Hatswell, for much valuable assistance.

R.C.T.

BRISTOL, September, 1905 .

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE EARLIEST BRISTOL POSTS, 1580. FOOT AND RUNNING POSTS. THE FIRST BRISTOL POSTMASTERS: ALLEN AND TEAGUE, 1644 1660. THE POST HOUSE. EARLIEST LETTERS, 1662. Page 1

CHAPTER II.

THE POST HOUSE AT THE DOLPHIN INN, IN DOLPHIN STREET, BRISTOL, 1662. EXCHANGE AVENUE AND SMALL STREET POST OFFICES, BRISTOL. Page 8

CHAPTER III.

ELIZABETHAN POST TO BRISTOL. THE QUEEN'S PROGRESS, 1574. Page 16

CHAPTER IV.

THE ROADS. THE COACH. MR. JOHN PALMER'S MAIL COACH INNOVATIONS, 1660 1818. Page 22

CHAPTER V.

APPRECIATIONS OF RALPH ALLEN, JOHN PALMER, AND SIR FRANCIS FREELING, MAIL AND COACH ADMINISTRATORS. Page 45

CHAPTER VI.

BRISTOL MAIL COACH ANNOUNCEMENTS, 1802, 1830. THE NEW GENERAL POST OFFICE, LONDON. Page 62

CHAPTER VII.

THE BRISTOL AND PORTSMOUTH MAIL FROM 1772 ONWARDS. PROJECTED SOUTH COAST RAILWAY FROM BRISTOL, 1903. THE BRISTOL TO SALISBURY POSTBOY HELD UP. MAIL COACH ACCIDENTS. LUKE KENT AND RICHARD GRIFFITHS, THE MAIL GUARDS. Page 75

CHAPTER VIII.

THE BUSH TAVERN, BRISTOL'S FAMOUS COACHING INN, AND JOHN WEEKS, ITS WORTHY BONIFACE, 1775 1819. THE WHITE LION COACHING HOUSE, BRISTOL, ISAAC NIBLETT. THE WHITE HART, BATH. Page 93

CHAPTER IX.

TOLL GATES AND GATE KEEPERS. Page 110

CHAPTER X... Continue reading book >>




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