From the History of the Postal Service
In the XVIII century in England letters were delivered by post-boys and stage coaches, which belonged to rich people. A post-boy could ride five miles an hour. At that time the roads were so bad that stage coaches rode only four miles an hour. When the roads became better the stage coaches began to run faster, but post-boys still rode only five miles an hour.
In 1764 an official paper appeared in England. It read, “Post-boys must ride six miles an hour.” But it could not make slow horses fast. And the post-boys still rode very slowly.
Now people did not want to use post-boys. They sent their letters by stage coaches which ran seven miles an hour. So people stopped paying money to the state for this. They paid money to the owners of these stage coaches. The state began to lose a lot of money.
The first state stage coaches were introduced by John Palmer. In 1784 he organized fast coaches, which ran along the main roads. These coaches were guarded by soldiers. The first coach ran between London and Bristol. Along the road there were five places where the coaches could change horses. Horses ran from six to eight miles and then they were changed. So they could run very fast. The first state stage coach was a success. And already in 1800 there was a good state stage coach system in England.
1. Who were letters delivered by in the XVIII century in England?
2. Who stage coaches belonged to?
3. How fast could a post-boy could ride ?
4. What were the roads like at that time?
5. Why did stage coaches begin to run faster in the XVIII century?
6. Did post-boys ride faster too?
7. When did an official paper appear in England?
8. What did the paper say?
9. Why did not people want to use post-boys?
10. Why did people prefer stage coaches?
11. Who did people pay more money to?
12. Who were the first state stage coaches introduced by ?
13. When did he organize fast coaches?
14. Who were these coaches guarded by ?
15. Where did the first coach run?
16. Where could the coaches change horses?
17. How far could horses run?
18. When was a good state stage coach system in England?