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General Post-Office, 1722

SOURCE: REMARKS ON LONDON, being an Exact Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Borough of Southwark... By W. Stow., London, 1722.

Of the General Post-Office
in Lombard Street.

For the Advancement of Trade and Commerce as well as the Conveniency of all other Business, Letters are convey'd to all Parts of Great Britain, and other Places in Europe, besides his Majesty's Plantations in America; and the Conveyance of all Domestick Letters is so expeditious, that every 24 Hours the Post goes 120 Miles; and in 5 or 6 days an Answer may be had from a place 300 Miles distant from the Writer.

Besides this very great and convenient Expedition, the Charge thereof is easie; for a Letter containing a whole Sheet, is conveyed 80 Miles for 2d. if a double Letter for 6d. one Ounce of letters for 10d.; but if above 80 Miles, a single Letter 4d. if doubled 6d. and an Ounce 14d.

The Post Days to send Letters from London to any part of England and Scotland, are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays : And the Returns certain on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

But to Wales and Ireland, the Post goes only twice a Week; viz on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and comes from Wales everyMonday and Friday : but from Ireland the Return is uncertain, because it (as all other foreign Letters do) depends upon Winds.

When the Court is in the Country, the Post goes every Day to the Place where it resides. The same is with Kent, and the usual Stations of the Royal Fleet, as the Downs, Spithead, and other Places : to which we may send every Day but Sunday; and from whence we may also hear every Day but Sunday.

For foreign Intelligence in Times of Peace, Mondays and Thursdays are the Posts for France, Spain, and Italy; and Tuesdays and Fridays for Holland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.
On Mondays and Fridays, the Post goes also for Flanders, and from thence to Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.
For the Transport of Letters and Paquets over Sea, there are in Time of peace,

Between England and France    3 Pacquet Boats.
                               Spain     2         " "
                               Flanders 2         " "
                               Holland  3         " "
                               Ireland  3         " "

The Paquet Boats for France, go over from Dover in Kent for Calais, 7 Leagues over, on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Evening, if the Wind serves : For Spain, one goes every Fortnight from Falmouth in Cornwal, to Corunna, or the Groyn : For Flanders, from Dover to Newport, 20 Leagues over, on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the Evening : For Holland, from Harwich in Essex to the Brill, about 30 Leagues over, on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Evening. And for Ireland, from Holyhead in Anglesea, (a Welsh County) to Dublin, about 20 Leagues over, on Mondays and Thursdays.

Also, for the farther Encouragement of Trade and Commerce, the late Queen Anne appointed Boats, to carry Letters and Pacquets from England as far as the West Indies; which never was done before. One of these Boats sets out from the Thames on the last Thursday of the Month, particularly for the Isles of Barbadoes, Montserrat, St. Christopher, Antegoa, and Jamaica. The Rate for every Letter is 9d. a Sheet, a double Letter 18d. a Pacquet weighing an Ounce 2s 6d and so in portortion.

And for the Conveniency of those who live far from the Post Office, there are particular Posthouses appointed to take in the Letters till 9 of the Clock at Night, to be sent from thence in due Time to the General Post Office; which is done Gratis for Inland Letters; but if it is past 9 of the Clock, Notice is given thereof by a Bellman every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Night, who then has a Penny for every Letter he carries thither : But at all times the Office takes for each foreign Letter or Pacquet one Penny.