Before 1635 when The Royal Mail was quite literally the 'Royal Mail' (i.e. used only by the King), post boys travelled to their destination by horse. Once the mail was opened up to the public, this continued to be the case. Mail Coaches were introduced in 1784.
From the 1840s onwards, the expansion of the railways meant that horses were used less and less for transporting mail across the country. The post continued, however, to be transported by horse in some areas right up to 1949.
Our collections contain two horse-drawn vehicles and other objects and records relating to the transport of mail by horse.
Examples from our Collection
Here are some items from our collections relating to horse-drawn mail:
List of the Royal Mail coaches from London.