The following pages give some particulars of the changes that have taken place in the Post Office service during the past hundred years; and the matter may prove interesting, not only on account of the changes themselves, but in respect of the influence which the growing usefulness of the Postal Service must necessarily have upon almost every relation of political, educational, social, and commercial life. More especially may the subject be found attractive at the close of the present year, when the country has been celebrating the Jubilee of the Penny Post.
hment of the Penny Post. Some idea of the magnitude of this arrangement, which would now be called a gross abuse, will be gathered from the state of things existing in the first quarter of the present century. Looking at the regulations of 1823, we find that each Member of Parliament was permitted to receive as many as fifteen and to send as many as ten letters in each day, such letters not exceeding one ounce in weight. At the then rates of postage this was a most handsome privilege. In the year 1827 the Peers enjoying this extent of free postage numbered over four hundred, and the Commons over six hundred and fifty. In addition to these, certain Members of the Government and other high officials had the privilege of sending free any number of letters without restriction as to weight. These persons were, in 1828, nearly a hundred in number.
How the privilege was turned to commercial account is explained in Mackenzie's, Reminiscences of Glasgow. Referring to the Ship Bank of that city, which h