This study, which was prepared primarily as a Research Studentship Report for the University of London, is intended to be a contribution to the history of rates of postage, and an attempt to ascertain the principles, economic or otherwise, on which they are and have been based.
imposed upon by persons riding post on their private business. Without the special commission it was useless to pretend to be travelling on the King's affairs. By this proclamation the postmasters were also given the exclusive right of letting horses to travellers. The wages of the postmasters in respect of the "post for the pacquet" were a fixed sum per day, and a certain number of horses had to be kept in readiness, in proportion to the amount of the wages paid. As regards the service for the State, the system of posts was therefore on a complete and definite financial basis. The rates for the thorough post, although not in any way rates of postage in the modern sense, were the first rates applied to the service of the posts (the pay of the postmasters for the packet post being merely wages per diem), and it was to them that the term "postage" was first applied. These rates were in fact the original "postage."
The number of regular posts was in early times quite small. In order to provide a