Friday, December 24, 2010

Coach travel

(I posted this in response to a question on my Malloren World Wiki about how travel worked in the 18th and early 19th centuries.)

It's a bit complicated, but some people used their own horses for the whole journey. In that case they would travel more slowly as the horses would need rest, food, and water.

A few very rich people would either keep their own horses along routes they traveled frequently -- ie Rothgar Abbey to London.

An alternative for the rich planning a journey in advance would be to send out teams of horses to await along the route. But that would be extraordinary.

Mostly those with money would hire both chaise and horses right from the start and travel at speed because the chaise was a light vehicle and they'd change the team every 10 miles or so.

Most people who traveled did so by a public coach or by wagon, as Petra does in A Lady's Secret. Or walked.

BTW, if traveling by chaise, there were connection options.
1. If they were a long way from the post roads someone from home could drive them to the inn, or a plain coach from the posting inn could come to collect them.
2. If they were nearby and the road not too rough, the chaise would come to the door.

Cheers,

Jo

3 comments:

Phyllis said...

How far could they go in one day? Or I guess I mean how far could one team of horses go, if you didn't change?

It's so amazing to think about anyone going anywhere before planes and cars, or even before rail travel.

Woohoo! Ten miles! Twenty miles! We're tearing up the road now! Heck, I do twenty-four with the two round trips to my kids' school.

Darla Vincent said...

Do you know how the horses were returned to the proper posting inn or to their owners? I wondered how the horse Race rode from London was returned to the livery stable used by Stephen in Hazard?

goodegiggles said...

This of course isn't England but last summer I visited the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's Plantation) 15 miles outside of Nashville. For him to get to what is now downtown Nashville it would have taken four hours. Can you imagine four hours to go 15 miles. This would have been around 1829-1836 or so.