Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I'm adding more about travel because in addition to sharing this stuff with interested readers, it's a way to file it on line in case I need it on he road!
In the days of machinery, however, the magnates generally travelled to London by other means. One mode was the procession of nine or ten days in all the solemn state of lonely grandeur; (as related in the previous blog) the other by obtaining a partner in the lighter expense of a chaise.* " Wanted," says a Darlinijton Mercury of 1773, " a partner in a post chaise to London, on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday next. Enquire of the Post Master in Darlington."
In the Ettrick Diary there is a curious and painful account of a journey to London, performed by the squire and his lady on horseback ; of their misery and consternation when their horse "Dragon" fell lame ; and of tlie frightful expenses of the journey, which are partly accounted for by the dolorous husband, " because his wife would have all her own way.'
In days of old, there was a discreet decree among travellers on horseback, and even by stage coach, that when Sunday came, it should be a day of rest for both man and beast in the slow progress on the road.
About 80 years ago, there was but one post chaise in Darlington, and it had only three wheels. When another innkeeper set up an opposition chaise to it, the rival hosts adopted the practice which prevailed up to a recent period at bathing places, of watching the approach of chaises into the town, and handing cards to the travellers, soliciting their favours.
Here's the account of a journey. The book scan isn't great. I've corrected where I'm sure, but left the rest. The money is in pounds, shillings, and pence. l for pound, which is easily missed. s or / for shillings. d for pence. So 21. 3s. 5d should be 2l 3s 5d -- two pounds, three shillings, and five pence.
1762, Jan. 29. Paid bill at Darlington for chaise and horses. II. 1s. 1d.:
at Northallerton, 2l. Is.
Boroughbridge, all night, 2l. 3s. 5d. .
Wetherby, breakfast, 10d. Id.: (this seems cheap as elsewhere it's a number of shillings)
Aberforth, dinner, II. &s. OtI. :
Ferrybridge, all night, 3l. Is. Id.:
Doncaster, dinner, II. 13s.5d.:B
arnbymocr, all night, 11. 14*. Urf. :
Carleton, dinner, II. 9s. Sd.:
Newark, all night, '21. 18?. 7.W.:
Grantham, dinner, II. 13». .Wrf. :
Cotesworth, all night, 21. 14s. OJrf.:
Stamford, dinner, 21.10s. Rd.:
Stilton, all night, 21." IBs. id. :
Bngden, dinner, 21. 6*. 5Ad. :
Biggleswade, all night, 31. 2s. 4d.:
Stevenage, breakfast, II. Is. flrf.:
Hatfield, dinner, II. 18s. 5d.:
Barnett, all nipht, 31. 4s. Od. :
It gets more expensive as he goes south, but a night seems to be 2-3 pounds, dinner 1-2 pounds, which probably included wine.
Another account. fifteen days hire of six coach horses, coachman, and postillion, from York to Darlington and from thence to London, and return to York, at II. 15s. Od. a day, 26. 5s. Od.
: said coachman, extra present, 21. 2s. 0d: paid postillion do., II. Is. (tips?)
: May 17, conch and six horses, from London to Grange, 201. 14s. Od.: road expenses from London to Grange, 511. 6». 3J(i Total cost of journey, 1601. Is. 9-W
Rough, I know, but I don't have time to do better. Make of it what you will!