Image courtesy of the DeadPubs Directory
While doing some further research about Susanna Hope (see the previous post on a Very Regency Scandal) I came across the following gem:
From the Derby Mercury 1762
MANCHESTER STOCKPORT BUXTON ASHBOURNE and DERBY
Flying Machines from London to Manchester in three days from the Swan with Two Necks in Lad-Lane London and from the Swan with Two Necks in Market-street-Lane Manchester, every Monday and Thursday Mornings at Four o’Clock; and from the GEORGE INN in DERBY every Tuesday and Friday Mornings, at Four o’Clock: each passenger from DERBY to LONDON to pay One Pound Eight Shillings, and to be allowed fourteen pounds Weight of Luggage; all above to pay Two pence per pound.
We seem to have forgotten that stage coaches were once called ‘machines’, although we do still refer to those wheeled vehicles for preserving modesty on England’s beaches as bathing machines.
I reckon that in terms of retail prices this express service cost about twice as much as a first class train ticket does today – well beyond the means of an average worker.
Moreover it appears that charges for excess baggage did not originate with the budget airlines!