Carriers and Coachmasters : Trade and Travel Before the Turnpikes, Hardback Book

Carriers and Coachmasters : Trade and Travel Before the Turnpikes Hardback


Roads and road transport before the turnpikes have had a bad press, but little attempt has previously been made to investigate what road services for goods and passengers were really like, and how they were organised.

This impressive book examines in detail the London carriers and stage-coach men, and their customers, from the 1650s to the 1760s, when turnpikes began to have a significant effect.

It is based almost exclusively on extensive original research, using Chancery and Exchequer records, probate inventories, newspapers, diaries and other sources - all of which are available to local historians for studies of the transport systems of their own areas.

This significant contribution to the history of transport in England presents a strikingly different picture from the traditional one: a large network of road services, predominantly by vehicle, which were reliable and regular in both summer and winter. For the first time the origins of the stage-coach system are described, and surprising conclusions are drawn about the state of the roads, the impact of the earliest turnpikes, the failure of stage-coach speeds to increase between the 1650s and 1750s, and the sudden increase in those speeds in the 1760s.

A rich collection of illustrations, including all the different types of documents used in the research, photographs of buildings used by road services, and contemporary drawings of carriers and stage-coaches, enhances this important and beautifully produced work. "Carriers and Coachmasters Before the Turnpikes" will transform popularly held views of how the metropolis and provinces were linked in the formative period preceding the Industrial Revolution, and is both essential and compelling reading for local and transport historians alike.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288 pages, 82 illustrations
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social & cultural history
  • ISBN: 9781860773273



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