Notes from the Past

Cross Posts

The introduction of cross posts, under an Act of 1711, was the first great reform in the history of the British Post Office.  In the seventeenth century the postal system was organised in six great post roads, each administered separately with its own by-posts.  At this time cross country posts did not exist; a letter for a destination not in the network of the post road on which it started had to go into London and then out again on the other road.  Even a letter from Bristol to Plymouth, for example, had to travel via London instead of direct.  To overcome this, cross posts were set up to provide direct cross-country links between one road and another, designed to speed up the mails by avoiding London.  Letters carried by the cross posts were known as 'cross road letters'.
 
 
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
 Posted January 14, 2000 

Index of 507 Notes from the Past

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