[Markets.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Posts.]400

[Markets.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Posts.]

The said Committee did the 5th of August, the same Year 1696, publish in Print the Table of Rates abovementioned, for the Information of the Market People. But notwithstanding the Endeavours of this Committee, the greatest part of these Abuses still continued.

Table of the Rates published.

Besides these Markets beforementioned, there be also three other notable Markets held in the City, the one for Fish, another for Cloth, and the third for live Cattel: viz. Billinsgate Market, Blackwel-Hall, and Smithfield; all settled by Statute.

Three other Markets.

First for Smithfield Market, by a Statute 22 & 23 Car. II. No Cattel bought there to be brought again into the said Market to be sold alive; but if brought, to be seised by the Bailiff, Tollkeeper, or other Officer having oversight of the Market, to the Use of the Maior and Aldermen: two Inches of the further Horn of all Cattel sold, to be cut off, for Discovery hereof. In this Market Foreigners as well as Freemen may buy and sell any Cattel, by a Statute of 11 and 12 W. III. The Act made 22 & 23 Car. II. for preventing Frauds in buying and selling of Cattel in Smithfield, and elsewhere, was revived by 1 Jac. II. and continued still.


Billingsgate Market by Statute 10 & 11 W. III. to be every Day (except Sunday) a free Market for all sorts of Fish, and that any Persons may buy and sell there. All buying any Fish there, may sell again in any other Market or Place in London or elsewhere, by Retail. And no Person shall employ or be employed in buying at Billingsgate any Quantity of Fish, to be divided by Lots or in Shares amongst any Fishmongers or others, to be afterwards sold by Retail or otherwise. Nor any Fishmonger to engross or buy any Quantity of Fish, but what shall be for his own Sale or Use, under Penalty of 20l. for each Offence. The one Moiety to the Poor of the Parish, the other to the Prosecutors.


The Market at Blackwel-Hall for selling Woolen Cloth, by Statute 8 & 9 Will. III. to be holden every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from Eight till Twelve in the Forenoon, and from Two till Five in the Afternoon, except Days of Humiliation or Thanksgiving. And the Keepers to admit no buying or selling any other Days, upon the Penalty of 100l. And no Factor, nor any Person whatsoever, other than the Owner of the Cloth, shall sell or expose to sale out of the said Market, any Cloth directed to be brought to the said Market, or any Factor there, upon Penalty of 5l. for every Cloth so sold; with several other Penalties upon the Hall-keepers, Clarks, and Master Porters neglecting their Duties, and upon Factors not giving true Accounts to the Clothiers. And thus much for the Markets.


There is still another convenient Custom belonging to the Citizens, respecting them as Men of Business and Commerce; who therefore must necessarily have frequent Correpsondence with one another: Which being often between Persons at a distance, either nearer or farther off from London, the posting of Letters to and fro is very subservient thereunto. This Post is double: One for the sending Letters to all Parts of England, Scotland and Ireland, and Foreign Parts; the other for conveying them to all Streets and Places in and about London, or within ten Miles: which is done every Day, and within or near the City divers times in the Day, and that for the small Charge of a Penny; which is therefore called commonly The Penny Post.

The Posts for Conveyance of Letters.

The General Post-Office is held in Lombard-street, near St. Mary Woolnoth Church. The Charge of Conveyance of Letters, and the Speed thereof, is thus told us by a late Author. "A Letter containing a Sheet of Paper is conveyed 80 Miles for 2d. and two Sheets 4d. Letters weighing an Ounce, for 8d. Above 80 Miles the Charge encreaseth a Penny. So that the Post of a single Letter is then 3d. a double one 6d. And Letters of the Weight of an Ounce, 1s. They pass in so short a time by Night as well by Day, that every 24 Hours the Post goes 120 Miles. And in five Days an Answer of a Letter may be had from a Place 300 Miles distant. But if any Letter be enclosed, or small piece of Paper, as a Bill of Exchange, or the like, in that case double Rates are paid."

Charge of Letters.

Present State of England.

"But the Charge of a single Letter from London to Scotland is 5d. to Ireland 6d."

And for Conveyance of Letters from London beyond the Seas, to France, Spain, Holland, Flanders, as well as to the Kingdom of Ireland, and also from thence hither, there be swift sailing Vessels, which are called Packet Boats, for that purpose. Which arriving back again with their Packets in convenient Ports, thence those Packets are brought by Riding Posts to the General Post-Office in London, and so delivered out. And of late Queen Anne appointed another Packet Boat for the Islands of the West-Indies, Barbdoes, Antegoa, Nevis, Montserrat, St. Christopher's, Jamaica, &c. to be dispatched from the Genral Post-Office, and so return again with Answers. And to pay for every Letter of a Sheet of Paper, 9d. Of two Sheets of Paper, 1s. 6d. For a Packet weighing an Ounce, 2s. 8d. So the Payments were fixed. But in March 1704/5 the Payments for the Conveyance of these Letters were encreased, in regard of the great Expence the Queen was at in maintaining this Correspondence between England and those her Plantation Islands in America: Now therefore empowering the Post-Master General of England to take the several Rates following: viz.

Foreign Post.

Packet Boats.

For the Post of every single Letter from England to the said Islands, not exceeding one Sheet of Paper, 1s. 3d. For the Post of every Letter not exceeding two Sheets of Paper, 2s. 6d. And so in proportion to the same Rates for every Packet of Letters. For the Post of every other Packet of any kind of greater Bulk, for every Ounce weight, 6s. For the Post of every Letter from the said Islands to England, not exceeding one Sheet, 1s. 6d. For every Letter not exceeding two Sheets, 3s. And so in proportion to the same Rates for every Packet of Letters. For the Post of every other Packet of any kind of greater er Bulk, for every Ounce weight 6s.

Rates for these Letters to and from the Plantations.

The Place whence these West-India Packet-Boats set out, is Plymouth; and the Time when they set forth, and how long they stay at each Plantation, was signifed in some Gazettes in April 1705. viz. They go at the beginning of every Month throughout the Year, and stay at each of the English Island Plantations, in the following manner:

How often the West-India Packet-Boats go, and how long stay.

 { Barbadoes3 }Days and Nights{ --- }Hours.
 { Antegoa2 }{ --- }
At{ Montserat--- }{ 36 }
 { Nevis--- } { 36 }
 { St. Christopher's--- }{ 36 }
 { Jamaica10 }{ --- }

And thence return to England, and not to be stayed or delayed on any Pretence whatsoever.

In former times, the Postmaster for the Strangers, or Foreign Post, was appointed by themselves. And the Italians being the chief trading Foreigners in those times in London, used to elect their said Postmaster, by the Sufferance and Favour of the Postmaster General of England. Afterward by long Custom they pretended a Right to appoint a Master of the Strangers Post; and that

The Foreigners Merchants formerly had their own Postmaster.