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John Meads 2016
A Letter to the Editor

Peveril of the Peak mail coach
The 'Peveril of the Peak' Royal Mail Coach which passed through Burton Latimer daily on its way to and from Leeds
and London. The painting is by James Pollard (1792 - 1867) and shows the coach outside the Peacock Inn, Islington
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Burton Latimer, near Kettering, Northamptonshire, December 16, 1834.

Sir, - I live at this place, and although I am three mile nearer London than Kettering, I am eight hours later in getting my letters, and a letter from me is twenty-four hours later in reaching London, than from persons residing in Kettering; and for the delay I have an extra penny to pay for every letter I receive or send.

This, surely, is a very bad arrangement, when the mail passes through this village, containing at least one thousand persons, both going to Leeds and returning from it. If the village is too small to justify a regular post-office establishment being kept up, would it not be advantageous to allow the extra penny for every letter to be paid to the Individual who now receives them and send them to Kettering by runner in the evening, and let a bag in London be made up for this place, and dropt by the mail in passing through northward, and made up for London and taken up by the mail in passing through southward? The mail to Leeds passes through here at five o’clock in the morning, and from Leeds at twelve, or half-past twelve, at noon. The convenience of this arrangement would be that letters received in this neighbourhood from London could be answered the same day. As an Instance of the inconvenience attending the present plan, the mail to London will pass through here two hours after this letter is written, and yet you will not receive it till the day after tomorrow. The Post-office is so ably conducted, that I feel satisfied so unnecessary a delay in our communicating with the metropolis requires only to be represented to be removed, as it can be so, as far as I can see, without any extra expense. If I am to pay an extra penny, it is better for me to do that to support a Post-office in this village than to pay a runner to a distant place, causing so serious a delay in the receipt and dispatch of my letters. I should think that every person in this neighbourhood must agree with me in such an opinion.

Your inserting this will probably draw the attention of the Postmaster General to the subject, -

I am, sir, &c.

(Who C.A.B. is has not yet been acertained. He, or she, was possibly someone connected to Burton Mills who needed to correspond with business associates on a regular basis)

Waggon & Horses Inn - Kettering Road
When the above letter was written
Thomas Burnaby was landlord of the
Waggon & Horses Inn, seen in the
middle of this later photograph of
Kettering Road.

An 1849 Whellan's Directory names him
as "letter receiver" and a later court
case refers to him as a "well known
messenger for years" so it is possible
that he was the "Individual"mentioned

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