Monday, 24 March 2014

The Penny Post

"[Henry] Cole became the secretary [of the Mercantile Committee] and used the experience gained in the battle over public records to good effect [to campaign for a more efficient postal system].   [Rowland] Hill said of him:
' He was the author of almost innumerable devices, by which in his indefatigable ingenuity he contrived to draw public attention to the proposed measure.'
The most interesting of these was his weekly newspaper The Post Circular or Weekly Advocate for a Cheap, Swift & Sure Postage.   Newspapers were carried free by the Post Office, so Cole could distribute news, notices of meetings, forms of petitions to both Houses of Parliament and so on, all over the country for the cost of printing only.  Generally about 1700 copies of the Post Circular were sent out each week, so that the Post Office was forced to carry the propaganda for its own reform."

" The Edinburgh Mail' -wood engraving after Henry Cole The Post Circular, April 1839, captioned:
'This sketch - an exact representation of the contents of the Edinburgh Mail on the 2d March, 1838 -- has been designed for the particular instruction of the Postmaster-general, who, notwithstanding he stands at the head of the Post-Office class, has shown that he is at the bottom of it, in respect of knowledge of the rudiments of his business' ."

King Cole, A picture portrait of Sir Henry Cole, KCB 1808-1882  Elizabeth Bonython

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