Thursday, 12 November 2009

Coaching and the Post Office in olden Times (3)

In the year 17 74 the collector of pontage on the New
Bridge (now Glasgow Bridge) stopped and detained a horse
carrying the mail or packet from Paisley to Glasgow until
he paid one penny of pontage for crossing the said bridge.
Upon this being made known to Mr. Jackson, the Post-
master, he was grievously offended, and complained to the
Hon.` Arthur Connel, then Lord Provost of Glasgow, for
redress, who, upon hearing parties, severely reprimanded
the collector for his misbehaviour, and ordered the money
to be returned. But in the following year—viz., on 1st
December, 1775-David Cross, keeper of the Paisley Loan
turnpike (situated at the junction of Bridge Street with
Norfolk Street and Nelson Street), and William Ure,
collector of pontage on the New Bridge, having laid their
heads together, did stop and detain a horse carrying a
packet or despatch, alleged to be an express from the Post
Office of Glasgow, till the rider paid the turnpike and
pontage duties imposed by law. In like manner, 011 the
14th of said month, Andrew Brown, keeper of the toll—bar
at the south end of the village of Gorbals, did stop and
detain a horse carrying the mail, or packet, or despatch,
with an express said to be upon the public service from the
Post Office of Glasgow. _Mr. Jackson was in a mighty
passion that these paltry toll gatherers should presume to
stop the expresses of His Majesty George III, and therefore,
in January, 1776, he brought an action before the Sheriff of
Lanarkshire, concluding not only for repayment of the sums
alleged to have been illegally abstracted from the post rider,

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