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Postal Directories

Postal information for particular years, often invaluable for rates, routes, and practices.

British Postal Guides / Post Office Guides

The Post Office Guide was an official guide to Post Office services, published from 1856 for the information of Post Office staff and the public (entitled the British Postal Guide until 1881). It gave postal regulations for inland and foreign mail, information relating to all Post Office services, and a list of current Post Offices, and was originally produced quarterly. Publication was partly by supplement during the latter stages of World War I and after; later the Guide was produced biannually and then annually.


General Directories and Guides

In 1794 cartographer John Cary was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey England's roads, resulting in successive editions of Cary's New Itinerary, or An Accurate Delineation of the Great Roads which give the mileages of the main roads and are thus very helpful for working out pre-1840 mileage-based rates. The 1802 volume was used by Alan Robertson in working out his list of mileages.

The Paterson volumes also list roads and distances, with a table of postage rates to places from London, and may or may not have been plagiarised from Cary!