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Scotland -- Internal Rates 1660-1711

Introduction

Although the Post Office Act of 1660 set internal rates from Berwick, Post Office provision within Scotland was very limited until the 18th century, with mail generally carried by the town letter carriers ("Burgh Posts"). Rates and routes were set by the Scottish Privy Council for most of the 17th century; the only Post Office Act of the Scottish Parliament before the Union was in 1695. These rates were set in Scottish currency and in terms of Scottish miles, although in practice the Post Office worked in terms of "computed" distances.

The exchange rate between Scottish and English currency was set by James VI/I at 12 Pund Scots to 1 pound sterling -- hence a Scots shilling equalled an English penny. Charges set by the Scottish authorities were naturally in Scottish currency -- so where rates are given in shillings in the table below, these are Scots shillings, and marked on letters in the same way as English pence.

Early Scottish letters are rare -- in this section, the details are quoted as stated, which did not always include a clear statement of multiple charges.

Date Auth. Post Route and Mileage Rates Notes
1660
(Dec)
12 Cha 2 c.35 (English Parliament) From Berwick
up to 40 miles 2d single etc, pkts 8d per oz In practice 40 miles meant Edinburgh
Above 40 miles 4d single etc, pkts 12d per oz
1662
(Sep)
Scots Privy Council Anywhere between Edinburgh and Port Patrick, via Glasgow
Edinburgh to Glasgow 2s single
beyond Glasgow as far as Port Patrick 3s single
1667
(Jan)
Scots Privy Council Between Edinburgh and Aberdeen 2s single, 4s double, 5s oz
1669
(Jan)
Scots Privy Council Anywhere between Edinburgh and Inverness, via Aberdeen
up to 40 miles (Scots) 2s single, 4s double, 5s oz All "and so furth proportion­ably"
40-60 miles 3s single, 6s double, 7s 6d oz
60-80 miles or "any further parts within this Kingdom" 4s single, 8s double, 10s oz
1677
(Nov)
Scots Privy Council Anywhere between Edinburgh and Port Patrick, via Glasgow
up to 40 miles (Scots) 2s single, 4s double, 5s oz 1669 charges extended to this route
40-60 miles 3s single, 6s double, 7s 6d oz
60-80 miles or "any further parts within this Kingdom" 4s single, 8s double, 10s oz
1689
(11 Nov)
Scots Privy Council Between Edinburgh and:
Ayr, Glasgow, Hamilton, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Kelso, Jedburgh, Dumfries 2s single, 4s double, pkt 8s "Packets" = items up to 3oz, not containing letters

Local carriage to/from nearest post office 1s
Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Carlisle,
Port Patrick
3s single, 6s double, pkt 9s
Kirkcudbright, Inverness, "all other places beyond Aberdeen" 4s single, 8s double
1695
(Jul)
7/8 Will 2 s.5 c.30 (Scottish Parliament) From Edinburgh:
to Berwick or up to 50 miles (Scots) 2s single, 4s double, ... Multiple sheets "and so proportion­ally" for letters, but "all pacquets of papers to pay each one as triple letters"
50-100 miles 3s single, 6s double, ...
above 100 miles 4s single, 8s double, ...