Letter Office

In the early 1630s, Thomas Witherings proposed that mail charges should be paid by the sender rather than the recipient. This meant that postmasters would no longer pocket the fees paid for private mail, but would be charged with remitting them back to a ‘Letter Office’ in London. This led to the creation of a national administration for postage - the ‘Letter Office’.

The King's proclamation of 31 July 1635 established the Letter Office to manage postmasters’ salaries as well as ‘settle a running post or two to run day and night between Edinburgh and Scotland and the City of London, to go thither and come back in six days’. The first Letter Office was opened at Sherbourne Lane in October 1635.

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