Packet boats to Holland

As early as the 17th century, mail was sent to the continent by ships known as packet boats, which from 1660 ran regularly from Harwich to Holland. This is because Holland was a major international trade partner for Britain. Both the ships and crew were contracted, not directly employed by Royal Mail. These times were often not safe for travel by sea and the packets and mail were attacked, so often that there were official compensation rates for death or injury - £8 for a sailor's arm or leg, £4 for an eye.

Related content >

Related content >

Related content >

Related content >

Related content >

Related content >