Royal Mail becomes a public service

Following the passing of the ‘Act for Erecting and Establishing a Post Office’ in 1660, Royal Mail became a public service. But in the early days it was a very small operation. In 1665, just 45 people were employed in London to handle the sorting and delivery of mail. Two thirds died in the plague, which began that same year and was only halted by the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Letter Office was located in centre of the City of London, in Threadneedle Street.

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