Free postage for MPs was introduced in 1654 as part of an Executive Ordinance document that laid down rules and regulations around geography, administrations of the Post Roads and levels of postal charges. The practice was known as ‘franking’. In 1840, Rowland Hill set out to reform the process in order to stop MPs abusing it. In support of the changes, Queen Victoria gave up her right in order to encourage others to do the same. The requirement to give MPs free postage remains in place today.
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1800s British Forces Post Office
1600s William Dockwra (c. 1635–1716) / Robert Murray (1635-c.1725)
1500s Merchants’ Post letter from Italy to Bartholomew Corsini in London, with Guild mark (1583)
1900s Letter from Winston Churchill to his wife Clementine (17 July 1915)
1900s Introduction of the national postcode scheme