The practice of franking

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.