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Stage Coach with News of Peace in England.

Stage Coach with News of Peace in England.

by Pollard, James

Wonderful coaching print from an engraving by R. Havell after James Pollard, published by R. Pollard in 1815. On Rochester Bridge after the signing of the First Peace of Paris in May 1814, the official coach bringing the news from Dover to London proclaimed the fact to cheering and rejoicing people along the road by flying a huge “PEACE” flag.

The coachman is illegally and dangerously galloping his horses, including an extra pair of leaders whose postilion is whipping them along. The astonishing punctuality of both mail and stage coaches was not achieved by galloping from stage to stage. Mail coaches were forbidden to gallop. Short steep hills might be conquered by dragsmen ‘springing’ their horses , as galloping was called – or when crossing a valley near the base of a hill to assist with the climb – or sometimes, for a short distance, under favourable conditions, to outdistance a rival, - and very occasionally, to make up for lost time.

Between Hounslow and Staines was a stretch of perfect straight road that was known as “the galloping ground of the western coaches”. Trotting at ten miles an hour for ten-mile stages did not distress the horses.  Galloping achieved only thirteen miles an hour and could only be maintained for four miles – both at risk to passengers, horses, and coach. In fast coaches the average working life of a horse was only three years. Coach horses were usually changed every mile.

Vintage coaching print with slight age-discolouration and foxing. Page size is 38 x 51cm (15 x 20 inches). Image approx. 32 x 47cm (12.5 x 18.5 inches).

Stock Number: daCoaching13Price: $30.00