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The mail arriving at Temple Bar, London. Coaching print.

The mail arriving at Temple Bar, London. Coaching print.

by Newhouse, Charles B.

Temple Bar, Coaching at night. From an engraving by J. Baily after C.B. Newhouse, published by J. Watson in 1834.

The Devonport Royal Mail passes under the low arch of old Temple Bar in the Strand, enroute to Lombard Street Post Office terminus. Behind the coach, can be seen a royal lion and a unicorn, and statues of King James I (1566-1625) and his Queen, Princess Anne of Denmark above the central arch. Temple Bar was built in 1670 to mark the boundary between the City of London and the Liberty of Westminster. Ancient custom decreed that the Lord Mayor had to present the City Sword in token of submission to the royal will whenever the Sovereign visited the City. In 1888, Temple Bar was moved to Waltham Cross, on the northern outskirts of London. It has been replaced in the Strand by the City Griffin, and the traditional ceremony marking a sovereign’s visit is now observed there.

A night watchman patrols the streets and calls out the hours and the state of the weather. The streets were referred to as “the stones” and where cobble or granite gave way to rural dirt road as “the stone’s end”. Quicksilver's fresh horses have probably only pulled the coach eleven miles from Hounslow, the greatest coaching centre in the country, where about 2,500 horses were stabled, and where west-country coaches changed horses for the last time before London. The coachman would have travelled around fifty miles that day, but the guard would have travelled 18 hours – the full 175 miles from where the coach began its journey in Exeter. The guard blew his ‘yard of tin’ to announce arrival, to call the passengers, to clear traffic from the road ahead, to summon pike-men to open their gates, and to warn horse-keepers to have horses ready and waiters to have food on the tables.

Vintage coaching print with slight age-discolouration/foxing. Image size: 295 x 468mm (11 5/8 x 18 4/8 inches).  Page size: 380 x 510mm (13 1/2 x 20 inches). 

Stock Number: daCoaching21Price: $50.00