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Tired passengers overslept. Repose in the Mail. Large print.

Tired passengers overslept. Repose in the Mail. Large print.

by Newhouse, Charles B.

"Repose in the Mail. Coachman please Sir? - goes back with t'other Coach". Humorous print, from an engraving by R.G. Reeves after Charles B. Newhouse (1805-1877). Published in 1835 by Thomas McLean. An amusing nightscene showing change of coachmen at the end of a stage. The coachman arriving at Chequers at the end of his stage, touches his hat to a sleeping lady and gentleman inside the coach (hopeful of remuneration) - or scratches his head, wondering what to do with the sleeping pair? The innkeeper rushes a steaming glass of punch to the relieving coachman before his departure. The guard anxiously looks at his watch. The horses have been changed and the relieved horses wait beyond the coach. The second guard has his horn to his lips, announcing departure.

The foreground coach is a mail. Most mail coaches travelled through the night when there was less traffic on the roads, and thereby made stage coach day travel and night ‘inn’ less hazardous. As coaching became more competitive, even stage coaches began to travel at night. Night coaches were lit with an oil lamp on each side and one under the front boot, but night travel or ‘black work’ was more dangerous because of dishonesty of contractors who housed and exchanged the horses. Many of these men, unobserved by their employers, took advantage of the darkness to dispose of unsound and even vicious horses, and sometimes even harnesses that were too old to be safe. Coachmen also were more likely to be inebriated at night when they were not observed.

Vintage coaching print with slight age-discolouration/foxing. 51 x 38cm (20 x 15 inches). Oval-shaped image, approximately 30 x 46cm (11 3/4 x 18 1/8 inches).

Stock Number: daCoaching8Price: $20.00