Louis Houck.

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7 The good old custom of the Oxford people, particularly the
enthusiastic lovers of coaching, was, [in the] early morn, to see
standing ten coaches before the old Angel, — landlord, old Mr. Hollis,
(The great coach-proprietor at that time was Richard Costar, Esq.,
and a better man never breathed. [He] horsed most of the coaches,
and at that time must have had upwards of three hundred horses at
work. Old William Jacobs, a highly respectable, intelligent man,
was book-keeper; old [Ned] Hutton and his son, John, commonly
called Jack, were porters.) — the coachmen and porters busily loading,
and waiting their time to a minute for Queen's College clock to strike
eight, for the nine coaches to make a start for their different destina-
tions, East, West, North, and South. The first to make a move was
the Cambridge, having the longest distance to perform, — eighty-two
miles, — the Bath, seventy-two, Southampton and Birmingham, sixty-
six, the Cheltenham, Northampton, and Warwick, forty each, the
Alert to London, 57 ; and the Light Oxford to London at 9. The
old Angel now non est. A small portion still remains : Frank Cooper's
provision stores, in the olden time, belonged to the Angel Hotel, and
were called the Coffee Room. I don't think you could witness in any

* [MS. words.]


other town in the kingdom the same number of coaches standing
before an hotel, and nine out of the ten to start at the same time.

'Angel Inn, Oxford. p. 8

Original Royal Mail and Post Coach Office, High Street.

The proprietors of the coaches from this office most respectfully
inform the public that they have, for their accommodation, made
several alterations in the time of starting them; and beg to submit
the following list, with an assurance that their conveyances shall be
carried on upon as good a principle for safety, despatch, and economy,
to the traveller, as possible. And a post coach to London, at any
hour, to accommodate a party.'

^ Cambridge post coach (the Oxonian) ; four bays, driven by
Richard Claridge and John Fletcher, every morning (Sunday
excepted) ; through Aylesbury, Leighton, Woburn, Bedford, and
St. Neot's, to the Eagle Inn; and returns every day at the same
time, arriving in Oxford, Angel Inn, six o'clock.

Brighton (Hero), every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday ; four p. 9
blacks ; coachmen, Monk and Sprorson ; through Reading, Odiham,
Famham, Guilford, Enfield, and Horsham, to Crossweller's Blue
Coach Office, Brighton; returns on the following days, at the same
hour, to the Angel Inn, Oxford.

Bath and Bristol post coach, every morning (Sunday excepted),
driven by Pow^ney, pair of grays ; through Faringdon, Cirencester,
and Tetbury, to the White Hart, Bath; returning every morning,
same time, to the Angel Inn, Oxford.

London (the Alert), every morning (Sunday excepted); coach-
men, William Stacey and William Bowers, sometimes called ' Black
Will ' ; four chestnuts ; through Benson, Henley, Maidenhead, Slough,
and Hounslow, to Hatchett's Hotel, New White Horse Cellar,
Piccadilly, Golden Cross, Charing Cross, and Old Bell, Holborn.
Returns from the latter, mornings at half-past ten, and Piccadilly at
eleven o'clock, arriving in Oxford, Angel Inn, five o'clock.

Birmingham (Day), every morning (except Sunday); James Howell p. 10
and John Hickman, coachmen; four browns; through Woodstock,
Long Compton, Stratford-on-Avon, and Henley-in-Arden, to the
Hen-and-Chickens, New Street, Birmingham ; returning every morn-
ing, and arriving in Oxford, eight o'clock, Angel Inn, High Street.

* [The following list is evidently the one referred to in the advertisement, with
additions by Bayzand.]


Cheltenham (Isis), every morning, through Witney, Burford, North-
leach ^, Andoversford, to the Plough Hotel, Cheltenham. Returns
same day at four, reaching Oxford, Angel Inn, half-past eight o'clock.
Driven by Edward Burford with a pair of blacks.

Northampton (Rising Sun), every morning, through Bicester,
Brackley, and Towcester, to the Angel Hotel, Northampton. Returns
same day, arriving in Oxford, Angel Inn, eight o'clock; coachman,
John Barnshaw, known as * Civil John,' with his pair of blacks.
p. II Warsvick (Regulator); George Drinkwater, four browns, every
morning, through Woodstock, Sturdy's Castle, Deddington, Banbury,
and Warwick, Warwick Arms Hotel, Warwick ; returning every
morning to Oxford, arriving Angel Inn, eight o'clock.

Southampton, Portsmouth, Gosport "^ (Oxonian) ; old Mr. John
Bayzand with his four long-tail blacks, every morning through
Abingdon, Ilsley, Newbury, Whitchurch, and Winchester, to the
Coach-and-Horses-above-Bar, Southampton; returning — the coach-
man, William Taylor — every morning, arriving in Oxford, Angel Inn,
High Street, five o'clock.

The nine coaches [being] despatched at their proper time, the
Light Oxford started at nine o'clock every morning (except Sunday) ;
four bays ; Thomas Payne, [James ?] Shilleto, coachmen ; through
Henley, Maidenhead, and Hounslow, to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street,
London; returning from the city every morning at one o'clock,
arriving in Oxford, seven o'clock. Angel Inn.

p. 12 The excitement from the Angel over, walk to the Star Hotel.
[There] stood the Blenheim coach waiting for the branch from
Chipping Norton, driven by Charles Symonds, punctually to the
time, quarter to nine o'clock. You would see Mr. Charles Holmes
very busily engaged [in] putting the four dapple, smart grays together,
looking to the curbs and see[ing] if the coupling-reins were all right.
The two teams of splendid dapple grays that Holmes and James
Castle drove from Oxford were considered good enough for any
nobleman['s] or gentleman['s] drag, and, at that time, were worth
400 guineas. The Blenheim was pronounced to be a first-class
coach, receiving great patronage from Oxford and gentlemen of the

London, Blenheim, and Star coach, every morning (except Sunday)
at 9 o'clock, driven by Charles Holmes and James Castle ; four

» [MS. Northleigh,] " [MS. Gosfort.]


grays; through Tetsworth, Wycombe, Beaconsfield, and Uxbridge;
George and Blue Boar, Holborn. Returns every morning, arriving
in Oxford, Star Hotel, 5 o'clock; proceeding on to Woodstock,
Chipping Norton, and Stow-on-the-Wold. ' This coach is the only
one running from Oxford to v^^hich the Patent Detainers have been
applied, and will be found to merit the patronage of the Members
of the University and of the public in general.'

Madam Duprd, proprietress of the Star Hotel, now called the
Clarendon, was a fine old lady, always dressed in black silk, with
old-fashion[ed] mob-cap. Mr. Wentworth, manager ; William Scott,
a well-informed man, was book-keeper; Bill Ludlow, porter; head
ostler, Bourchier.

Move on to the Mitre Hotel, High Street; landlord, Mr. Thomas p. 13
Peake — one of the old ones, with his broad-brimmed, low-crowned
hat, and leather leggings, [and with] his greyhounds around him.
He generally kept from six to eight couple[s] of the most pure breed.

10 o'clock to London, the Defiance; coachmen, John Adams and
Mr. [Joseph] Haines ; four grays ; every morning, through Dorchester,
Benson, Henley, Maidenhead, Slough, and Hounslow, to the La Belle
Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London ; returning every morning, arriving
in Oxford, Mitre Hotel, 8 o'clock. This coach was horsed by
Christopher Holmes, in strong opposition to Richard Costar and
Waddell, and [was] well patronised by the tradespeople of Oxford.

Across to the Vine Inn, High Street, at 11 o'clock, the Age to
London; coachmen, brothers Joseph and George Tollit; every
morning (except Sunday), mixed team ; through Tetsworth, Wycombe,
and Uxbridge, to Bull Hotel, Holborn ; returning every morning to [the]
Vine Inn, Oxford, 8 o'clock. The Tollits were considered first-class.

'Economy without Monopoly, from the Vine Inn, 133, High Street,
Oxford, every morning to London (except Sunday), at ii o'clock.
Messrs. Tollit.'

The Age : Joseph and George Tollit, brothers, were spirited
proprietors, allowed to be, for intelligence, civility, and punctuality,
first-class, and two of the best coachmen of the day. No coach ever
gained a higher reputation than the Age.

Round to the Golden Cross Inn, Cornmarket St.; William p. 14
Holland, landlord. The Royal William, 11 o'clock; coachmen,
William and Richard Snowden ; four browns ; every morning, through
Wycombe, Uxbridge, to Boar-and-Castle, Oxford Street, and Saracen's
Head, Snow Hill, London ; returning every morning to Oxford,
Golden Cross Inn, at 8 o'clock.


These coaches, the Age and Royal William, were in strong
opposition for years. May the first ^ was a gala day with all coaches
throughout England. On that day in particular, coaches were
expected to keep true time, and if two coaches [were] in opposition
to each other, [to] have a merry spin and friendly race together, for
a trial of strength. So the Age [with] Joseph Tollit, and William
Snowden with the Royal William, did, on the first of May, accom-
plish the distance to London from Oxford, 54 miles, in three hours
and twenty minutes, — considered very fast at that time, — and I may
say they, as coach-proprietors driving their own horses, were pro-
nounced to be two of the very best light-handed coachmen of the

1 5 The midday coaches caused the greatest pitch of excitement. On
the stroke ' of eleven you would see the Magnet up from Cheltenham ;
four browns, driven by James Witherington, through Northleach^,
Burford, and Witney, to the Star Inn, Cornmarket Street, Oxford ;
up to London, coachmen, James Haines and Polly Parker ; through
Benson, Henley, Maidenhead, Slough, Hounslow, to Spread Eagle,
Gracechurch Street, London.

Close behind, Dick Grover, four chestnuts, in the Berkeley Hunt,
to the Angel Inn, Oxford ; on to London, driven by Jonathan Hobbs,
La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London ; the route same as Magnet.
The Berkeley Hunt and Magnet ran [in] opposition for a long time.
[They] were very fast coaches, well horsed, and performed the
distance, 97 miles, including all stoppages, in 9 hours.

3 o'clock down from London, Berkeley Hunt, James Clinch, to
the Angel Inn, Oxford; on to Cheltenham, — Frank Martindale, —
through Witney, Burford, Northleach ^ to Cheltenham.

3 o'clock, the Magnet, James Bray, coachman, Star Inn, Oxford ;
on to Cheltenham, [James] Witherington, Royal Hotel, High Street,

16 Half-past 12 o'clock, Regulator, Cheltenham and Gloucester,
every morning (except Sunday), through Cheltenham, Northleach',
Burford, and Witney, to the New Inn, St. Aldate's; landlord, old
Mr. Guest; proprietor, Richard Pratt; four grays, driven by John
Francis ; on to London, coachman, James lies ; four grays ; through
Tetsworth, Wycombe, and Uxbridge, to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street,
London ; returning every morning to Oxford, Cheltenham, Gloucester,
White Plart Hotel, Gloucester, driven by John Murphy.

> [MS. On May the first.] » [MS. strike.]

' MS. [Northleigb.]


Half-past 12 o'clock, Retaliator, same route, same time, in strong
opposition, to the Old Bell, Holborn; returning to Oxford, same
route, to the Bell Hotel, Gloucester.

Half-past two o'clock, Mazeppa, from Hereford, every morning
(except Sunday), through Ross, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Northleach \
Burford, Witney, to the Roebuck Hotel, Oxford ; old Richard Gurden,
landlord, with his powdered head and long Hessian boots; Henry
Charlton, coachman (four bays), and a better man never drove to get
a heavy load, in quick time, through a country with twists and turns
and many short and long, sharp hills, on the road from Cheltenham
to Oxford. From Oxford to London smart Jack Bramble took
charge of the ribbons ; four browns ; through Tetsworth, Wycombe, p. 1 7
Beaconsfield, Uxbridge, to London, Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street,
W. Bayzand, guard ; returning to Oxford, same route, every morning,
driven by Richard Snowden; four bays; to the Roebuck Hotel,
Oxford ; coachman from Oxford to Cheltenham, Charles Bliss, Esq.,
to the Royal Hotel. From Cheltenham to Hereford, Edward Fowles
drove, — and a first-class, light-handed coachman that ever took reins in
hand, — through Gloucester, Ross, to the Hotel, Mr. Bosley, Hereford ;
John Blyth ^, guard.

The Rapid ran in strong opposition to the Mazeppa nearly two
years, when the well-appointed Mazeppa ran the Rapid off the road.

At one o'clock, Sovereign from Worcester, every morning, through
Pershore, Evesham, Moreton, Chipping Norton, Woodstock, to
Oxford, Mitre Hotel; four bays, coachman, John Beek; on to
London through Wycombe, Uxbridge, to the BuU-and-Mouth,
London; returning every morning to Oxford, driven by James
Eadon; on to Worcester, coachman, John Beek, to the Unicorn
Hotel, Reeves, Worcester.

One o'clock, Triumph from Birmingham, every morning, through p. 18
Henley-in-Arden, Stratford, Shipston, Woodstock, to Oxford ; Stephen
Howse ; to the Star Hotel, Cornmarket Street. From Oxford, Jonty
Hobbs, four chestnuts, to London, through Henley, Maidenhead,
Hounslow, to the Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill ; returning same route,
every morning, to Oxford ; to Birmingham, coachman, Teddy Rowe,
to the Hen-and-Chickens, New Street.

2 o'clock. Tantivy from Birmingham to Oxford, every morning,
Henry Salisbury, through Stratford, Shipston, Woodstock, to the Star
Hotel, Oxford; on to London, driven by Edward Cracknell, four

» [MS. Northleigh.] => [MS. Blight.]


bright bays, — he was the first coachman out of Oxford that dispetised
with bearing-reins, — through Benson, Henley, IMaidenhead, Slough,
and Hounslow, to the Spread Eagle, Gracechurch Street, London,
George Cheeseman, guard; returning from London to Star Hotel,
Oxford, driven by Polly Parker, four chestnuts; on to Birmingham,
through Shipston, Stratford-on-Avon, to the Hen-and-Chickens,
Birmingham ; coachman, Jerry Howse, guard, Jesse.

19 Reading post coach, every day, 11 o'clock, from ^ Oxford, through
Wallingford, to Reading; every day from Reading to Oxford, pair
[of] blacks, coachman, Mr. Monk.

From Banbury to Oxford, Novelty, 1 1 o'clock, through Deddington,
Kidlington, to the Mitre Hotel, Oxford, driven by Dick Bolton;
returning from Oxford to Banbury, half-past 5 o'clock, doing the
22 miles in 2 hours.

The Oxonian, in strong opposition to the Novelty, was driven by
John Vigers, a very smart coachman.

Angel, Star, Mitre, and Roebuck Inn[s], Eagle to Cambridge,
mornings at 1 1 o'clock.

Monarch, four-horse coach to Worcester and London, Three Cups
Inn, Oxford ; Sherman, Reeves & Co., proprietors.

20 From Witney to Oxford, through Eynsham and Botley, to the
Mitre and Three Cups Inns, every morning, Joseph Masters, coach-
man; returning same day, at 6 o'clock, to the Staple Hall Hotel,

Night Coaches.

The Champion from Hereford, through Ross, Gloucester, Chelten-
ham, Northleach^, Witney, to the Angel, Oxford, driven by John
Murphy, four long-tail blacks, 9 o'clock; on to London, through
Wycombe, Uxbridge, to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet St., London, driven
by Polly Wheatley, Bill Mans, guard ; down from London to Oxford,
1 1 o'clock, every night, Angel Hotel; coachman, [John] Ritton; guard,
John Mather ; on to Hereford, Hay, Brecon, and Caermarthen.
Champion was noted for carrying extremely heavy loads, particularly
in the salmon season, from the river Wye, Hereford, Ross, to London.

Paul Pry from Aberystvvith, through Monmouth, Ross, Gloucester,
Cheltenham, Northleach '^j Witney, to Oxford, every night, 12 o'clock,
to the Star Hotel ; on to London through Wycombe, Uxbridge, to
the Bull-and-Mouth ; coachman, Daniel Howse ; guard, James Suck-

» [MS. to.] '' [MS. Noithlcigh.]


ling. Paul Pry was dangerous to look at on the first of every month,
loaded with parcels of every kind, and mostly with the magazines.

Telegraph from Worcester, every night, 1 1 o'clock, through Per- p. 2 1
shore, Evesham, Woodstock, Star Inn, Oxford; coachman, Teddy
Rowe ; on to London, through Wycombe, Uxbridge, to the Bull-
and-Mouih, London ; Tom Mountain, coachman ; John Sprorson,
guard ; returning every night to the Star Inn, 1 2 o'clock ; on to
Worcester, through Woodstock, Evesham, to the Star-and-Garter,
Worcester; Stephens, coachman ; Henry Jones, guard.

Prince of Wales from Birmingham, every night, through Henley-
in-Arden, Stratford, Woodstock, to the Angel Inn, Oxford; four
blacks; StiveyHowse, coachman; Tom Jones, guard; on to London,
Tom Mountain, coachman ; four blacks ; through Slough, Hounslow,
to Spread Eagle, Gracechurch Street, London ; from London, every
morning, 3 o'clock, Angel Hotel, Oxford ; on to Birmingham, driven
by Stephen Howse ; guard, Gussie ; to the Hen-and-Chickens,
Birmingham, meeting coaches from Chester, Wolverhampton, Shifnal,
Stafford, Stone, Newcastle, Uttoxeter, Burton, Derby, and all parts of
the kingdom daily.

Union from Birmingham, every night, through Stratford, Shipston, p. 22
to Golden Cross, Oxford, one o'clock, driven by Harry Bell ; guard,
Tom Richards ; on to London through Wycombe to Saracen's Head,
Snow Hill, London; returning every night, 12 o'clock, Golden Cross,
Oxford, to Birmingham, Albion Hotel.

Royal ]\Iails.

Bath : Royal Mail from Oxford to Bath, driven by Dan Sellers for
a great number of years, 5 o'clock every morning, through Faring-
don, Cirencester, and Tetbury, to White Hart, Bath ; returning every
night, Angel Hotel, Oxford, 9 o'clock,

Gloucester : Royal Mail through Cheltenham to the Angel Hotel,
Oxford, every morning at 3 o'clock, driven by James Shilleto ; on to
London, Spread Eagle, Gracechurch Street, London : returning every
morning at 3 o'clock, Angel Hotel ; on to Gloucester, Pell Hotel,
meeting coaches for Hereford, Hay, Brecon, and Caermarthen.

Worcester: Royal Mail, every morning at half-past 2 o'clock, top. 23
the Star Hotel, Oxford ; returns every morning at half-past 5.

Birmingham : Royal ]\Iail every night at half-past eleven, Angel
Hotel, Oxford; to London, Angel Inn, St. Clement's, Strand; and
returns through Oxford to Birmingham, every morning, 3 o'clock, to
the Hen-and-Chickens, Birmingham.



'Angel Hotel, Oxford. — To London and back in a Day.

The public are respectfully informed a new coach called the Guide
will start from this office on Monday next, Nov. 3, 1828, every
morning (except Sunday) at half-past 7, performing the journey in
6 hours to London; returning at 2 o'clock, arriving in Oxford
8 o'clock. N.B. The Guide will arrive in London in time for the
Brighton and East-country afternoon coaches.'

p. 24 In the good old times, it was delightful to see noblemen and gentry
of the neighbourhood drive into Oxford, during the week, from their
different residences. If you will permit me, I will give you all I can

[The] Earl of Abingdon from Wytham Abbey, with his coach and
four chestnuts. It was a pleasure to see his lordship on the box and
bring his horses up to the Star so steadily, and look, as he always did,
so satisfied.

Sir Henry Peyton, Swifts House, [with] his yellow coach and four
grays, was as good a coachman as ever handled four horses, and was
altogether a first-class performer in every respect. Sir Henry had
a commanding appearance on the box, always drove slowly, his
horses well put together ; he looked like a fine coachman, and was as
good as he looked, kind-hearted, and generous.

Lord Dillon, Ditchley Park, with four bays, drive into the Roebuck
Hotel gateway, calling out, ' Ladies and gentlemen, mind your heads.'
His lordship once from the Bear Inn, Woodstock, drove the nearest
way home to Ditchley by driving down Old Woodstock Hill — [a]
very sharp, steep, and dangerous pitch, with large stones. It would
be worth anyone's while, if at Woodstock, to see and judge for
himself ^
p. 25 Edward Quick, Esq., of New College, four chestnuts and dark
coach, with his drab driving-coat built by Mrs. Jones, St. Clement's,
Oxford. She was a noted tailoress for box-coats ; price from twelve
to sixteen guineas, with as many capes. Quick always drove very
slowly about the town, had a gentlemanly appearance in driving, and
was a first-class whip. He stood upwards of six feet high. At other
times, you would see him driving a curricle and pair of handsome,
thoroughbred chestnuts. Silting by his side was Master E. Cracknell,
his factotum.

Aston ''■ Smith, Esq., four grays, was always kind and good-nalured,

' [MS. yourself.] - [MS. Ilaston.]


[ready] to give any poor woman or man on business to Oxford a lift
on his coach, [let them] do what they had to do in Oxford, and take
them back. I do not think I ever saw him drive into Oxford with an
empty coach.

Duke of Marlborough from Blenheim, with his postillions, four bays,
and outriders, drive in at a rattling-pace, — something like twelve miles
an hour, — the turn-out, altogether, looking like royalty.

J. W. Henley, Esq., M.P., considered one of the most consistent
of men, and ever staunch to his cause.

Madam Oglander, pair of browns.

Provost of Worcester College, pair of browns.

President of St. John's College, pair [of] chestnuts.

Principal (query Warden) of Merton College, Caversham House, pair
of browns.

Bishop of Oxford, pair of browns. p. 26

Lord Valentia, Bletchingdon Park, four roans. It was delightful to
see his lordship sit on his box, elbows close to his side, hands down,
shoulder[s] well back, his head erect, and his eyes well in front. His
team was made up with four well-bred, quick-stepping, strawberry
roans, good, even workers, pace and temper united. It was a great
treat to drive them, and a pleasure to see how his lordship handled

Hon. Colonel Parker, Sherborne Castle, four bays. To look at
the Colonel you would say, ' Well, he must be a regular, professed
stage-coachman,' — he sat so firm and appeared so confident, his
ribbons well in hand, every horse doing his amount of work properly.
He could use his whip, if wanted, which was very rarely ; the fiddle
and fiddle-stick were always ready, if wanted, and the double-thong

J. H. S. Slater Harrison, Shelswell Park, four grays. You felt
confident to see him drive round the corners of several streets in
Oxford, 1830, in his workman-like style. The streets are now greatly
improved, thanks to our Local Board.

In London, the first ^ of May was a great gala day with all Royal p. 2 7
Mail coaches in and out of London. [They used] to meet in St.
Paul's Church-yard, with their new mails, — or fresh-painted, — new
harness, with all things to match, and, in procession, proceed to the
General Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand, for coachmen and guards
to fit on their new suit[s] of clothes : red coat, gilt buttons, dark blue

* [MS. on the first.]
X 2


waistcoat, black hat trimmed with gold lace, with small, black rosette ;
dine and wine with the Postmaster-General, being well and liberally
entertained ; re-form and drive in procession, and each paper-cart to
its^ respective hotel, in readiness to start for their different destinations,
to meet again on that day twelvemonth.

All the coach roads are wonderfully improved throughout England.
The travelling of all coaches was great, compassing their ten to twelve
miles per hour. Coaches were made exceedingly comfortable, and at
all times carried life and jollity with them ; the fares, generally speaking,
moderate; coachmen and guards intelligent, pleasant, and, as a
general rule, civil, obliging, and always well-dressed. The teams
were made up with short-legged, quick-stepping cattle, well matched
for pace, working^ exceedingly well together. It was pleasing to sit
behind them and see them so exquisitely handled. The change of
horses was [like] magic; sometimes — if no interference from a pas-
senger with coachman, guard, or horse-keeper — in less than a minute ;
the guard's word[s], ' Right 1 We shall pull up at the top of the hill to
wash their mouths out ; we shall have time to take a glass,' — a blast
from the horn to remind the good-tempered-looking, smiling barmaid
to be in readiness for [the] arrival of the coach, — refreshed with a glass
or foaming tankard of real, sparkling, home-brewed beer, made from
real malt and hops, — the horn sounded to 'take your seats'; on we
go through a delightful country, the perfume from the fresh cut grass,
or from ^ a bean, pea, or clover field, smeUing far more sweet than

Online LibraryLouis HouckCollectanea, fourth series ; → online text (page 25 of 34)