A history of Jersey Postal services - Part 2, after 1815

From Jerripedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Jersey postal services
Part Two - after 1815


An 18th century coach in Hampshire which may well have carried Channel Island passengers

On 21 February 1816 82-year-old Charles Le Geyt, Jersey's first postmaster, retired. His son, George William Le Geyt, assumed the position of postmaster and continued at the original Post Office in Hue Street until 1827 when it was transferred to Minden Place

On 7 February 1842 George Le Geyt was succeeded by a Arthur Woodgate, who remained postmaster until 15 April 1843, when the Post Office was transferred again, this time to 9 Bond Street, which was originally Jersey's Customs Office, and became the office of British Railways. The new postmaster, Lieutenant Robert Fullerton, took command the same date.

The movements of the General Post Office of Jersey were as follows:—

  • 1794-1827 Hue Street
  • 1827-1843 Minden Place
  • 1843-1852 Bond Street
  • 1852-1881 Queen Street
  • 1881-1909 Halkett Place
  • 1909- Broad Street

A few odd, but relevant, items turn up in the local newspapers of the period, but as only the scantiest details were given, they will be presented as written:

The coaches which carried passengers from the Weymouth packet station to their various destinations in the late 18th century were as follows:—

  • The Bee to Salisbury.
  • The Royal Dorset to Bristol.
  • The Emerald and John Bull to Bath.
  • The Independent to Southampton on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Duke of Wellington on Saturdays.

Magnet mail coach

However, the one used by most Channel Island passengers was the famous Magnet mail coach which travelled to London from Weymouth via Melcombe Regis, Wareham, Lytchet Minster, Poole, Palmers Ford, Ringwood, Romsey, Winchester, Alresford, Alton, Farnham, Frimley Bridge, Bagshot, Egham, Staines, Hounslow, Brentford via Kingston to the General Post Office in Lombard Street. The Magnet coach office was the 'Golden Lion' Inn at Weymouth.

1835 report by Capt White, master of the Watersprite, to an inquiry into the performance of Post Office packets

19th century highlights

  • 1822: Passengers travelling this year to Jersey from Southampton totalled 687.
  • 1822: Up to the year ending 5 January 1823 the total expense to the General Post Office of the Weymouth packet station was £778 3s 5d.
  • 1837: The Admiralty orders:— 'All Captains of mail packets to wear cocked hats and swords in future'. An advertisement of 1837 says: Three shillings a week to be paid to a man, armed with cutlass and pistols, to guard the mail in transit from the Jersey Post Office to the packets in the harbour.
  • 1837: Two additional letter carriers authorised for St. Helier and three penny post carriers, increasing the carriers from five to ten, each to be paid 5 to 6 shillings per week.
  • 1839: 5,212 passengers carried by the Weymouth packets this year.
  • 1840: The railway reached Southampton and, as the journey to London could be accomplished in three hours, gave an added impetus to Southampton as a mail connection with the Channel Islands. Under pressure from various bodies in the Channel Islands the Post Office allowed mail to travel via Southampton, but only if the writer endorsed in the right hand corner of the letter the words 'To Southampton by Private steamer', thus saving two days compared with the Weymouth packet service. In 1845, due to the hopeless competition, the mail contract was transferred from the Admiralty to the vessels of the South Western Steam Packet Company running from Southampton.
Passengers carried on CI routes in the 1830s
  • 1843: Law passed making street naming and house numbering compulsory.
  • 1844: General Post Office, London, publishes a caution to masters of vessels arriving in Jersey, to take their letter bags to the Post Office and not deliver them privately in the town. Penalty £5 for every letter.
  • 1848: The New South Western Steam Navigation Company renewed the 5-year mail contract for £4,000 in April
  • 1851: London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company sued by South Eastern Railway Company for owning ships contrary to law. Afterwards the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company chartered ships from a Mr Maples, who had a cargo service operating from Littlehampton to the Channel Islands and from Newhaven to Dieppe. These ships were chartered for eleven years until the Act of Parliament, of 1862, allowing the railway companies to own and operate ships.
  • 1852: A post office is to be built in Queen Street, on the site of Mr Balcam's house, destroyed by fire, opposite to Gibson's Hotel. General Post Office applies for a mail carrier between Trinity and St Helier, through St Martin, Gorey and St Clement. The bags may be carried on horseback, in a close covered mail cart or by omnibus. The carrier must do 7 miles per hour, stoppages included.
  • 1852: First letter boxes erected in the United Kingdom were in Jersey, at David Place, New Street, Cheapside and St Clement's Road. This was ordered by Anthony Trollope, the famous novelist, who was at the time a post office surveyor and whose district embraced the Channel Islands.
  • 1860 Jersey's postmen appear in uniform for the first time.
  • 1885: Arrival of first carrier pigeon from the Isle of Wight with news for the British Press — Jersey's first airmail.

Personal tools
other Channel Islands
contact and contributions

Please support Jerripedia with a donation to our hosting costs