« السابقةمتابعة »
It is generally agreed, by those Writers who have touched upon the subject, that Coaches were introduced into this Kingdom jn the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; but they must have had an earlier appearance amongst us than Anderson, in his History of Commerce, vol. I. p. 421, allows, who affirms, that the first of them was brought hither by [Henry] Fitz-Alan, the last Earl of Arundel of that name, in the year 1580; which cannot be the truth; for his Lordship died 1579. This Earl, after having served Kings Henry VIII. and Edward VI. and Queen Mary, became likewise high in the favour of Queen Elizabeth, and was Lord Steward of her Household; but, finding himself supplanted by the Earl of Leicester, he went abroad A. D. 1566*. It is to be supposed that he travelled to the sea-coast in the accustomed manner on Horseback; but he is said to have returned in his Coach, which, Mr. Granger says, was the first Equipage of the kind ever seen in England f; but that Author has left us without the date; so that we are yet to seek for that point.
* Camden's Elizabeth.
t Biographical History of England, I. 193, 8vo.
Another Writer robs his Hardship entirely of the honour of such introduction ; for Stowe's Continuator expressly says, that " In the year 1564 (two years before the Earl of Arundel went abroad), Guilliam Boonen, a Dutchman, became the Queen's Coachman, and was the first that brought the use of Coaches into England *." This very Coachman is said also to have driven the Queen's Coach, when she visited Oxford, 1592. Which of these two stories be true, the Relaters, Granger and Stowe, must answer for: but Anderson is palpably wrong in his date.
I can form no better an idea of our first Coaches than that they were heavy and unwieldy, as they continued to be for nearly two centuries afterwards; and I can at best but take the standard from the present State Coaches of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker of the House of Commons *.
* Chronicle, p. 867. This Coachman's Wife had also the honour of introducing the Art of Starching Cambric and Lawn, and was the first Starcher the Queen had. Idem in eod.
. * I must here stop a moment to relate an Anecdote of the late Right Honourable Arthur Onslow, when Speaker of the House of Commons, whose ideas of travelling did not exceed the expedition of a pair of horses tugging his own lumbering State Coach. King George II. died on Saturday morning early, October 25, 1760. The Duke of Devonshire (then at Chatsworth) was Lord Chamberlain; and the Duke of Rutland (then at Belvoir Castle) was Lord Steward. Expresses were dispatched to these great Officers, among others, immediately; and the Duke of Devonshire arrived in Town on the Monday evening, though the distance Was 150 miles. Tuesday and Wednesday came, but without the Lord Steward, to the utter astonishment of the Speaker, who knew that his distance from the Metropolis was not so great as that of the Duke of Devonshire, who had arrived on the Monday. "But I am told," cried he, "that his GraGe of Devonshire travels at a prodigious rate; not Jess than 50 miles a day /" Such was the prejudice of ideas, confirmed by long habitude, in a man who never extended his journeys further than his Seat in Surrey, v. few miles from London; and in Parliament time did little more than oscillate between his Town House and the House of Commons,—It was a misconception on the part of the Duke of Rutland, who understood that
It cannot be any matter of surprize, after so luxurious a conveyance had found its way into the Royal Establishment, that it should be adopted by others who could support the expence, when not curbed by sumptuary laws; and we have accordingly seen, that Coaches prevailed much, early in the Reign of King James; but Hackney Coaches, which are professedly the Subject of this Memoir, waited till luxury had made larger strides among us, and till private Coaches came to market at second hand.
There having always been an imitative luxury in mankind, whereby the inferior orders might approximate the superior; so those that could not maintain a Coach de die in diem contrived a means of having the use of one de hord in horam. Hence arose our occasional Vehicles called Hackney Coaches. The French word Haquene'e * implies a common horse for all purposes of riding, whether for private use or for hire; generally an ambler, as distinguished from the horses of superior orders, such as the palfrey and the great horse. The former of these are often called pad-nags, and were likewise amblers; while horses for draught were called trottinghorsesf: so that the Haquene'e was in fact, and in his use, distinct from all the rest, and inferior in rank and quality. This term for an ambling-nag occurs in Chaucer J. Thus we obtained our Haquene'e or Hackney Horses long before we had any Coaches to tack to them; and the term had likewise, at the same time, made its way into metaphor, to express any thing much and promiscuously used. Thus Shakspeare, who never lived to ride in a Hackney Coach, applies the word Hackney to a common woman of easy ac
the King of Prussia was dead, and not King George II. I mention the circumstance, only to shew the ignorance of some parts of mankind, when taken out of their routine.—The Duke of Devonshire at that time usually ran to or from Chatsworth in about 18 or 20 hours.