Focused on the period between 1500 and 1700, Land Travel and Communications in Tudor and Stuart England documents the unprecedented growth that occurred in road travel by all sections of society, from paupers to princes; the burgeoning volume of wheeled vehicles using the highways; and the radical changes in the means by which correspondence was conveyed throughout the realm and beyond.
Unprecedented growth in ordinary travel by road occurred in Tudor and Stuart England between c.1500 and c.1700: increasingly complex itineraries and ambitious distances were achieved. Though mostly repaired in only rudimentary fashion, England's highways supported increasing volumes of pedestrian, equine, and wheeled traffic. The framing of legal provisions for road maintenance and the burgeoning production of way-finding materials reflected the scale of demand. As well as considering regular trips to local markets or county fairs or for the freighting of building materials, the book considers the quotidian peregrinations of common and private carriers, chapmen journeying to sell to distant customers, the escort of prisoners to county gaols, wounded soldiers struggling homeward, and itinerant paupers on the move. The twice-yearly circuits of assize court judges and the more frequent movement of county justices and apparitors serving bishops' courts are also reviewed. Journeys by players and other entertainers are included, and elite tourists travelling both within the realm and beyond for experience, education, and improved job prospects are considered. The ostentatious, orchestrated travels of monarchs and the high-born, and the stressful journeys of royalty on the run are also featured.
Mark Brayshay is Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Plymouth. An historical geographer, Mark's recent research includes an ESRC-funded project on examining the historical geography of globalisation; concerned with how information, ideas and influence flowed through particular social networks. With its recent entry into the political lexicon globalisation is often considered to be a modern socio-economic phenomenon yet the global flow of commodities, capital and ideas has been occurring for many centuries. Mark's research specifies the complex and longer term historical geographies of globalisation and their contemporary resonances.
Preface Acknowledgements List of Illustrations List of Tables 1 Land travel and communications in the Tudor and Stuart state 2 The Tudor and Stuart highway network 3 Wayfinding and the means of travel 4 Travel by the ordinary users of the highways 5 Travel by elite users of the highways 6 Communication by messenger and post 7 Conclusion Appendix 1 Masters of the Posts, 1512-1685 Appendix 2 Posts of the Court and Posts of London, 1540s-1630s Appendix 3 Post Stages and Posts Serving on 1 April 1556 Appendix 4 Post Stages and Posts Serving on 1 April 1599 Appendix 5 The Post Office Establishment, 1695-1696 Appendix 6 Postal Services and Charges, England and the Colonies Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index