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The London Penny Post

Episode 2 of 15

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 06 December 2011

As Royal Mail faces an uncertain future, Dominic Sandbrook charts the development of the post office and examines it's impact on literacy, free speech, commerce and communication.

Launched in 1680 by London merchant, William Dockwra, the Penny Post was the first accessible and cheap method for sending mail within the capital. Costing the equivalent of £6 today, there were receiving houses all over London and the suburbs where you could go to post a letter and expect same day delivery.

Writer and Presenter: Dominic Sandbrook

Historical Consultant: Susan Whyman

Musicians: Sam Lee, Bella Hardy, Mick Sands, Nick Hart

Actors:Morgan George, John Sessions, Simon Tcherniak,
Malcolm Tierney, Jane Whittenshaw

Producer: Joby Waldman
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

  • Dockwra’s private Penny Post

    Dockwra’s private Penny Post

    Notice giving details of Dockwra’s private Penny Post in London. April 1680.

    © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2011 / The British Postal Museum & Archive


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