Notes and Background Information
This is a page of notes and background information accumulated while studying the stage-coach timetables of 1830's Cheshire.
In includes notes on:
- The sources and resources used during the study.
- The average speed of travel by stage-coach.
- Destinations served by the port of Liverpool.
- The cost of passages.
Sources and Resources
The main sources used for this study into the stage-coach timetables of 1830's Cheshire were:
- Pigot and Co's National Commercial Directory for 1828-9,
- Gore's Directory for Liverpool, 1829,
- Gore's Directory for Liverpool, 1832,
- Betts's British Stage Coach, Van, and Wagon Directory for 1831,
- Robson's London Directory for 1830,
- Pigot and Son's General Directory of Manchester and Salford for 1830,
- The Chester Chronicle, and Cheshire and North Wales Advertiser, 1828, 1829, and 1830,
- The Liverpool Mercury, and Lancashire General Advertiser, 1829 and 1830
- The Manchester Courier, and Lancashire General Advertiser, 1829 and 1830
Resources and help were provided by:
- Cheshire Archives and Local Studies office, Chester,
- Manchester Central Library, Local Studies Section,
- Liverpool Central Library, Local History Section,
- Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies library,
- Guildhall Library, London,
- Leicester University's Historical Directories Online project.
The Speed of Stage-Coach Travel
Having established the stage-coach schedules it was easy to calculate the scheduled speeds.
The following averages are calculated using the timetables of all stage-coaches running in, to,
and through Cheshire on a typical day in the spring of 1830.
They are probably typical of England as a whole.
The averages are calculated using the sum of all the outward journeys plus inward journeys in miles, divided by the sum of the same journeys in hours.
For example, the average speed of all coaches, 12,715 miles out & return each day in 1608 hours = 7.91 mph.
More averages are given in the table below:
|Average Speeds (mph)|| The Fastest|| The Slowest|
|7.91|| All stage-coaches||- ||- |
|8.24|| Mails only
|| 7.06|| Manchester-Knutsford|
| Excluding mails:||- ||- |
|7.84|| - all||- ||- |
|8.34|| - to London
||8.73|| The Defiance
||7.88|| The Herald|
|7.31|| - other long-distance
||8.74|| The Magnet
||5.38|| The Owen Glyndwr|
|7.46|| - local
|| 11.00|| The George IV
||6.00|| Parkgate Ferry coach|
| Steam-packets:||- ||- |
|4.95|| - all||- ||- |
|5.59|| - using the tide ||- ||- |
|3.73|| - not using the tide ||- ||- |
| Horse-drawn packets:||- ||- |
|3.40|| - all||- ||- |
|3.07|| - hampered by locks||- ||- |
|3.78|| - unhampered by locks||- ||- |
|-||Steam-packets using the tide, ran up-river with the rising tide and returned on the ebb.|
|-||Steam-packets not using the tide, ran at a fixed time each day regardless of the tide.|
|-||Some horse-drawn packets had to pass though locks on their journey, others didn't.|
|-||By far the fastest coaches were the four daily Chester to Eastham Ferry coaches.
The George IV, Lady Stanley, Royal Waterloo, and Royal Liverpool, all ran at 11 mph.
Their route was short, and the road straight and level.
There were no stops for horses, passengers or mail.
This speed probably represent the real top speed of a coach over the ground.
True stage-coaches were slower because they had to stop regularly for fresh horses, etc.|
|-||As a rough rule of thumb, the above results indicate that the typical speed of travel in 1830's England
was about 8 mph in an ordinary stage-coach, 9 mph in a fast Mail, and 11 mph in a coach over a short distance of good road.|
Destinations Available From Liverpool
The following list gives a rough and ready indication of the destinations available by sea from the port of Liverpool in the spring of 1830.
It uses readily available information, and not the result of a comprehensive study.
The information about steam packets was obtained from adverts in Liverpool newspapers.
It shows the number of departures per week for each destination.
The information about sailing vessels was obtained from arrivals lists published in Liverpool newspapers between 1st February and 30th May 1830.
For each destination it shows the total number of arrivals in Liverpool during that period.
|By Steam Packet sailings per week to:|
|Dublin||7||(cabin fare 27 shillings and 6 pence)|
|Isle of Man||3|
By Sailing Vessel arrivals during Feb, March, April & May 1830 from:
|Naples and Gallipoli||3|
|St John, NB||12|
|St Andrew, NB||2|
|Porto Barco, Brazil||1|
|Islay and Arica||1|
The cost of travel.
It would have been interesting to know more about stage-coach fares,
but these were not usually shown in the adverts and commercial directories of the period.
An occasional fare was shown in an advert, but I suspect it was not representative, so I have not shown them on this web page.
Similarly, it would have been interesting to know the cost of passages from Liverpool.
I didn't find those either, however I did find the cost of passages from Falmouth,
a passenger port that competed with Liverpool.
The following is an extract from Pigot's 1830 Directory for Cornwall.
Rates of Passengers by the Falmouth Packets.
|To or from Falmouth and Lisbon||16||16||8||8|
|From Falmouth to Cadiz or Gibraltar||28||0||15||0|
|From Falmouth to Malta||45||0||25||0|
|From Falmouth to Corfu||55||0|| 30||0|
|To or from Gibratar and Malta||21||0||12||0|
|To or from Corfu||30||0||16||0|
|From Corfu to Falmouth||55||0||30||0|
|From Malta to Falmouth||45||0||25||0|
|From Gibratar or Cadiz to Falmouth||28||0||15||0|
|From Falmouth to Maderia||28||0||15||0|
|From Falmouth to Teneriffe||35||0||16||0|
|From Falmouth to Brazils||73||0||36||0|
|Maderia to Teneriffe||7||0||4||0|
|Maderia to Brazils||42||0||21||0|
|Brazils to Falmouth||80||0||40||0|
|To or from Falmouth and Halifax||40||0||22||0|
|To or from New York direct||40||0||22||0|
|To or from New York, via Halifax||45||0||25||0|
|From Falmouth to Bermuda||40||0||22||0|
|From Falmouth to Barbadoes or St Vincent||45||0||25||0|
|From Falmouth to Jamaica||50||0||28||0|
|From Jamaica to Falmouth||45||0||25||0|
|From Falmouth to Barbadoes, St Lucia|
|From Falmouth to Dominica or Guadaloupe||46||0||26||0|
|From Falmouth to Antigua||48||0||27||0|
|From Falmouth to Montserrat||50||0||28||0|
|From Falmouth to Nevis or St Kitts||50||0||28||0|
|From Falmouth to Tortola or St Thomas's||52||0||30||0|
|From any of the above islands to Falmouth||42||0||26||0|
Female servants pay as Cabin Passengers: men servants,|
accompanying their masters, pay as Steerage; children, under
twelve months old, go free of charge; under four years of age
pay as Steerage; above four years as Cabin Passengers. The
Passengers by all, except Lisbon Packets, provide bedding;
and, from the West Indies, lay in their stock: each Passenger
is allowed to carry any weight of linen, wearing apparel, and
and books, not exceeding 400lbs. Passengers not proceeding,
after taking their passage, forfeit half their passage money.