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Hackney-Coaches

Westminster, and the rivalry between hackney- coachmen and sedan-chairmen was humorously depicted in a pamphlet entitled, "Coach and Sedan pleasantly disputing for place and precedence."

In 1654, Parliament limited the number of hackney-coaches in London and Westminster to three hundred, with two horses apiece. It was also ordained that the government and regulation of hackney-coaches should be in the hands of the Court of Aldermen, and for the expense of regulating them, a tax of twenty shillings a year was placed on every vehicle.

A few months after the Restoration hackney-coaches were forbidden, by a proclamation dated October 18, 1660, to ply for hire in the streets. But that this edict was evaded we have the authority of the delightful Samuel Pepys. Writing under the date of November 7 he states :—

"Notwithstanding that this was the first day of the king's proclamation against hackney coaches coming into the streets to stand to be hired, yet I got one to carry me home."

In 1661 they numbered four hundred. They were small, narrow vehicles, drawn by two horses,