Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/220

This page has been validated.
200
Omnibuses and Cabs

hackney-coachmen to take to the office of the Registrar of Licences all articles found in their vehicles. The losers, on applying at the office, had their property restored to them, upon payment of a small fee to be given to the coachman. It is said, however, that valuable articles lost in hackney-coaches were very rarely recovered; it was only minor things that were taken to the office. Hackney-coachmen had, some years previously, been considered an honest set of men, but they had sadly deteriorated, as had also their vehicles. A correspondent of the London Magazine, signing himself "Jehu," gave, in 1825, the following description of a hackney-coach :—

"A hackney-coach—fogh! Who can be a gentleman and visit in a hackney-coach? Who can, indeed? to predicate nothing of stinking wet straw and broken windows, and cushions on which the last dandy has cleaned his shoes, and of the last fever it has carried to Guy's, or the last load of convicts transported to the hulks."

He was also troubled about the hackney-coachmen's extortion, and suggested this method of checking it. "Is there any valid reason why a hackney-coach should not have a pedometer visible