C is for Carriage Supplier
By BRAWN, Thomas

Gentlemen and Ladies may be accommodated at the least Notice with near Four wheel’d Post Chaises and good Horses,… by their most Humble Serv.t Thomas Brawn.

  • Author: BRAWN, Thomas
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: at the Plough Inn, in Princes Street, Leicester Fields
  • Physical description: Engraved trade card, trimmed to corner with loss.
  • Dimensions: 150 by 110mm. (6 by 4.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17951


An early form of hackney coach was available to hire in London at the turn of the seventeenth century, and by the mid-century, the huge growth in the carriage market led to new traffic regulations and improvements to roads and buildings within London. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, carriages and communications underwent numerous developments; in 1743 John Trull, an English artillery officer, obtained the first patent for the renting of travelling carriages throughout Britain. A number of enterprising men soon followed in his footsteps.

In January 1755, ‘The Whitehall Evening Post, or London Intelligencer’ contained an advertisement for four men who could “supply Gentlemen with Post-Chaises at Sixpence, and four-wheel Chaises at Ninepence per Mile, vix, from London”. The first to be named in Thomas Brawn, of the Plough Inn on Princes Street. It may be the same Thomas Brawn whose registration to vote was rejected in 1784, on the grounds that he did not own enough land.

Brawn’s trade card advertises that in addition to four-wheeled post chaises, he also offers “Horses To Let and Stand at livery, with Waiting-jobs and all Sorts of genteel Carriages, at the cheapest Rates”. The text is framed with an elaborate border and surmounted by an illustration of a plough, in reference to his premises at the Plough Inn.


  1. BM Heal I.89

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