Nowadays, in the semi-lockdown world in which we exist, even though people don’t often write letters and most of the post is bills or advertising and the delivery man from Amazon brings everything from loo rolls to gin, we can’t really imagine a world in which packages and letters don’t arrive at our doors.
The Annals of Aberdeen, which I’ve referred to in previous blogs, tells us that there was “the introduction of a post at Aberdeen about the year 1590” and a regular post office was in place by 1667. However, “it was not till the year 1695 that … posts were established over the greatest part of the kingdom.”
Obviously, the postal service was nothing like it is today. In fact, mail from Edinburgh took three days (so, not entirely unlike today!) but this was because it “passed through Fife and, after crossing two ferries, only reached Dundee by the first night; hence to Montrose, where the person who had charge of it rested the second night; and arrived in Aberdeen only on the third day after leaving Edinburgh.”
Technology may have improved, as has the organisation of the mail, but three days is still the target for Second-Class post today. And that’s without any ferries or the postman taking a kip on the way!
Julie Skinner, Resourcing and Benefits Specialist, RGU