Edinburgh Transport




Adverts in the Press

Eighteenth Century

The coaching business in Edinburgh developed during the eighteenth century, and was linked to a number of inns in Edinburgh, due to the efforts of a few innkeepers.

Advertisements appeared in newspapers such as the Caledonian Mercury and the Edinburgh Advertiser.  [I'll attempt to find the accurate dates of these advertisements.]

At first the arrangements appeared rather informal.


There is a good Glass Coach and six Horses belonging to Edward James, which will set out for London or any part of England against the 17th Instant.

Enquiries at Mr Somervil's Gunsmith at the Foot of the Canongate.



There is a good COACH, with Seven ABLE HORSES going for London against the Eleventh or Twelfth of this Month.  Any has a mind to go, let them repair WILLIAM BAILLIE, Head of Canongate, where they may be agreed with.


By 1750, there was a regular fortnightly service from Edinburgh to London.


There is as Coach and six and a close POST CHAISE will set out by the 10th or 11th of this Instant, for London, performed by Thomas Lancashire, at the Back of the City Guard, Edinburgh, to be spoken with at his House.

Caledonian Mercury,  4 January 1750,  Page 3,  Col 1 [+ similar 23 March 1750, Page 3 , Col 1]



There is as COACH and four good Horses to set out from John Somervell's Gun-smith in Canongate for York, London or any part of that Road on 16th April inst.  To be performed by John Wood.

Caledonian Mercury,  9 April 1750,  Page 3,  Col 2



A very good COACH and SIX able Horses to set out from Edinburgh on the 23rd or 24th instant and will take passengers either for London or Scarborough.  Places to be taken at John Somerville's Stabler in the Canongate.



On 27th a good Coach and six able Horses to set out for London and will continue once every month from John Paxton's at the White Lion in the foot of Canongate.

Caledonian Mercury,  5 March 1750,  Page 4,  Col 2


In 1754, John Somervell had acquired a new coach, enabling him to complete the journey of about 400 miles between Edinburgh and London in 10 days in summer and 12 days in winter.  How long did the journey take prior to 1754?


[Dean Street, Soho to John Somervell's Canongate  -  Fortnightly]

The EDINBURGH STAGE COACH, for the better Accommodation of Passengers will be alter'd to a new genteel Two end Glass Machine hung of Steel Springs, exceedingly light and easy, to go in Ten days in summer and Twelve in winter.

Perform'd if GOD permits by your dutiful Servant    HOSIA EASTGATE



A Gentleman who sets out on Wednesday next in a POST-CHAISE for NEWCASTLE, from James Boyd's stabler in Canongate will be glad of a Companion.

Caledonian Mercury -   24 June 1854


In 1780, coaches ran daily between Edinburgh and London.  The cost of the journey was 4 17 0, with additional costs for extra luggage.


By Berwick upon Tweed, Newcastle and York, and from London to Edinburgh by the same road,

Sets out every morning, at six o'clock precisely (Sundays excepted), from Duncan McFarlane's Foot of the Pleasance, Mr Redpath's, the Red Lion, Berwick upon Tweed, ... [other stops named] ... carries three inside passengers, each to pay as under:

From Edinburgh to Newcastle L  1  14  0
From Newcastle to York     1    1  0
From York to London     2    2  0
  L  4  17  0

Passengers taken up on the road from Edinburgh to Newcastle pay 3 1/2d per mile; from Newcastle to London 3d per mile.  To be allowed 14 lib luggage; and all above to pay, from Edinburgh to Newcastle 2d per lib. from Newcastle to York 1 1/2d per lib. and from York to London 3d per lib.

The proprietors not to be accountable for any thing above the value of 5/- ......



CONTINUED:  Coaches 1800s




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