"The original plan was that William should go up by the mail from Northampton"

The mail coach was the official means of transporting mail, although it also carried passengers. Mail coaches were generally very large vehicles with a seat for the driver, and seats for passengers inside and on top of the coach. They were generally pulled by teams of four or six horses which were regularly changed en route. It was a faster means of travel than the normal public stage coach as it placed less emphasis on the comfort of passengers.

 

Public Domain"The Last Stage on the Portsmouth Road" (1815) - Credit: Jacques-Laurent Agasse