HILL, Sir Rowland, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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HILL, Sir Rowland (1795-1879). Inventor of penny postage.
Autograph Letter Signed to Mr ?Phepson, 3 pages 8vo, Bayswater, 25 May 1844, docketed by the recipient on the verso (trace of guard along edge). Expressing gratitude for contributions by his 'excellent friends in Birmingham' to the Rowland Hill Testimonial Fund, and appreciation for Phepson's 'early & steady friendship' for his family.

Between 1839 and 1842 Hill had been earning a salary of £1,500 at the Treasury, where he supervised the implementation of his Post Office proposals. Two years after his dismissal by the Peel government the Mercantile Committee issued an advertisement inviting subscriptions for a national testimonial in his favour. Early in 1845 Hill received a first instalment of £10,000. He managed to avoid paying income tax by directly approaching Charles Trevelyan, then assistant secretary to the Treasury, 'who, like the Duke of Wellington on a well known occasion, exclaimed, "This is too bad!...It will never do first to deprive you of your salary, and then to tax the public subscription made in lieu of it.' (G.B. Hill and R. Hill, The Life of Sir Rowland Hill, and, The History of Penny Postage, 1880, vol. II, page 30).
[No: 25495]


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