on one of which sat the driver. wearing spurs and carrying a short whip. It was found, however, that they were very destructive to the paving-stones, and a tax of £5 a year was therefore placed on all hackney-coaches, the money thus obtained being expended on the repairing and cleansing of the roads.
During the Plague infected persons were frequently conveyed to the Pest-houses in hackney-coaches. Defoe mentions this in his "Journal of the Plague Year." In the "Orders conceived and published by the Lord Mayor and Alderman of the City of London, concerning the infection of the plague, 1665," appears the following order: "That care be taken of hackney-coachmen, that they may not (as some of them have been observed to do), after carrying of infected persons to the Pest-house, and other places, be admitted to common use, till their coaches be well aired, and have stood unemployed by the space of five or six days after such service."
After the Great Fire, when the streets were widened, more commodious vehicles came into use, the majority being disused family coaches which had been sold cheaply by the nobility and gentry.