Page:The Post Office of Fifty Years Ago.djvu/40

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THE POST OFFICE OF FIFTY YEARS AGO.

the question of remuneration until the end of the two years. Your offer made on the spur of the moment, to surrender your present appointment, and work for the public without salary, though it does look somewhat "wild and visionary" at first sight, yet after a long and careful reflection upon it, I distinctly advise you to renew, and more than that, I seriously hope it will be accepted. Your fortune, though most men would consider it very small, is enough to enable you to live two years without additional income; and I feel certain that the Government and the country will do you and your family justice in the end; but suppose I should be mistaken, and that you never receive a shilling for either your plan or your services in carrying it into operation, I should be very glad to change places with you, and so would thousands of your countrymen, if, on taking your labours and privations, they could also feel conscious of your merit.

I remain, &c.,

M. D. Hill.


With reference to this letter, it is only right to add that Mr. (afterwards Sir) Francis Baring at once recognised the soundness of the views expressed therein, overruled all official objections, and placed Sir Rowland Hill's appointment on a proper footing.

To Sir Francis Baring, for his cordial support through a period of great difficulty, Sir Rowland Hill was deeply indebted. Many years after, when an old man, Sir Francis Baring stated that nothing gave him more satisfaction, when looking back upon his career, than the part he had taken in helping on the cause of Penny Postage.

On the 10th January, 1840, the Uniform Penny Postage System came into operation. Of the end-

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