Excessive number of Coaches in London.
The preamble of a patent granted Sir Saunders Duncombe in 1634 to let Sedan chairs refers to the fact that the streets of London and Westminster “are of late time so much encumbered and pestered with the unnecessary multitude of coaches therein used”; and in 1635 Charles I. issued a proclamation on the subject. This document states that the “general and promiscuous use” of hackney coaches in great numbers causes “disturbance” to the King and Queen personally, to the nobility and others of place and degree; “pesters” the streets, breaks up the pavements and cause increase in the prices of forage. For which reasons the use of hackney coaches in London and Westminster and the suburbs is forbidden altogether, unless the passenger is making a journey of at least three miles. Within the city limits only private coaches were allowed to ply, and the owner of a coach was required to keep four good horses or geldings for the king’s service.