Sir Rowland Hill

(1795—1879) postal reformer and civil servant

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Inventor of penny postage. Hill was born in Kidderminster, son of a schoolmaster. He took over his father's school but abandoned teaching, and in 1835 became secretary to a commission to colonize south Australia. He then became interested in the postal service, which was so prohibitively expensive that revenue was falling in a period of rapid population growth and commercial expansion. Hill suggested pre‐payment, a standard delivery charge irrespective of distance, and the use of an adhesive stamp. Hill was put in charge but met with vast obstruction from within the Post Office and was dismissed in 1842. Reinstated by Russell in 1846, he held office until 1864.

Subjects: British History.

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