Posted by P. Bingham on May 16, 1998 at 18:51:16:
In response to Good idea, written by Caroline on May 04, 1998 at 15:45:20
HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BAROUCHE / POST-CHAISE DISCUSSION:
Patricia: The barouche was introduced in 1767 and was usually a four-wheeled carriage, although there were some two-wheeled types in France. It was suitable for four-horse or pair-horse traction (although one reference states that up to six were used) and could carry up to six passengers in double, facing seats behind the driver. It had a fold-back top that when unfolded, covered just the back half of the carriage. It would be driven by a coachemn and perhaps,ridden postillion, which meant that post boy would be riding one of the lead horses (one of the front horses). It was considered quite stylish, likely because of the position of the fold-back top. The "landau" was a bit less formal than the barouche, but both were more likely to be used for less formal occasions, such as park and countryside
Patricia: I also have a picture of Abraham Lincoln in a barouche and there are only two in the vehicle, both facing the driver with the hood folded back. It states that when only two were riding, the back of the front seat folded down to form a deck over the front part of the body. The occupants of the front seat would normally face backward.
Patricia: The chaise sat no more than two and a child, perhaps. So this would mean that if one was going to share it, he or she would only be able to share it with one person. I'm sure this sharing was more common with men, unless perhaps a woman and her child shared the chaise with a man. I cna't see a woman alone travelling alone with a man who was not her driver!
Laura: Are all chaises of the seat-only-two variety? I had thought that this type of vehicle was always called a post-chaise-- but you say that it is only called a post-chaise if it is hired. I thought that a post-chaise could be private, or hired (in which case it was called a "hack post-chaise" I was wondering if there was a type of chaise which has two bench seats, or if chaise means one seat only.
Is there some other distinctive characteristic to distinguish a chaise from a coach?
Patricia: the chaise is a subset of the coach in that it is completely covered and enclosed. But there is quite a difference between a chaise and a post-chaise! The chaise only has one seat and two wheels! I've three separate chaises (not personally of course!) dated 1710, 1720 & 1664 (this one french). At the look of them, the only difference between a chaise and a sedan chair is that the chaise is hooked up to a horse (one) and the sedan chair is, of course, manned, both are enclosed and both are entered from the front rather than from the side. All have space barely enough for one! I doubt there would be enough room to pack a lunch!
PRIDE & PREJUDICE CARRIAGE DESCRIPTIONS:
Laura: [Davidia: On the same tape, shortly after, Darcy is shown in a carriage, the same carriage is shown with more detail when Darcy leaves Netherfield on tape VI is his carriage a Barouche? Also on tape VI, we see Lady Catherine's impressive carriage when she visits Elizabeth at Longbourn, does this carriage have a specific name?] I am pretty sure that both of these carriages are post chaises. I'm having a little trouble recalling Darcy's exactly, but I do recall that Lady Catherine's has only the one seat facing forward, which is a post chaise.
Laura: There is an error in the P&P2 production regarding carriages. When Lizzy and Charlotte Lucas travel back to Longbourne, the text is explicit that they are to travel post (in their case, probably a hired chaise), which is indeed the only way young ladies of their station could have travelled with propriety. But in the movie, they are very clearly in a stagecoach, complete with strangers in the coach opposite them, and writing on the side of the coach. Young ladies of their class travelling on a public stagecoach would have been highly irregular.
Patricia: even if the girls went by post chaise, there would be an excellent chance of them riding with strangers. It was common for travellers to share them and thus share the expense of hiring one, which was considerably more expensive than stagecoach. (See post-chaise for more details).
Laura: I found a reference to this (strangers and travelling post chaise) in the online etexts of Austen, from Sense and Sensibility: "Well, my dear," said Mrs Jennings, "and how did you travel?";
"Not in the stage, I assure you,"; replied Miss Steele, with quick exultation; & "we came post all the way, and had a very smart beau to attend us. Dr Davies was coming to town, and so we thought we'd join him in a post-chaise; and he behaved very genteelly, and paid ten or twelve shillings more than we did." "Oh, oh!" cried Mrs Jennings "very pretty, indeed!"; But I would note that they were not strangers.
Laura: Also, I think that the carriage Darcy uses in that scene (where he returns to London after giving his... is a coach. And I think it is probably the very same coach that the BBC production of Persuasion uses for when Sir Walter leaves Kellynch Hall for Bath. It is a permanently enclosed, two-seated, four-wheeled vehicle-- the definition of a coach. Perhaps it is also a type of chaise.
Laura: Darcy's carriage is not a barouche because what makes a carriage a barouche is a folding top. A coach is a carriage which is permanently enclosed. Now, I am not sure, but I think that a chaise is a subset of coach (it is). And I think that a barouche must be a subset of a landau (it is). I think that the Gardiner's carriage is a landau.
Davidia: But in P&P2 when Lady C says she will take them to London in her barouche, Lizzy mentions that her uncle is to send a manservant for them! Which is reluctantly approved of by lady C, who is most particular ... I remember that man looking at Maria Lucas when she says she has so much to tell. I always thought he was this servant? Are there more people in the coach?? I fear I'll have to go have a look ;-) ! I think that there are other people in the coach, but I'm not positive. I am positive however that I recall seeing something written on the side of the coach, which certainly means it is a stagecoach, not a postchaise. It is very clear from the text that they are travelling post:
"Mrs. Collins, you must send a servant with them. You know I always speak my mind, and I cannot bear the idea of two young women travelling post by themselves. It is highly improper. . . . You must send John with the young ladies, Mrs. Collins. I am glad it occurred to me to mention it; for it would really be discreditable to you to let them go alone." "My uncle is to send a servant for us."; "Oh! -- Your uncle! -- He keeps a man-servant, does he? -- I am very glad you have somebody who thinks of those things. Where shall you change horses? -- Oh! Bromley, of course. -- If you mention my name at the Bell, you will be attended to." She says they are travelling post, and that they will change horses (which is what travelling by post means). But anyway, back to manservants, I don't believe he would travel inside with them-- I think that would have been just as improper as travelling alone. He would either travel on a seat mounted over the boot, or would ride a horse as an outrider.
Laura: Certain types of carriages, post-chaises in particular, used postillions rather than coachmen. The postillion rode the front left lead horse (I think), although there was often one postillion per pair of horses, so that if you had four horses you had two postillions. Also, some of my pictures are backwards, as engravings often are, showing the postillions on the right-hand horse-- but I have not found a source which says specifically which side the postillion rode on, or if they always rode on the same side. In Watney's Royal Cavalcade, moreover, there are many pictures dating back all the way to Charles II, and they vary in number of postillions. If there were six or more horses, there might be a postillion for the lead pair, and the back four or six driven by a coachman. But just as often there is a postillion for every pair, whether two, four, six, or eight horses. From Travel in England by Thomas Burke, London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., p. 104: He [Prince Puckler-Muskau, who toured England in 1826] found our postillions smart and accomplished, and noted that they were all men of small stature and light weight. Postillions (or post-boys, as they were called, though many of them were grey-haired) had a livery of their own. This was a short jacket of blue or yellow, a shiny white hat, white cord breeches, top-boots, white stock [neckcloth], and yellow waistcoat with pearl buttons. At all the posting-houses, horses in pairs were kept ready in harness day and night, and the post-boys themselves had to be fully dressed during the day if they were the 'next turn-out.' Most houses kept ten or a dozen post-boys, who went out in rotation. Stanley Harris, in his Old Coaching Days, quotes a set of printed rules that hung in the yard of a famous posting-house. One of them was 'That the first and second turn post-boy shall be always booted and spurred, with their horses ready harnessed, from eight o'clock inthe morning until seven o'clock at night.' There are several pictures in this book showing postillions driving post-chaises.
POST-CHAISE: Discussion somewhat still in dispute... as to the actual term of post-chaise and what it refers to, due to conflicting sources.
Laura: A post chaise is, according to my dictionary, usually a four-wheeled carriage (although it can be two-wheeled) which looked pretty much like a coach with the front half of the body cut off (even when retaining four wheels). It had forward-facing windows so that the occupants (on one forward-facing bench seat) could look out, and was driven by postillions. Post chaises were private carriages used by the wealthy for travelling; they could be hired, but if one could afford it (as could Darcy), one kept one's own travelling chaise; they were called "post" because the horses were hired and changed at posting inns.
Patricia: If a private owner should take his own carriage and it just happened to be a chaise, it would still be called a chaise, but most everyone did hire post horses en route to their destination. The term "post chaise" is reserved for those chaises which are for hire.
Patricia: Quote from Wheels, A Pictorial History by Edwin Tunis: "post chaises were painted yellow. A post chaise with a boy (a small man) and a pair of horses could be hired for about a shilling a mile. This was considerably more expensive than the stage coach. Frequently travellers with the same destination, even though they were complete strangers, would share the cost of a post chaise. Post horses were changed at every stage and, in order to keep track of the vehicles, passengers, to their loudly expressed annoyance, had to shift to a new one at every other stage. The posting houses supplied horses for chaises and privately owned carriages only; coaches changed horses at their own stages."
Patricia: Post chaise is for hire. It's sometimes called a chaise also, but only for short because there is a chaise and that vehicle is very different. I'll cover the chaise later. Post-chaises are always for hire and were generally cast-off travelling chariots. I looked back to find a travelling chariot but found only a town chariot of 1796 which looked just like a post-chaise. I also found a French berline-coupe of about 1770 which is said to be a French post-chaise. It looks similar in basic makeup to the English post-chaise. There is a difference though and that is that both the French vehicle and the town chariot have a seat over the boot where the driver sits. The only picture I have of a post-chaise has not a seat here but luggage instead and the driver is a postboy who sits on one of the two horses. It appears as if the post-chaise had its seat removed for luggage space when the carriage was purchased. And then a small man is used to drive the contraption by riding one of the horses. This latter bit is only an assumption on my part and I cannot say that I've heard this before! This came only from what I can see from the pictures. Also, there is space for a man to sit behind, outside and this is generally reserved for a servant, groom, boy, etc. Also keep in mind that when you read that a vehicle seats x many, the cheats are usually counting the driver and that seat in the back. Which can really be confusing because they don't always specify this.
Patricia: The post-chaise is much like the hackney coach in that both of them were once owned by somebody else. Once the vehicle was purchased, it took on the name post-chaise or hackney-coach. So, as one would not privately own a hackney coach, so too would they likely not own a post-chaise. Unless, of course, they mean to rent the vehicle out. A post-chaise is a vehicle that was once actually another name entirely (such as that of the chariot) which has been purchased and then rented out as a post-chaise. In London you might hire a hackney coach, but these, similar to the post-chaise, were old cast-offs as well, but were generally coaches in that they had facing seats and were covered. With the exception, of course, of the cabriolet. 19 of them were purchased in 1823 and almost from then on they took over the hackeny coach and thus came the name hackney cab. A hack is your general everyday horse for travelling or just jaunting around. So there must not have been any private post-chaises. There could have been private chaises though. Also, I should add, that there is much confusion when writers have referred to a private post-chaise. By being private, they mean as opposed to taking a stagecoach, which is considered public transportation. Private is hiring a post-chaise. They could take their own vehicle too, of course, in which case they would either hire post-horses, or they would have there own horses lodged a several posts along the way to a frequent destination. This would not change the name of whatever vehicle they are driving.
Laura: I for one really appreciate your efforts. I learned quite a bit from your post, and have in turn a couple of things I think I can explain to you. I think that between us and our sources, we should be able to figure this stuff out once and for all!
Laura: at the end of Mansfield Park - "A heroine in a hack post-chaise is such a blow upon sentiment, as no attempt at grandeur or pathos can withstand."
Laura: I went hunting through my sources and found several quotes which support the notion that a post chaise was not necessarily hired. First, according to my dictionary, hack means 1) a carriage for hire; 2) a horse for hire, or 3) an ordinary horse. Figuratively it means a run-down horse or person, such as you might hire, a drudge. Next, my source "Royal Cavalcade", which is admittedly questionable from our earlier discussion, has two quotes of interest: "In April 1793 [The Prince Regent] wrote that he was 'just stepping into my Chaise to return to Bath' after having been 'very ill indeed.' The chaise referred to would have been his Travelling Chariot, or Post Chaise, drawn by a team of four, or perhaps six horses with postillion riders." Princess Victoria travelled with her mother on tours of the kingdom as part of her education, to become acquainted with her realm. Under her mother's instructions, she began to keep a diary to record the events of the journeys, a habit which she kept for the rest of her life. Anyway, in 1833 she took one of these trips: "By now Princess Victoria had learned to differentiate between the types of carriage, and so we read that the cavalcade consisted of: 'Sir John [Conroy] going in a post-chaise before us, then our post-chaise, the Lehsen's landau, then my cousin's carriage, then Charles's, then Lady Conroy's, and then our maids."; "In 1834, the Princess visited East Sussex and Kent, and a contemporary engraving depicts the Royal party leaving Tunbridge Wells in two Post Chaises and a closed Landau."; In November 1836, Princess Victoria visited Canterbury, but recorded that they encountered a violent storm: 'a hurricane, for I cannot call it by any other name,' and that 'our carriage swung and the postboys could scarcely keep on their horses.' So strong was the wind, that after reaching Sittingbourne she and her mother transferred themselves into the carriage occupied by Lady Theresa Fox-Strangways and Baroness Lehzen 'which, being larger and heavier than our post-chaise, would not shke so much. . . .'; I cannot imagine that the Princess travelled in a hired carriage.
Laura: Quote from In Style: "The connection between one's position and means of travel is variously indicated in the novels: the Tilneys of Northanger Abbey travel in a 'fashionable chaise-and-cfour-postilions handsomely liveried . . . numerous outriders properly mounted.' The standard faimly carriage was the chaise, a four-wheeled, closed carriage guided by a post boy, or postilion. The chaise was suitable for taking parties to dinner and dances, and for journeys of a moderate distance. For long cross-country travel the post chaise was more appropriate. Travelling post generally meant changing chaises and transferring luggage at each post, unless the traveller owned the chaise. The seats inside a chaise faced the driver, as compared to a coach, in which the seats faced each other. A chariot was a closed, four-wheeled carriage with the addition of a driver's box, in which the single inside seat faced the driver. The barouche, barouche-landau, and landaulette were all open carriages set on four wheels, with various style of collapsible top and two facing seats. Henry Crawford provides his barouch to take the Mansfield party on a day's outing to Sotherton Court, a distance of ten miles. The landaulette, as driven by Mr. Wentworth in had only one seat. Gentlemen only occasionally travelled by public coach, and ladies even less. Mrs Bennet supposes that Mr Darcy did not converse with Mrs Long because she 'does not keep a carriage, and had come to the ball in a hack chaise.'
Laura: One last quote, from Travel in England by Thomas Burke, London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1946, p. 104: "Some of the posting houses supplied the post-chaise as well as the horses. Lord William Lennox describes what he calls 'hack-chaises' as no fair substitute for one's own. They were not very well hung on their springs; the windows seldom fitted, but rattled all the way along like a dice-box; the floor was covered with enough straw to hold a covey of partridges; and though the vehicles were light and ran smoothly, there was the trouble of transferring your luggage to a new one at every stage. He thought the prefect mode of travelling was in your own post-chaise or britchka. Great! another type of carriage to research! :-)
Laura: I think that this last description of hired post-chaises is entirely consistent with the notion that they were generally carriages which were previously owned by the wealthy. But I also think that a post-chaise was a specific type of vehicle used only for long-distance travel, built specially by that purpose for those that could afford such luxuries. & "Travelling chariot" seems to be an earlier term, and my guess is that the post-chaise evolved from the travelling chariot, becoming lighter and more comfortable as the roads improved around the turn of the century. Also I'm not certain when the method (of changing horses) developed, and I think it's likely that travelling chaise; predates the method, and when posting became common, the term changed to post chaise.
Patricia: This term travelling chariot is not outdated for this period. There was both a Travelling chariot and a Town Chariot. They were used both in France and in England. Also: found hack-chaise in a narrative for one of Jane Austen's books. It said that a hack-chaise was the same thing as a post-chaise. Same thing, different terminology.
Laura: Here is yet a little more from Austen on post-chaises: "But why is it necessary," said Edmund," that Crawford's carriage, or his only, should be employed? Why is no use to be made of my mother's chaise? I could not, when the scheme was first mentioned the other day, understand why a visit from the family were not to be made in the carriage of the family.; "What!" cried Julia: "boxed up three in a postchaise in this weather, when we may have seats in a barouche! No, my dear Edmund, that will not quite do." Mansfield Park.
Laura: Here is yet another little quote on post-chaises, this one about George IV:
"For then while the great Fourth George was majestically reposing in his royal post-chaise in front of the old archway he experienced an unpleasant surprise. A very ungentlemanly man named Calligan, a working currier who ought to have known better, suddenly projected his head into the carriage window, and observed in a voice of thunder, "You're a murderer!" an historical illusion to the king's late treatment of Queen Caroline, which made the royal widower "sit up". Upon which a bystander named Morris knocked the personal currier down, and the window of the post-chaise was pulled up, and the post-boy told to drive on as quickly as possible. Coaching Days and Coaching Ways; by W. Outram Tristram.
- Thank you! Caroline 19:29:24 5/20/98 (3)
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