Back in coaching days, people who could read had generally received a more classical education than later generations, including our own. The books about coaching contain many Latin expressions which are very rarely translated. Readers in those days were obviously expected to be familiar with basic Latin.
Here’s an example from the book Stagecoach and Mail in Days of Yore:
“In illustration of the usual speed of travelling in 1766, Lord Eldon states that when he left school in that year to go to Oxford, he came up from Newcastle to London in a coach which was called ‘a fly,’ on account of its quick travelling, as it was then thought, but he was three or four days and nights upon the road.
There was no such velocity as to endanger overturning or other mischief; and as a sort of apology for its pace there was printed on the panel of the carriage the phrase: ‘Sat cito, si sat bene’.
The impression made by this sentence upon the mind of the embryo chancellor was heightened by a circumstance which occurred upon the journey.
A Quaker fellow-traveller called the chambermaid to the coach door and gave her sixpence, telling her that he forgot to give it to her when he slept there two years before.
Young Scott, who was not characterised by overmuch bashfulness, said to him : “Friend, have you seen the motto on this coach?’ ‘No!’ ‘Then look at it, for I think giving her only sixpence
now is neither ‘sat cito,’ nor ‘sat bene.’ ”
Section 1 Menu
The Age of Coaching
Introducing a world of horse-drawn public transport
Beginning to End
How long did the Great Age of Coaching Last?
Coaches to All Parts
The world of coach travel - surprisingly familiar; just slower and wetter.
A list of destinations which is remarkably familiar to the modern day traveller.
What was it like to travel by coach on a winter’s day. Come on the first stage of a journey from London to Stamford.
Driving a Mail Coach
Mail coaches were the high speed elite. What was it like to drive them?
Two Short Videos
Although we have no films from the time, modern producers have imagined coach travel for us.
Comparing rail and coach travel in 1888!
Things didn’t always go smoothly and this amusing incident took place on the Great North Road.
A recollection of life in London before taxi cabs, policemen and even electricity.
The northern coaches all stopped here to pick up passengers. The scene was amazing.
One of the many hazards that could be encountered was flood water. This is near St Neots.
A description of the London termini from which coaches ran
A list of London coaching inns and where you could travel to from each.
Tales of the Road: This section tells what was it like to travel by stage coach in the mid 1800s.
Travel in England is inseparably connected to the state of our roads. This section looks at the history of British roads.
Wheeled transport evolved over many years. This section looks at how coaches developed.
Home Page of the Coaching Website.