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SIR ROWLAND HILL AND PENNY POSTAGE. A deputation of the Corporation of the Cltv of London, accompanied by the Town Clerk and the Chamberlain, waited on Sir Rowland Hill at his residence, Hampstead, on Friday in last week, for the purpose of presenting him with the freedom of the City In a handsome gold oasket. 8ir Rowland Hill, now 83 years of age, though in the enjoyment of his mental laeultles, was not able to visit the City, and It was thought beat to let the ceremony be of the simplest kind. Sir Rowland Hill, in replying to the deputation, spokewith deep feeling of the gratification with which he and all the members of his family received the honour which it had pleased the corporation of Lon- don to confer upon him—an honour rendered all the more gratifying by the very generous manner in which the Chamberlain had been pleased to speak of his ser- vices. Like every one elae who endeavoured to effect improvements in existing institutions, it had been his lot te encounter misrepresentation, injustice, and strenuous, though doubtless often honeat opposition but, on the other hand, there were probably few innovators who had had the good fortune which had been granted to him; to live to see his plans crowned with a success far exceeding his most sanguine ex- pectations to find former opponents converted into zealous friends and, above all, to know-as he did by that day's ceremony and by other tokens which from time to time had reached his hands that, though nearly 4Q years had passed since his plans came into operation, the public still retained a kindly remem- brance of his services to their common country, and, as had been kindly said, to the world at large. The present generation, fortunately for itself, had no practical acquaintance with the evils of the old poetal system. Probably few even of those assembled around him were aware that a lower rate of postage now carried a letter from Egypt or the farthest parts of Europe to San Frand-co than was charged in 1839 on a letter coming irom Guildhall (which they had left scarcely an hour ago) to that house, though the latter distance, as the crow flies, was scarcely four miles. The uniform penny postage system seemed, perhaps, now to many persons to be so natural and proper-50 thoroughly ia accordance with the fitness of things-that they were probably unaware how incredulous many people were 40 years ago aa to its propriety, and how narrowly the 'plan more than once essaped total shipwreck. It. might, perhaps, be interesting to them to know that when he first turned his attention to the practicability of re- forming the Post Office-thongh he was confident that the existing rates of postage were in many cases too high—he had no idea of uniformity of rate, and, so far as he was aware, no one else bad ever even suggested such a thing. Beforemaking uphis mind, however, as to what simplifications of arrangement and reductions of charge were praotioablel he set himself to analyse care- fully each item of cost in the service performed by the Post Office as regarded letters committed to its charge. In the coarse of the investigation he found that the chief items of cost were what he might call the terminal lerviC88-i.e., those of collection and delivery and it was then he discovered what was to him the astonish- ing fact that not only did the cost of conveying a letter from the town in which it originated to ita place of destination bear no proportion to the distance it had to be conveyed, but that that cost was so insignificant (only the ninth part of a farthing even for carrying a letter the 400 miles between London and Edinburgh) that it might be ignored, and that a uniform rate of postage, with its manifest advantages in simplify- ing and still further cheapening the postal arrangements, was in truth absolutely fairer than any other. So little, however, were many people prepared at that time to accept the principle of ^uniform poøtage-a change even more inconsistent with their established usages than a uniform rate .for passengers and goods by railway would probably be considered at the present time— that, even after all the evidence had been submitted to the Parliamentary Committee of 1838, that com- mittee, when th-l principle of uniformity of postage was put to the vote, was equally divided, and this question—the very essence of his Icheme-was only carried by the casting vote of the chairman—the late Mr, Robert Wallace, member for Greenock, a gentle- man, he might add, who had then already distinguished hill1øelf. for many improvements which he had effected in the details of Post Office management. When the fnrther question was put that the uniform rate should be one penny, this was rejected by the committee- only three voting in ita favour and six against it—and ipetead of the penny rate a twopenny rate of postage was recommended. He would not enter into a long explanation to show how this difficulty was ultimately overcome, and how in the end penny postage wr' conceded by the Government of the day, not so mush, he feared, from any real con. viction as to ita merits, but as a means, he believed, of securing, on a coming division, the votes of certain influential members of Parliament, whose opposition, on a question wholly unconnected with the post Office, had become dangerous to the Government. In eonclusion, he begged the deputation to convey to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London his most earnest thanks not only for the honour they had conferred upon him, but for the kind con. aideration they had shown in sending a deputation of their body to present the resolution to him there, his feeble state of health (which had kept him a prisoner in those rooms for nearly four years) preventing him from going into the City to re- ceive the freedom at their hands. In the fulness of time, when those who could still remember the incon- venience of the former postal system should have passed away, and the public, as years rolled on, should have forgotten, aa necessarily they would, everything concerning himself and the reform whioh it had fallen to his lot to effect, his son and his son's sons would still be able to point with pride to this permanent and visible token of the full and generous manner in which the corporation of the greatest city in the world had been pleased to express ita approval of his labours for the public welfare. Sir Rowland Hill then Bigned the roll of honorary citizenship, the Chamberlain observing that the archives in the City Library showed that he was the third of that name and family who had become con- nected with the city of London. The first was a direct ancestor of his and bore the same arms-viz., Sir Row- land Hill, citizen and mercer, who was Lord Mayor in 1549, a benefactor of Christ's Hospital, and founder of the Grammar School at Drayton, Salop. He was buried in the church of St. Stephen, Walbrook, and his epitaph is in Stow's Survey of London." The second was Geceral Sir Rowland Hill, who in 1814 re- ceived the honorary freedom of the City for his ser- vices at the battle of Vitoria. This brought the ceremony to a conclusion.

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