ABOUT 1832 the mail to Glasgow took
on an average fortyfour hours to the journey, and 180 horses were used in
all—four in hand.
The following incident of
unprecedented expedition in bringing to Glasgow the news of the second
reading in the House of Peers of the Reform in Parliament Bill is worthy
of record. Their lordships divided at twenty-five minutes to seven o’clock
on the morning of Saturday, the 14th of April, 1832, when it appeared
there were—contents, 184; non-contents, 175; majority for the bill, 9. Mr.
Young, the editor of the Sun
newspaper (old Sun),
left the Strand (London) at twenty minutes to eight o’clock, and arrived
in Miller Street, Glasgow, on Sunday evening at half-past seven o’clock,
at the house of his agent, Mr. Thomas Atkinson, of 84 Trongate, who was
succeeded in business there by Mr. Andrew Ruthergien, subsequently in
Buchanan Street, near to where Mr. David Bryce now is.
Mr. Young travelled in a post-chaise
and four, with copies of his paper containing no less than twenty-two and
a half columns of the debate, little more than an hour being occupied in
setting up the types and in correcting and printing the paper. The
journey, including all stoppages, was accomplished in thirty-five hours
and fifty minutes. When it is considered that the usual time taken for the
mail was then forty-four hours, although horses were always in readiness
for it, while with expresses delays were inevitable, and that in this
instance newspapers were given out at every town on the way, the feat is
all the more remarkable.
The journey of the editor spoke
volumes for the Whiggism and the enterprise of the proprietors of the
Sun and their editor. The record sayeth not whether the editor was met
on the way by the fleet-mounted Mr. Atkinson, according to his habit in
riding out to meet the mail, a zeal and enterprise which earned for him
from the poet Motherwell the sobriquet of the