WOVEN IN SILK BY THOMAS STEVENS, INVENTOR AND MANUFACTURER,COVENTRY AND LONDON, (REGISTERED)
It was not until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that regular coaches were introduced into England. The 16th Century saw the establishment of private coaches. The 17th Century saw the introduction of stagecoaches and the 19th Century that of the railway. The early roads were in such an appalling state that the centre was the only firm surface; there were deep ruts full of mud or dust on either side. Before the introduction of coaches, the Thames was the chief highway to London and the coach was looked at with very unfavourable glances by the watermen as later was the steam-engine by the stage-coachmen, who used to sing 'Let the steam pot hiss till it's hot, Give me the speed of the Tantivy Trot.'
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