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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Carriage

The first carriage with suspension of its body by chains and ropes was developed in Europe sometime in the 13th century, for royalty and the aristocracy. It took its form primarily from the earlier two-wheeled chariots common to ancient Rome.

After the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell set up the Fellowship of Master Hackney Carriages — the official name still used for ‘black cabs’ — in 1654 in one of his first Acts of Parliament. The name is from hacquen√©e, the French term for a general-purpose horse. It literally means ‘ambling nag’.

Dalmatians were once used by aristocracy as a coach dog to trot beside carriages and protect them from highwaymen.

An 18 ton funeral carriage carried Wellington's body to St Pauls pulled by 12 dray horses. It was so ornate and heavy that it cracked the streets of London along the route

Queen Victoria always pulled her carriage curtains when she passed through rougher areas to avoid the distressing sight of a working class tenement.

The first motor insurance policies were issued in Britain in 1896 but they excluded damage caused by horses frightened by the new “horseless carriages”.

During the early 20th century, horses were creating so much pollution with their poop that cars were seen as the "green" alternative.

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost was a must-have for Edwardian Lords and Viscounts. Its luxury heralded the end of the horse and carriage as the aristocracy's preferred mode of transport.

Source Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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