Rowland and Thomas Hill
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Before 1840, the British postal system was complex and very expensive. Letters were charged by distance and by the number of sheets of paper they contained. Normally, the postage was paid for by the recipient. A large number of items travelled free, especially letters to and from Members of both Houses of Parliament and this was frequently abused with letters from friends and family being posted under the free allowance. Sir Rowland Hill (1795–1879) was an English teacher, inventor and social reformer. He campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system based on the concept of the Uniform Penny Post which would be paid for in advance. In January 1837 he published a pamphlet 'Post Office Reform: Its Importance and Practicability'. The pamphlet was accepted by the government and in 1840 the Penny Post was introduced for all letters up to half an ounce anywhere in the UK.