Royal Mail Celebrate 500th Anniversary Year

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2016 commemorates 500 years since Henry VIII knighted Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, in 1516.

As you would expect from any institution that has been around for 500 years, there are a number of significant dates in Royal Mail’s history. The knighting of Brian Tuke was the catalyst for the creation of the Royal Mail we know today.

Despite the arrival of faxes and then email influencing the decline of letter post, today Royal Mail is the catalyst for ecommerce and parcel post. Many sellers start out using Royal Mail’s services exclusively and although couriers are a common part of most people’s online businesses, very few don’t still have a Royal Mail account for their lighter parcels.

To celebrate their 500th anniversary, Royal Mail is working in close partnership with its heritage partner, the British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA), to create an online gallery of 500 objects, people and events telling the story not only of the postal service but also of Royal Mail’s contribution to social and political development over the last 500 years.

Whilst the company continues to change and modernise it is still an integral part of British Culture. There aren’t many buildings, let alone institutions, dating back to Tudor times and as a footnote for my colleague Dan, the Royal Mail was established 48 years before the birth of Shakespeare. To put it into perspective, it’s unlikely anyone reading this will see Royal Mail’s 600th anniversary and not even your great-great-great-great-grandchildren will be around to see their 1000 year celebrations.

Congratulations to Royal Mail as they enter their historic 500th year.

The movement of mail

We are proud to celebrate the heritage of this great company. The history of the postal service in the UK reflects the tremendous societal and political change that has taken us from sixteenth century Tudor England to the United Kingdom today.

In all its guises, Royal Mail has been responsible for a number of world firsts – the Penny Black stamp and the first ever airmail flight to name just two. It has also changed almost beyond recognition, from a small group of King’s Messengers in those early days to a national network connecting consumers, companies and communities across the UK today.

Against this backdrop of continued change, Royal Mail’s people have been a constant presence. They are the heart of this company. I hope that, through them, we will continue to deliver the Universal Service and play an instrumental role in people’s lives for many years to come.

– Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail

3 Responses

  1. 500 years as a great service then came David camron not even Margaret t would have done what he has

  2. Why don’t Royal Mail promote their collection service? I receive regular requests from buyers for a Royal Mail shipment in preference to Hermes and others as if buyers are not in when delivery attempted they can collect from a local post office. In addition from 4th January RM terms have changed so they will now deliver to a next door neighbour if possible. Whilst ebay and others are heavily promoting collection services they overlook the fact that Royal Mail have 11000 pick up points! This seems like poor marketing both by ebay and Royal Mail. ebay would be better off getting into bed with Royal Mail than Argos and all sellers offering Royal Mail shipping should receive promotion in ebay search or at least have an equivalent standing to “click and collect”.


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