We assume it is perfectly natural for the government to undertake the job of delivering our letters and packages. But this idea of government service was very slow in developing In ancient times in Persia and Rome, the government did arrange for the sending of messages, but these were only concerned with government business. During most of the Middle Ages, merchant guilds and associations and certain universities maintained a limited messenger service for the use of their members.
It was in the sixteenth century that governments began to have regular postal services. They had three chief reasons for doing this. One was to enable them to inspect suspicious correspondence. The second was to produce revenue. And the third was to provide a service for the public. This last reason is practically the only purpose of the postal service today.
Henry VIII had a government postal service in England, and this was enlarged by later rulers. In 1609, no one was allowed to carry letters except messengers authorized by the government. But in 1680, a London merchant started his own penny post for the city and suburbs, and it became quite successful. So the government took it over and continued the service till 1801.
Who Invented The Postal System?
Benjamin Franklin was appointed first Postmaster General in 1775.