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Barouche carriages were known for their elegance and expense. These four-wheeled vehicles had a cabriolet top light construction. They were only suitable for good weather in the spring, summer, and early autumn. The carriage was built to be driven by a coachman. As you can see from the images, the sides were low enabling the inhabitants to see and be seen.

Barouche 1

 

barouche 2

 

 

 

The barouche was generally used in Town. If driven in the country the roads would have to be very good.

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The Landau

A Landau was an elegant carriage used mostly by those who liked to ride with friends and wanted to be seen. The carriage had low sides for visibility (of the passengers) and often had a convertible top. They were driven by a coachman and powered by a pair, or a team of four horses. Landaus were typically quite elegant. A description of one is below.

Landau’s were popular during the Grand Strut in the Park (Hyde Park). The earliest mention of a landau was in the late 18th century.

morning-post-landau

Landau 2

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For those who didn’t need the space of a traveling coach, there was the travelling chariot. What was the difference between a chariot and a coach? The size and weight. A chariot was made for one or, at the most two people traveling. For distances, it would be pulled by a team of four horses. Otherwise, it could be pulled by a pair.

An unmarried lady would not be able to ride in a chariot with a gentleman who was not her brother, father, uncle, or guardian.

Travelling chariot 2 - Red House Stables

Inside a travelling chariot 2 - Red House Stables

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tillburyThe Tillbury

In 1820 the carriage maker Tillbury developed a sporting vehicle by the same name. The Tillbury had no boot, making it unsuitable for carrying anything. It also had a rib-chair body. It was a popular carriage for rough roads as it was supported on seven springs. Unlike a gig, it could be driven with one horse.

If you’re a Georgette Heyer reader, you might remember that in The Grand Sophy, she take her cousin’s new Tillbury for a joy-ride.

As with the other sporting vehicles, a chaperone was not needed.

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Curricle 2

The Curricle

For those who didn’t feel the need to challenge their driving skills, or wanted a more stable vehicle, there was the curricle. It was light, had only a single axle and two wheels. It was large enough for the driver and one other passenger. Many curricles had cabriolet tops that could be raised in the event of rain. A curricle was typically driven by a matched pair.

Curricle 1

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High Perched Phaeton
As I mentioned in the last post, both ladies and gentlemen drove sporting carriages. The one thing sporting vehicles all had in common was that they were driven by the lady or gentleman, not by a coachman. Therefore, a lady did not require a groom or other chaperone.
Sporting carriages were divided into two groups, those that were typically driven in the country and those usually driven in Town. We’ll discuss Town carriages first.
The most fashionable, and hardest to drive properly, was the high-perched phaeton. It had no convertible top like many of the other carriages had. The frame was light and hung over two large wheels in the back and two smaller wheels in the front. The distance to the floor of the carriage could easily be five feet. The carriage could be driven by one horse, but if one wished to be known as a “notable whip”, one drove the carriage with a pair. High-perched phaetons were notorious for being easy to tip over, especially when rounding corners.
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I have a cover and a release date (29 February) for Believe in Me!! And it’s on pre-order

Marriage has worked out quite nicely for her older sisters, yet Lady Augusta Vivers is certain it would end her studies in languages and geography, and stop her from travelling. But when her mother thwarts her plan to attend the only university in Europe that accepts women—in Italy—she is forced to agree to one London Season. Spending her time at parties proves an empty diversion—until she encounters the well-traveled Lord Phineas Carter-Wood. Still, Europe awaits . . .

Phineas has studied architecture all over the world, yet Augusta is his most intriguing discovery yet. How can he resist a woman who loves maps and far-off lands? But her longing for all things foreign hinders any hope of courtship. When he learns her cousins have offered a trip to Europe, he secretly arranges to join their party. For he is determined to show Augusta that a real union is a thrilling adventure of its own. And when their journey is beset by dangerous obstacles, he gets far more opportunity than he bargained for . . .

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