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Hanson Cab Drivers

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Roboman Report 17 Oct 2012 13:40

My G. Great grandfather was a Cab driver in 1866 and his father was a 'Cab Master' in Surrey. Is there anyway I can find out about them in , say , a trade registry or licence records? Their names were William John Reed and William Reed. What was a 'Cab Master'? Any help would be appreciated. Roger :-)


Andrew Report 17 Oct 2012 13:59




Roboman Report 18 Oct 2012 19:06

Many thanks, Andy. I did come across this link but, no doubt due my ignorance, I didn't find it lead me anywhere other than the history of the hackney carriage - not the individuals.

I found in my late mother's papers the following extract: "William John Reed drove Hanson Cabs and had a great love of horses. He was Charles Dickens favourite driver, often taking him home when he wasn't in a state to pay his fare but he always paid later. If any of the horses were ill or fallen, which often happened on the roads of those days, he was always sent for and knew how to get them back always with kindness and understanding. He could tell you the pedigree of every racehorse & jockey - but he was not a betting man."
Needless to say I would like to know more about him and where he worked.

Again many thanks



Ivy Report 18 Oct 2012 22:56

I've had a look on the London Metropolitan Archives website. I came across this pdf document:

46 Vehicle registration and licensing records.pdf

which describes the types of records that might be relevant, the periods they were kept, whether they have survived, and if so, where they are kept now.


mgnv Report 18 Oct 2012 23:02

Incidentally, the normal spelling is Hansom:

The hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom safety cab, it was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low centre of gravity for safe cornering. Hansom's original design was modified by John Chapman and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name.

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 19 Oct 2012 00:04


Could you post a link for '46 Vehicle registration and licensing records.pdf'

I have just spent a good while trying to track it down on the LMA website without success.

I have a long(ish) line of Cab Drivers and Masters and it could be useful.


Edit....Found through Google


Ivy Report 19 Oct 2012 00:07

Chris, I am sorry - the url was so long that I thought just posting the pdf end of it would suffice - I should have remembered tinyurl, sorry - I'm glad you have found it now

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 19 Oct 2012 00:51


No problem.

I am very grateful that you found the factsheet.

I hadn't considered that they would be subject to legislation so it opens further areas of background research for me.

Many thanks


Roboman Report 22 Oct 2012 19:10


Many thanks for the fact sheet. Have printed the pdf and will study it to see where I go next!

Chris, if you have any luck with tracing records of Cab drivers and Cab Masters(/) in the 1860s, I would be grateful if you could point me in the right direction.

Best wishes
Roger :-)