Chariot

Similar to coaches, except it had room for only two front-facing passengers. This is the stereotypical carriage with four wheels and a full-enclosed body and was always driven by a coachman or postillion.

The name derived from ancient chariots.

 

State Chariot

A carriage not meant for speed but for show. They were only owned by the titled minority and used for formal occasions. They were the equivalent of the chauffeur-driven limousine.

The coachman would have driven this coach in full formal livery, with powdered wig, tricorn hat, braided livery coat, white plush breeches, white silk stockings, and silver-buckled shoes. The footmen would stand on a “footman’s cushion”, which was a padded platform behind the body. They steadied themselves by using the “footman’s holders.” The footmen would carry “wands” (silver-topped staves) that they’d use to keep the crowds away from the carriage.

  • Seats: 2 passengers + 1 coachman (for very formal occasions, 2 footmen would stand on the back)

  • Horses: 2 or 4

 

Traveling Chariot

Also known as a Post-Chaise or Post Chaise

Used for long journeys (such as a “Grand Tour” of Europe). The extension of the front of the body is known as a dormeuse boot; from the French word “sleeper”. It has folding panels inside which can be arranged to enable the passengers to stretch out at full length into the boot and sleep while traveling.

  • Seats: 2 passengers + 2 footmen or servants (postillion driven)

  • Horses: 2 or 4