In the 19th century the British usually referred to mail as being letters that were being sent abroad (i.e. The practice of communication by written documents carried by an intermediary from one person or place to another almost certainly dates back nearly to the invention of writing.

on a ship), and post as letters that were for localized delivery; in the UK the Royal Mail delivers the post, while in the U. However, development of formal postal systems occurred much later.

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Later this system underwent complete modernization when the British Raj established its full control over India.

The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 provided that the Governor-General of India in Council had the exclusive right of conveying letters by post for hire within the territories of the East India Company.

The postmaster, the head of the intelligence service, was responsible for ensuring the maintenance of the courier system.

Couriers were also used to deliver personal letters.

Postal authorities often have functions other than transporting letters.

In some countries, a postal, telegraph and telephone (PTT) service oversees the postal system, in addition to telephone and telegraph systems.The role of the system as an intelligence gathering apparatus is well documented, and the service was (later) called angariae, a term that in time came to indicate a tax system.The Old Testament (Esther, VIII) makes mention of this system: Ahasuerus, king of Medes, used couriers for communicating his decisions.A postal service can be private or public, though many governments place restrictions on private systems.Since the mid-19th century, national postal systems have generally been established as government monopolies with a fee on the article prepaid.Some countries' postal systems allow for savings accounts and handle applications for passports.