Steam packet

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Packet ships were mid-sized ships designed to run regular (and hopefully reasonably reliable) scheduled services between fixed points, to carry cargo, passengers, and parcels and mail. The name might be a reference to their use as part of mail/postal/parcel delivery services.

Steam-powered packet ships were referred to as Steam packets, and with the creation of the Chain Pier at Brighton, it was possible to run a regular Brighton-Dieppe service for people wanting to travel between London and Paris.

1826 description:


The distance from London to Paris, by the Brighton and Dieppe route, being 90 miles nearer than by Dover and Calais, many persons prefer going by this route; the distance from Brighton to Dieppe is about 27 leagues, and the voyage takes eight, or at the most, nine hours. There are two Steam Packets, which go three times a week from the Chain Pier, and return again, when the weather permits; but in rough Weather the Packets sail from Newhaven. These Packets (the Rapid and Eclipse) are fitted up extremely neat and the accommodations for passengers particularly good. The fares to and from Dieppe are reasonable.

Steam Packets to Dieppe,
Mr BLACK, Agent at Lucombe's Library.
French Vice Consul, for Sussex,
JOHN SMITH Esq., Western Place.
Office for French Passports.
Mr H. SARGANT, 16, East Cliff.

— , J. Whittemore, , Whittemore's Royal Brighton Guide, , 1826