POSTILION (through the Fr. from the Ital. posliglione) , a postboy, rider of a post-horse, hence any swift messenger, but more particularly the rider of the near horse of a vehicle drawn by two or more horses where there is no driver. The swift travelling postchaises of the 18th and early 1gth centuries were usually driven by postilions.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)