Sir Rowland Hill was born in 1795 in Worcestershire. He was originally a teacher in Bruce Castle in northern London. Over time he became bored with teaching and turned his mind towards invention. The only thing he ever invented that had any success at all was the adhesive postage stamp. He outlined the new stamp in his paper, "Postal Reform; its Importance and Practibility", which was sent to Lord Melbourne. The adhesive stamp was finally adopted in 1839, after several years and many revisions of his original idea.

From 1840 to 1864 Rowland served in various postions in England's postal system. He was knighted in 1860 by Queen Victoria, (for his "Service to the empire"). Rowland died in 1879, (at the age of 84), and was buried in Westminster Abbey.