Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Old Down boxed "No.15" used in November 1822

The entire below, dated 9th November 1822, has a crisp boxed "No.15" receiving house handstamp.  This handstamp was used at Old Down and this entire brings the known dates of use earlier, into 1822.  The crispness of the handstamp indicates that it was near the beginning of its life.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Westbury UDC

The "WESTBURY" undated circular handstamp (UDC) was issued on 7th December 1847 under Wells.  The example below is currently the latest known example.

In Victorian society, the width of the black mourning lines expressed the depth of loss.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Timberscombe UDC

The "TIMBERSCOMBE" undated circular handstamp (UDC) was issued on 13th August 1844 under Taunton.  The example below is currently the only recorded example, used in December 1859.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Shapwick UDC

The "SHAPWICK" undated circular handstamp (UDC) was also issued on the 8th January 1849 under Glastonbury.  It is also known in black and in blue, but I don't have any examples in blue.

The contents of the top letter are interesting:  "Mrs GH Templar will thank Mr West to send her by return of Post Five Dozen Stamps as they are not to be had in the Country Offices"

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Ashcott UDC in black and in blue

The "ASHCOTT" undated circular handstamp (UDC) was issued on 8th January 1848 under Glastonbury.  It is known used in black and in blue.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Wincanton mileage mark, 1817

Here is an example of the "WINCANTON / 118" mileage mark used in 1817, not brilliant but the first example I've managed to acquire.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Wells Registered Letter, 1849, 6d in cash

Registration was introduced in 1841 with a fee of 1s which had to be paid in cash.  On 28th March 1848 the registration fee was reduced to 6d, still required to be paid in cash.  From June 1850 Postmasters were instructed to affix stamps to letters to denote the paid Registration Fee.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Yeovil Penny Post: Boxed "No.2" in 1837, and blue cds (1849)

Stoke [-sub Hamdon] had the boxed "No.2" receiving house handstamp in the Yeovil Penny Post.  The example below is dated March 1837.

While we're on Yeovil, here is an example of the Yeovil cds (SO 1064) in blue from 1849.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Cross Penny Post: Boxed "No.4" in c.1838

The Receiving House at Cheddar used the boxed "No.4" handstamp firstly in the Wells Penny Post from 1816 and then in the Cross Penny Post after it was established in 1827.  The undated item below went in the Cross Penny Post from Cheddar ("No.4") to Banwell (which had the boxed "No.3" handstamp).

Because the "Cross / Penny Post" is in blue/green, the piece must date from 1837-1839.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Bridg(e)water Penny Post: Unboxed "No.3" in 1843

The unboxed "No.3" receiving house handstamp in the Bridg(e)water Penny Post is thought to have been at Highbridge, and the handstamp is known in use from 1842 to 1845.  The example below is to Bristol in February 1843.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Bath Penny Post: Boxed "No.3" in 1830

The boxed "No.3" receiving house handstamp was used at Walcot/Grosvenor.  The first recorded use was in 1816, it is then known from 1823 to 1830, and finally in 1840.  It may have been in continuouse use through this period but not too many examples are known.

The entire below is from 17 Beaufort Buildings to Westminster in May 1830.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

20th century Bishop's Lydeard

Bishop's Lydeard, six miles north-west of its post town, Taunton, was in the Taunton Fifth Cluase Post from 1808 and then the Penny Post.  This post covers some 20th century cancels.

The first sheet below has a postcard cancelled with a single ring from 1907 and a curious double circle cancel from 1935.

This next sheet has two different 'Dulwich' cancels (double circle double-arc cancels first issued to Dulwich), the first from 1927 predating the bottom cancel on the sheet above, and the second on two letter cards from 1980.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Lynton in the Minehead Penny Post

The cover below is one of the "missing links", with a "LYNTON" undated circular handstamp on a cover in the Minehead Penny Post going to London in 1837.  It has been known that Lynton was in the Minehead Penny Post and covers from Lynton (or Lynmouth) in the Minehead Penny Post have been found, but this is the first cover recorded that has an identifiable Lynton handstamp on it.

I'm looking for covers from the 1832-1835 period when the "LYNTON" udc is known in use, to see if these are also in the Minehead Penny Post.  Unfortunately the only one I have found so far, from June 1835, does not have a recognisable UDC, but does have a circular "smudge of approximately the right size. 

If you have an example of the Lynton udc on cover, then please do send me a scan.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

"CREWK / ERN" handstamp from 1782

The "CREWK / ERN" handstamp below is used in September 1782.  Measuring 26½ x 12 mm, it is either a new handstamp for the British County Catalogue, a late usage of SO 385, 26x12 mm, in use 1759-1761, which has previously only been known in Archives, or an early use of SO 395, 27x12 mm, in use 1788.

From 1740 to 1761 there are three "CREWK / ERN" handstamps that are all only known in Archives.  The first two are both known in 1740 (29x12 mm, 27x13 mm) and the third is SO 385 (26x12 mm), known in use 1759-1761.

Given the clarity and crispness of the handstamp illustrated above, it seems unlikely that it is a late use of one of these early Archive-only handstamps.

Unfortunately I do not currently have an example of SO 395 (known in  1788) to compare to the 1782 handstamp illustrated above to check if the handstamps are same or if the one above is new.

As a further twist to the list of early Crewkerne handstamps, between 1782, when the above handstamp was applied, and 1788, when SO 395 is known, there are three handstamps in the British County Catalogue:
  • SO 389, 38x16 mm, in use 1783-1784,
  • SO 391, an early mileage mark, in use 1784-1785, and
  • SO 393, 38x16 mm, in use 1788.
It appears very likely that SO 389 and SO 393 are the same handstamp, either being brought back into use after the mileage mark, or in use throughout the period from 1783 to 1788.  When overlaying an example of SO 389 on an example of SO 393 they match very well (with the later example showing signs of wear).

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Walton late-format UDC, from November 1859

The late-format UDC below from Walton is previously unrecorded.  It was used in November 1859, just a little before the latest recorded usage of UDCs in Somerset of 13th March 1860.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Milverton UDC in blue from January 1850

Here is an example of the Milverton UDC in blue from 27th January 1850 - it is known in blue between 21st January 1850 and July 1852, and in black from December 1844 to June 1852.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Stogursey and Cannington UDCs

The wrapper illustrated below has a black Cannington UDC on the front and a red/orange Stogursey UDC on the reverse - the letter from October 1847 would have originated in Stogursey and picked up the Cannington UDC on its way through Bridgwater (their post town) to Yeovil.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Milborne Port UDC under Sherborne

The cover below has a "MILBORNE-PORT" undated circular handstamp from 1846.  The UDC was issued under Sherborne.

The cover does not go through Sherborne but has picked up a Blandford [Forum] dated Penny Post handstamp on the reverse - was this because Milborne Port did not have a dated handstamp even though it did have a barred numeral cancel ?

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Gillingham in Dorset, UDC under Wincanton

This is another cover associated with Wincanton, bearing a "GILLINGHAM" undated circular handstamp that was issued in 1846 under Wincanton.

This is currently the earliest recorded example of this UDC.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Wincanton Penny Post ?

The sheet below has two covers from after the introduction of the Uniform Penny Post with Receiving House handstamps going through Wincanton. 

Oxley in his book "The English Provincial Local Posts" identifies Wincanton as having a Penny Post with a receiving house at Bourton in use by 1838.  The top cover below is from Bourton with an ornate "No.2" receiving house handstamp.  The lower cover is from Stalbridge with an unboxed "No.7" receiving house handstamp, which was in use at Stalbridge in the Shaftesbury Penny Post.  It appears from this cover that Stalbridge transferred from Shaftesbury to Wincanton by 1843.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Burnham Parcel Post

Below are two Parcel Post labels for Burnham (later Burnham-on-Sea).  The top one is of the first type of Parcel Post labels issued:  it is headed "PARCELS POST." rather than the later "PARCEL POST.". 

Both parcel post labels have interesting stamps, the top with a 6d on 6d lilac from 1883 and the second a 4½d green & deep bright carmine jubilee from 1887.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Wellington: "Your Correct Postal Address is ...."

The envelope below was addressed to "Gorbestone Manor", West Buckland, Wellington in 1949.  West Buckland is the village that is historically associated with Gorbestone Manor, but by 1949 the postal address had altered to Blackmoor as evidenced by this cover.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

"FROOME" free front in 1793

The free front below went from Frome to Seend near Devizes in May 1793.  This "FROOME" handstamp was only known used in 1793.

However the entire below from Frome to Bristol on 1st September 1795 has a degraded copy of the same handstamp (compared using scans).

The contents are an interesting begging letter from a Curate.