Sunday, 29 April 2012

More on Bath "No.1" Receiving House

The initial establishment of the Bath Penny Post in 1810 (after an experimental Fifth Clause Post in 1804-5 that was dropped because it ran at a loss) was announced in a Post Office Notice in the Bath Chronicle on 18th September 1810.
 The initial Walks in the Penny Post were as shown on the map below (taken from an article in the S&DPHG Journal by Mike Welch, based on information in the Post Office Archives).
Walk No.1 "commences in Sydney Place, passes along Bathwick Street, across the ferry, along the farther part of Walcot, Kensington Place, Grosvenor Place, Lambridge, Batheaston and Bathford".

Most of the mail that has survived from the Bath Penny Post is some years after its initial establishment.  The vignette below is from a much larger map of 1838 and shows the Bath Penny Post.

Oxley ("The English Provincial Local Posts 1765-1840") has identified Batheaston as Receiving House No.2 while others have evidence that Walcot/Grosvenor was No.3.
Based on the above I suggest that it is possible that Receiving House No.1 was at Bathford.  The initial walk in 1810 suggests that it could have been, at least in the early days, while the vignette from 1838 suggests that Bathford was still a Receiving House then.
Another candidate for RH No.1 is Bathampton, but it does not appear to have been a centre of population in the 1800s - Pigot's 1844 Directory of Somerset does not list any tradespeople in Bathampton whereas there are 19 entries for Bathford.  The early Ordnance Survey maps of 1884-7 show Bathampton as a small hamlet while Bathford looks more substantial.

One factor possibly in favour of Bathampton is that Hampton Manor (now Bathampton Manor) was to the north-west side of Bathampton (over the river from Batheaston) - it is possible that the occupant of the Manor warranted the establishment of a Receiving House there.  However there has been a toll-bridge near the Manor since the 18th century giving access to Batheaston which also had a Receiving House, so perhaps Bathampton Manor wouldn't be enough to justify a Receiving House.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bridgwater Penny Post

The Bridgewater Penny Post was initially established in 1809, being converted from a Fifth Clause Post to Stowey.  The following sheets show some examples of the handstamps.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Philatex Spring 2012 - Bath No.1 Receiving House ?

I've just come back from Philatex, a fair specialising more in Postal History than Stamps that has been held twice yearly in the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster.  I had a very successful time, managing to spend somewhat more than my "allowance" in less than an hour !  Unfortunately I gather this was probably the last fair as the venue has been sold and will no longer be available.

One acquisition is a bit of a mystery to me - it is a Bath Penny Post from January 1836 (no day of the month in the penny post cancel, dated 19th January in a Bath double-arc cancel on the reverse) with an unframed "No.1" cancel. 
 I presume this is from the Bath Receiving House, but which one had the "No.1" cancel ?  The address inside is Beckington but according to Oxley Beckington was No. 6. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bridgwater - Cancels with Mileage

The first sheet has a straight line cancel with a boxed mileage from 1804 and a partial example with the mileage removed from 1829.
This is followed by a circular cancel with mileage (on an entire franked Free) from 1826.
And finally a couple of examples of circular double-arc cancels without mileage from 1834.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bridgwater - Straight Line cancels

"Bridgwater" or Bridgewater ?  There was no middle "E" in the handstamps for "BRIDG(E)WATER", Somerset before 1755;  there was an "E" in the middle between 1755 and 1844, then there was no "E" from 1844 onwards.

The introduction below is taken from Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory of Somerset, 1844.
 The first cancels for Bridgwater are recorded in the British County Catalogue as being in use  from 1705.  Unfortunately I don't have any examples (!), the earliest example I have being from 1744-1747.
The following are a couple of examples of post to Bridgwater, the second with a London Receiver's mark ("Partington").

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Castle Cary in the Shaftesbury Fifth Clause Post

A recent acquisition, I think this is the last Fifth Clause Post cancel for Bruton and Castle Cary under the Shaftesbury, Shepton Mallet and Wincanton Fifth Clause Posts and for Wincanton under the Shaftesbury Post.

The sheet below shows an entire from Castle Cary ("No.2" Receiving House) to Sherborne via the Shaftesbury Fifth Clause Post, sent in June 1829 (a few months before Castle Cary switched to the newly-established Wincanton Fifth Clause Post - see previous post).

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Castle Cary in the Wincanton Fifth Clause Post

From 1823 Castle Cary (and Bruton) was in the Shaftesbury Fifth Clause Post (for mail to London) and in the Shepton Mallet Fifth Clause Post (for mail to the north).  From 1830 the Wincanton Fifth Clause Post was used rather than the Shaftesbury Post  (Wincanton had become a Post Town as a result of a new post route).

Castle Cary was Receiving House No.2 in all the Fifth Clause Posts (Shaftesbury, Shepton Mallet and Wincanton).  The following two sheets show examples in the Wincanton Fifth Clause Post, one with an unframed "Wincanton / 5th Cl:Post" handstamp from 1830 and one with a framed  handstamp from 1831.

The use of the unframed handstamp for Castle Cary post is unusual;  this handstamp was normally used at Bruton but in the early months of the Wincanton Fifth Clause Post, before the framed handstamp arrived, it is thought that the handstamp was usued centrally at Wincanton for post from both towns.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Crewkerne (part 3 of 3)

A selection of cancels from Crewkerne fom 1841 to 1905.
And finally a Parcel Post label cancelled with a "CREWKERNE / M.O & S.B" single ring cancel ("Money Order and Savings Bank") from 1903.  Unfortunately the stamp is not original.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Crewkerne (part 2 of 3)

Crewkerne had a Penny Post from 1823.  Although not entirely accurate for the historical roads, I find using the internet to trace the routes and approximate mileages very useful.
Some examples of Penny Post from Beaminster (in Dorset).  Beaminster was the "No.1" Receiving House.