Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Postal Rate Change between May 1839 and February 1840

This sheet with three letters, all going from Monksilver to Tiverton, illustrates the change in postal charges that happened in a nine month period from May 1839 to February 1840.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

1834 Sale

Sometimes it is the contents that are more interesting than the postal markings.  Here is an entire from Monksilver to Wiveliscombe in September 1834, with a blurred unboxed "No.10" receiving house handstamp and a Taunton dated Penny Post handstamp.

The contents are a letter detailing the contents of an upcoming sale.

Half the items are somewhat agricultural ... Horse, Harness, Colt ... a Sull is a plow ...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Taunton Penny Post - post-1828 but too early for receiving house handstamps

Here are a couple of examples of entires in the Taunton Penny Post that were too early for the post-1828 receiving house handstamps.  The first is from Crowcombe from March 1828, which a little later had the unboxed "No.3" receiving house handstamp.

The next is from Williton from February 1828, that a little later had the unboxed "No.6" handstamp.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Early Taunton Penny Post

Some more examples of the early Taunton Penny Post, beginning with an entire from 1820 written from [Bishops] Lydeard, showing a faint boxed "No.1" handstamp.

And a further example from 1826 ...

Next two examples of the boxed "No.3" handstamp from Torre, both from 1826.  The top example does not have a "TAUNTON / Penny Post" handstamp and was addressed to Stogumber, another receiving house in the Taunton Penny Post, so it probably went direct without going into Taunton and back.

And finally an entire from 1824, written in Stogumber and addressed to Wells.  At this time Stogumber was served by a messenger to and from the Taunton-Minehead ride, the cost of which was an additional 1d paid by the inhabitants of Stogumber on top of the Penny Post.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Franking Privilege and the Penny Post

An MP had the franking privilege while he was an MP and while Parliament was sitting.  This allowed him free postage in the General Post, either on mail that he had franked (signed) or that was addressed to him.  However the franking privilege did not apply to Penny Posts which had to be paid.

Here are two examples in the Taunton Penny Post, the top from 1817 when Sir Thomas Buckler Lethbridge was not the MP for Somerset, so he had to pay the full postage (10d in the General Post plus 1d in the Penny Post), and the bottom from 1821 when he was an MP, so he only had to pay the Penny Post.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Bampton and Dulverton in the Taunton Penny Post

In the early 1820s Bampton and Dulverton were Penny Post Receiving Houses for Tiverton, Bampton being "No.1" and Dulverton "No.2", served by a Horse Post from Tiverton to Bampton and a Foot Messenger from Bampton to Dulverton. 

With the establishment of a Mail Coach between Taunton and Barnstaple in 1827 the Horse Post between Tiverton and Bampton was abolished and the letters were taken to Taunton instead.  From 1827 until February 1829 Bampton and Dulverton appear in the Taunton Penny Post using boxed "No.1" and "No.2" handstamps respectively. 

Firstly here are some examples of the Bampton "No.1" handstamp used in the Taunton Penny Post, one from 1827 and two from 1828.  All the examples are written in Morebath, two miles north of Bampton.

Next, here is an entire from Dulverton used in the Tiverton Penny Post in 1826, with the boxed "No.2" handstamp.

And finally here are some entires from Dulverton in the Taunton Penny Post, with the same boxed "No.2" handstamp, one from 1827 and two from 1828.

In February 1829 Bampton was made a bye-letter office while Dulverton became a sub-office so that they were no longer in the Taunton Penny Post.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

UDCs from Hatch [Beauchamp], Sidcote and Stapleton

Another three UDCs, firstly one in blue from Hatch [Beauchamp] which was issued under Ilminster in June 1845.  An example in yellow is known from September 1845, another in red in 1846 and it is known in blue between February 1848 and November 1855. but was used under Taunton.  By 1846 Hatch Beauchamp had transferred to Taunton so all the examples in blue are under Taunton.

Next an example of the Sidcote UDC from May 1849.  The UDC was issued in December 1847 under Wells and is known used between July 1848 and June 1849.  The reverse has a Bristol double arc dated handstamp with two breaks cut in the arcs, other examples of which are transit marks from Bristol Temple Meads station.

Finally a Stapleton UDC from March 1855 which is later than the end of the previously known usage (March 1845 to July 1854).

Sunday, 4 October 2015

UDCs from [Nether] Stowey, Trull and Winsford

First a Stowey UDC in red from February 1849.  It is known in red from August 1846 to May 1849.

Next a Stowey UDC in  blue-green from September 1855.  This is the example that was recorded as being in green but could have been in blue bearing in mind the discolouration of other handstamps on the entire.  Whichever colour the UDC is (blue or green), it is currently the latest known example.

This Trull UDC from December 1852 in black is currently the only known example.

An finally a small Winsford UDC from March 1858 in blue.  This is currently the latest known example.