Sunday, 31 January 2016


And finally in this alphabetic selection from Somerset we come to Yeovil, starting with a straight line handstamp from 1799.  The entire is addressed to Lord Arundell and went free.  It relates to dividing up the estate for sale and enclosed a handbill for the sale of timber.

Yeovil had a Penny Post; the following are examples of some of the receiving house handstamps starting with "No.1" which was Montacute.

Receiving House "No.2" was Stoke.

While Receiving House "No.4" was Haselbury.

And finally a cover from 1945 that I believe is associated with Yeovil - the US 159th General Hospital was at Yeovil and this letter has been sent free from there in the US Army Postal Service.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


From 1829, following the introduction of a new Post Coach, Wiveliscombe was a Bye Office.  Here are some examples of the "WIVELISCOMB" double-arc undated handstamp (note the missing "E" at the end - did they just run out of room ?

Next the same handstamp with a red Maltese Cross cancel on a 1d Black from September 1840.

Not all letters were prepaid with stamps, here are two examples from 1841 and 1842 that were prepaid in cash.

Two more examples of the Wiveliscombe Maltese Cross from 1842, with red and black "WIVELISCOMBE" double arc dated handstamps.

This sheet shows the difference between mail going from Taunton to Wiveliscombe and vice versa; the Taunton Maltese Cross and handstamps are very blurred (probably caused by dirt) while the Wiveliscombe Maltese Cross and handstamps are much clearer.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Weston-super-Mare and Wincanton

Here is an envelope from Weston-super-Mare to London in 1849 with a blue "WESTON-SUPER-MARE" circular handstamp.

Two nice examples of the "WINCANTON" double arc dated handstamp, the first from 1833 with four digits for the year and the second from 1837 with only two digits.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Here is a fairly early straight line handstamp from 1774 (there are a lot of early Wells handstamps that I do not have examples of).

Then a two-line "WELLS / S. 123" mileage mark from c.1786.  From this handstamp onwards, the Wells handstamps had an "S" or "SOMERSET" or similar to indicate it was the Wells in Somerset rather than Wells-on-Sea in Norfolk.

From 1807 here is another mileage mark, "WELLS-S / 129", with an increased measure of mileage to London.

Wells had a Penny Post with perhaps 10 receiving houses.  Here is an example from Axbridge "No.5" from 1824, one of the more common handstamps to find.

From 1829 here is a "WELLS SOMERSET" circular handstamp.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Wellington Penny Post

The Wellington Penny Post was established in 1831. Two Receiving Houses were set up, Uffculme in Devon had the "No.1" handstamp while Sampford Arundel had the "No.2".  Here are examples of the two handstamps.

Just to confuse matters, here are three entires that appear to have been written at Uffculme, based on the address inside, yet have got the "No.2" handstamp of Sampford Arundel.  The only rationale I can come up with is that the author of all three entires, the Rev. Blake, perhaps gave the letters to the messenger after he had left the Uffculme Receiving House and was on his way to Sampford Arundel, so that they received the "No.2" handstamp there.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

More Wellington

Here is an example of the straight liune "WELLINGTON" handstamp with the mileage erased from 1830.

Like other Post Towns Wellington was issued with a Maltese Cross; here is an example in red from October 1840.

After the Barred Numeral cancels Wellington used a Squared Circle cancel.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wellington early handstamps

Here are a pair of early Wellington handstamps, the first a two-line "WELL / INGTON" handstamp from 1765 (actually the third handstamp used at Wellington).

This second handstamp is also a two-line handstamp, but this time "WELLING / TON. S." from 1785.

These examples from 1787 are communications from one lawyer to another about the inability of a "Lunatic" to sign a Conveyance.

And finally a couple of examples of the Wellington boxed mileage, from 1804 and 1808.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Taunton Miscellany

Here are three varied items from Taunton, starting with a "TAUNTON / 2" skeleton from 1846.

The next item is from the Great Western Railway and is an instruction on how to deal with refunds for overstamped or cancelled telegrams.

Finally, here is an item from WWII that was initially sent from Bath to Taunton, then went around looking for the addressee, and finally was returned to the sender.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Taunton Penny Post

Here are a couple of items from the Taunton Penny Post, starting with and entire written at Combe Sydenham and going in the Taunton Penny Post in 1826.

At that time there were only three Receiving Houses in the Taunton Penny Post - Gore Inn (Bishop's Lydeard), Monksilver and Torre. There was also Dunster which was still in the Taunton Fifth Clause Post.  Combe Sydenham is two miles south of Monksilver so is very likely to have been posted there (and then received the "TAUNTON / Penny Post" handstamp on receipt in Taunton).  There is no receiving house handstamp on the entire - examples of the boxed "No.2" receiving house handstamp are extremely rare, the only ones I have found so far are from 1818/1819 when it was still in the Fifth Clause Post.

The second item from 1845 has a "Watchet / Penny Post" handstamp as well as a dated Taunton Penny Post one.  Watchet's receiving house was established in 1839.