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).