Wednesday, 23 June 2021

"GLASTONBURY" 23mm & 20mm single ring datestamps, 1873 & 1883

Here are a couple of single ring datestamps from Glastonbury, the first from August 1873 is 23mm in diameter, while the second from 1883 is 20mm in diameter.

This first entire was addressed to Shapwick, Glastonbury but by the time of the entire Shapwick had been transferred to come under Bridgwater.

This second example seems to have been mis-sorted at Somerton, going west to Langport rather than directly north to Glastonbury.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Pensford "001." 3VOS cancels on 1884 letter to France

The envelope below from Pensford to France in November 1884 bears multiple "001." 3-bar vertical oval cancels.  This cancel was issued to Pensford on 21st September 1878 and is recorded used from March 1883 to August 1886.  The envelope is franked with 2½d of stamps, that being the UPU overseas rate from 1st July 1875.

 The envelope has an impressed address of "FARMBOROUGH RECTORY, BATH" on the reverse.  Farmborough is about four miles from Pensford.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Bristol Receipt October 1909 - J.H. Mogg Dealer in Works of Arts, Antiquities, Paintings, Furniture &c. at 3 Park Street

 A sideline that I've been increasingly dabbling with during Lockdown is that of commercial Invoices or Receipts that have a fancy billhead, as shown in the item below from J.H. Mogg whose premises were at 3 Park Street.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Axbridge in the Wells Penny Post, 1825

A pair of covers from September and December 1825 sent from Axbridge to London, going via the Wells Penny Post.  Axbridge had a boxed "No.5" receiving house handstamp but mainly used the straight-line "AXBRIDGE" handstamp.  It as also receiving house "No.1" in the Cross Penny Post.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Taunton Maltese Cross with Eye of Providence seal

Here is another example of a black Taunton Maltese Cross from February 1841 (the same date as the second cover on the previous sheet).  This wrapper is distinguished by the small seal which bears the all seeing Eye of Providence. 

This symbol has been part of masonic iconography from 1797 and appears on the reverse of US dollar bills at the top of a pyramid.


Sunday, 6 June 2021

Penny Blacks with Taunton Maltese Crosses in Red 1840 and Black 1841

Here are two wrappers, one from September 1840 and the second from February 1841.  Both bear Penny Black stamps, the first with a red Maltese Cross cancel and the second a black cancel.

In February 1841 the 1d red was introduced and the colour of the cancels was changed from red to black.

Both entires also have a "TAUNTON" double-arc datestamp, the first without a code letter and the second with one.  The code letter was introducted early in 1841.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Glastonbury Penny Post 1838, "No.5" receiving house handstamp from Butleigh

 Here is a nice cover from 1825, sent from Butleigh ("No.5" in the Glastonbury Penny Post) to Pontefract, with receiving house, penny post and town handstamps.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Taunton Flood in October 1960.

 Overnight on the 26th/27th October 1960 the River Tone burst its banks and severly flooded the north of Taunton.  The envelope below lost its stamp and received a rubber "S.S.O. TAUNTON / SOMERSET" handstamp and a form attached explaining the flood damage.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Entire from Oakhill to Lincolnshire, 1821

The entire below went from Old Down to Bath in the Penny Post, and then to London and Louth in Lincolnshire.  It was written in Oakhill, three miles south of Old Down.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

"Not to be Found" Bath 1901, with postmen's initials

 The letter below was just addressed "Sir Reginald Pelgrave, Bath" and the Post Office was unable to deliver it.  The envelope received 26 sets of initials on the back (presumably from the postmen of various rounds) before getting the "Not to be found / 53" cachet and a red manuscript "Unknown" with initials.

The "SWANAGE / DORSET" skeleton is known used from 1st June to 10th September 1901.

If the envelope had been addressed to Salisbury rather than Bath it might have found Sir Reginald Palgrave.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Fourpenny Uniform Post, Bardon near Washford to Chard, December 1839

 The Uniform Fourpenny Post was introduced on 5th December 1839 and lasted until 9th January 1840, when, at popular demand, the Uniform Penny Post was introduced earlier than planned.  Postage stamps (eg. the "Penny Black") were not introduced until the 6th May 1840.

The entire below was posted on 10th December 1839 and was charged 4d, rather than 1d for the Penny Post from Washford to Taunton (the local penny post that existed prior to 1840) plus 5d for Taunton to Chard in the General Post.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Freshford / Bath skeleton cancel used on 22nd February 1912

 Skeleton cancels are employed at post offices when their cancellers break, are changed, or perhaps are temporarily mislaid.  The "FRESHFORD / BATH" skeleton below is currently only known used on 22nd February 1912.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Blue Ashcott UDC 1853, with multiple coloured handstamps

 Here is another example of colourful handstamps - the entire below has gone from Pedwell near Ashcott, where it received a blue Ashcott UDC, to Worcester, where it received a red cds in 1853.  In between it picked up yellow or orange transit marks at Glastonbury and Bath.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Dunster to Stogumber February 1828 - Updated

 From January 1828, primarily because of a new turnpike road between Taunton and Minehead, the Taunton Penny Posts were reorganised.  The entire below from Dunster to Stogumber dated February 1828 is from a period of transition for Stogumber and appears to have been charged 4d in the Taunton Fifth Clause Post from Dunster plus 2d in the Taunton Penny Post, this latter charge including an extra penny for the post from Crowcombe to Stogumber.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Red Mark UDC, 1850 with multiple coloured handstamps on its journey

 The wrapper below is from Mark with a red "MARK" undated circular handstamp (UDC), sent in 1850 to Yeovil.  A number of different coloured handstamps have been applied on its journey !

Sunday, 2 May 2021

"BATH / 1" Traveller-type Skeleton 1845

 Here is an example of a "BATH / 1" traveller-type skeleton dated 21st July 1845, which is the first known date of usage.

The contents are a printed letter from Townsend, Parker & Townsend of London who sold high quality wallpaper.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Halfpenny Scottish Wheel Tax on Entire from Frome to Edinburgh in 1833.

 Mail transport had been exempt from road tolls from 1785 (road tolls arose on turnpike roads which had been privately built in order to recover costs and fund repairs).  In 1813 this exemption was repealed in Scotland (though not England), and in compensation the Post Office was allowed to charge an additional halfpenny on mail carried in a coach with more than two wheels in Scotland.

The entire below has an example of an "Addl / 1/2" handstamp applied.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Chard 1841 Guardians of the Chard Union

 Here is an envelope sent within Chard in 1841 to the Overseer of the Chard Parish with a nice seal of  The Guardians of the Chard Union in the Counties of Somerset Dorset & Devon.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Wells letter send Free to Chard 1826 with apparent Franking abuse

 The entire below is from one solicitor, Mr Parfitt of Wells, to another, Mr Clarke of Chard and has been sent Free, which would appear to be an example of Franking abuse.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Pill entire, October 1840, with Unboxed "No.7" Receiving House Handstamp

The entire below was written by the captain on board ship on "Sunday morning Oct 4th off Lundy" and would have been posted in Pill by the pilot on 8th October 1840.  It was not paid in advance so incurred 2d postage due.

The receiving house in Pill had a boxed "No.7" receiving house handstamp from 1834, and was given the unboxed handstamp in 1840.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Bath pre-printed postcard 1874 "if spared"

 Here is an example of a pre-printed halfpenny postal stationery card used from Bath in 1874 filled in with a somewhat pessimistic message.  The postcard was asking for support for Sir Peter Spokes in an election to Director of the National Provident Institution.  The respondent has filled in "I shall if spared have pleasure in Voting for Sir Peter Spokes ...".

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Blue "No.10" in the Bath Penny Post, 1836

 The entire below was sent from "Combe Down near Bath" to Stafford in November 1836, and received a blue "No.10" receivin house handstamp.  The "No.10" receiving house handstamp is known in use at Widcombe, about a mile north of Combe Down, from 1829, and was previously only known used in blue in 1844.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Bristol Bottle Works, 1831 & 1847

 Below are two invoices from Bristol bottle works in Temple Gate, Bristol, from 1831 and 1847.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Underpaid Letter from USA to Weston-super-Mare, 1895 with Liverpool Packet mark

Here is an underpaid letter from Iowa to Weston-super-Mare.  It had a 2c stamp (the standard US domestic rate) rather than 5c, equivalent to 2½d which from 1892 was the standard UPU foreign mail rate.

 Among the many marks there is a circular Liverpool Packet mark "U2 PACKET" (not sure about the "2") which I think denotes an Unpaid or Underpaid Packet.  Any info gratefully received.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Glastonbury "PAID" handstamps, 1943

 The envelope below was sent from Clark, Son & Morland Ltd. to Saks, 5th Avenue, New York in April 1943.  It has three red "PAID" handstamps totalling 1/3d, and has been opened by the censors.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Ilchester Undated Circular (UDC) handstamp, 1837

 Here is an example of the Ilchester undated circular handstamp (UDC), used in December 1837.

The routing of this letter is interesting - it appears it went on the Exeter - London mail coach which after 1836 was routed via Ilchester and Wincanton to London.  This letter was then offloaded at Hindon (eight miles north of Shaftesbury, evidenced by the Hindon UDC) to go down to Shaftesbury.

This route would be about 35 miles, compared to the direct route of Ilchester - Shaftesbury which is about 25 miles.

The letter was only charged 6d (for 20-30 miles), rather than 7d which would have been the charge (for 30-50 miles) for the longer route that the Post Office chose to take.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Wiveliscombe Car Tax Discs with a variety of handstamps 2002-14

 The page below shows a variety of handstamps on a car tax disc, spanning 2002 to 2014.  The missing years were all similar to the last handstamp, a "WIVELISCOMBE / TAUNTON, SOMERSET" 23mm single ring handstamp.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Receipt from the King's Head, Rainham in 1800

 Below is a manuscript receipt from the King's Head, Rainham, dated overleaf on 14th March 1800.

The receipt is for 1/- for Coffee, 6d for Fire ?, 6d for Corn and £2-2-6d for 4 horses 17 miles to Rise at 2/6d.

17 miles at 2/6d per mile is £2-2-6d; 2/6d per mile for four horses is 7½d per horse per mile which is possibly a slight discount from 8d per mile per horse (or 1d per furlong).

I don't know where "Rise" is that is 17 miles from Rainham, or even if Rainham is Rainham in Essex or Rainham in Kent, or elsewhere - any input on this would be welcome.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Bristol Invoices/Receipts

 Here are a couple of receipted invoices from companies in Bristol, the first from January 1907 from J.M. Stevens & Co., Hatters, Hosiers, Shirt Tailors, &c. of Park Street, Bristol and the second  December 1945 from The Victoria Paint Co., Paint, Color and Varnish Manufacturers (note American spelling of "Color") of Valenta Mills, Sussex Place, Bristol.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Coaching receipt from Stimson's Commercial Inn, Oakham c.1825

 Here's another piece of ephemera associated with coaching - a receipt from Stimson's Commercial Inn, Oakham.  The receipt is for 18/10d and includes 9/4d for Horse's hire to Uppingham and 1/- for "Gate".

Uppingham is just over 6 miles from Oakham (on today's roads).  The charge of 9/4d for horse hire is probably for two horses, one for the traveller and one for a guide who would bring the horses back.  

The charge of 9/4d works out at 8d per mile for 7 miles for 2 horses (or 1d per furlong).

The charge of 1/-for "Gate" would probably be a toll charge.

The other charges are 3/- for a Bed, 1/6d for Breakfast, another 1/6d for Tea and Coffee, and 2/6d for Liquors.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Bristol 1796, 1798 & 1830

 Here are a trio of Bristol-related items, starting with a letter from Bristol to Hull sent in 1796, with contents advising of the safe arrival of the Santa Rosa in Guernsey and that the whole of the cargo is landed in good condition.

Next, connected to the above by also having a straight line "BRISTOL" handstamp, the entire below is addressed from Bristol to Derby and bears a stright-line "THORNBURY" handstamp.  It is dated inside as the 19th July 1798. 

Finally, a letter from Bristol to London sent in May 1830 with contents relating to the  ship Eusebio.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Minehead Krag cancels 1934, 1938 on commercial advertising envelopes

 Here are two commercial envelopes advertising J. Webber & Sons, Florists in Minehead, from 1934 and 1939.

It appears that James Webber & Sons had joined the Florists Telegraph Delivery Association between the two dates (called Interflora from 1953).  This allowed them to send telegrams to Florists in other locations to get flowers delivered.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Clifton in the Bristol Penny Post, 1823, to Highworth via "Oxford Mail"

 Here is a wrapper sent from Clifton to Highworth (7 miles north-east of Swindon) in 1823.  The wrapper is marked "Oxford Mail" to direct the postal route.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Crewkerne handstamp, 1766

After the first handstamp recorded for Crewkerne (“CROOK / HORNE”, in the 1990 edition of the British County Catalogue as “CROOK / HORN”, known in use from 1733 to 1783) are three handstamps in the BCC, all “CREWK / ERN” rarity Z, only known in archives.

  • SO 379 “CREWK / ERN”, 29x12mm, used in 1740, rarity Z

  • SO 382 “CREWK / ERN”, 27x13mm, used in 1740, rarity Z

  • SO 385 “CREWK / ERN”, 26x12mm, used 1759-1761, rarity Z

I've recently acquired an entire dated 23rd June 1766 which has a faint “CREWK / ERN” handstamp on the reverse. I've measured it at 27x13mm so it could match SO 382, the middle of the three above.


I'd really like to check the handstamp with the one identified in the British County Catalogue - when the lockdown is over I'm planning on visiting the Somerset Records Office to see if that is where the Crewkerne "found in archives" handstamps come from. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Black Henstridge UDC, used on 1st January 1851

 A "HENSTRIDGE" undated circular handstamp (UDC) has previously only been recorded in use on 6th May 1846.  Here is a second example, used on 1st January 1851.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Taunton Mourning Letter addressed in rhyme, 1863

The mourning envelope below is rather strangely address in rhyme, sent in July 1863 from Taunton to "Tonbridge" (Tunbridge just north of Tunbridge Wells).  It has a poor Taunton 3CD cancel.


Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Black Brompton Ralph UDC, 1859

 Here is a nice example of the "BROMPTON-RALPH" undated circular handstamp (UDC) used in Black on 16th February 1859, currently the latest recorded date of use.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Enhanced Compensation, Chestnut Terrace, Burnham-on-Sea 2002

Below is a Parcels certificate of posting for which Enhanced Compensation for up to £100 has been paid (by four 10p stamps on the reverse).  The certificate is cancelled with a "CHESTNUT TERRACE BURNHAM ON SEA / SOMT" single ring handstamp dated December 2002.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Coaching Flyer/Receipt for the Bell & Crown Inn, Holborn

 Here is another Coaching Flyer/Receipt, this time from the Bell & Crown Inn, Holborn.

There are two coaches going into/through Somerset - The Hero and The Traveller.  The receipt includes charges of 1/4d Carriage plus 8d Porterage.

Note that there was an additional charge for the carriage of valuables, varying by value and by distance travelled.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Western Gazette Perfin, 1941

Perfins were used by companies to prevent pilferage of their postage stamps - it used to be possible to exchange postage stamps for cash at a Post Office.  Below is an example of the "W/G" perfin, used by the Western Gazette Co. Ltd, Yeovil on a windowed commercial cover in October 1941.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

S. Rawlings & Son Ltd, Frome 1909

 Here is a nice advertising envelope for S. Rawlings & Son Ltd. from Frome used in January 1909.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Auctioneers Licence issued at Bath for Auctioneer in Shepton Mallet, 1911

Auctioneers required Licences from 1845 to 1949.  Below is an example of a Licence issued by Customs and Excise in Bath in 1911.

The Licence would have been sent in an envelope similar to the one below, which was most probably used for the licence for the previous year, 1910.