Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Clifton Postage Due, 1909

 The unfranked postcard below, sent from Clifton to Barrow Gurney in 1909, incurred 1d postage due, being double the ½d postcard rate.  The "1d" in a circle postage due mark was previously known used from 1883 to 1907;  this postcard extends the known usage.


Sunday, 26 December 2021

Chard 1975: Invalid Postage Stamps

The envelope below from Chard to Honiton was franked with 6½d of pre-decimalisation Wilding stamps rather than 6½p of post-decimalisation stamps.  The Wilding stamps were not cancelled and the envelope incurred 13p postage due, being double the 6½p deficiency.


Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Bristol to London 1982: Found Open or Damaged

The envelope below, dated February 1982 and addressed to "Mephisto 1127, The Sunday Times", was sealed with Post Office tape having been "Found open or damaged and officially secured".  The contents, an entry for the Mephisto 1127 crossword, are still present.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Returned Letter to Bath, 1856

The returned letter below from London to Bath in March 1856 has 2d postage due to pay.  It was returned because the addressee refused the letter, presumably because it was not franked or had postage due.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Bourton to Clifton in 1852 with ornate "No.2" handstamp

Bourton, 4 miles ENE of Wincanton had been in the Wincanton Penny Post from 1838 using an ornate "No.2" receiving house handstamp.  This handstamp had previously been known used from 1838 to 1849;  the cover below extends that usage to 1852.

Coincidentally Hotwells near Clifton also used an ornate "No.2" handstamp in the Bristol Penny Post between 1837 and 1839.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

1835 Penny Post from Bardon (near Washford) to Wiveliscombe

The entire below bears an unboxed "No.7" receiving house handstamp from Washford in the Taunton Penny Post dated 1835.  The "No.7" has very elongated serifs !

The contents, like a large number of surviving letters, is addressed to a solicitor, and is objecting to the size of the bill.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Bristol Penny Post - "No.25" Wrington and "No.60" Aust

Here are a couple of Receiving House handstamps from the Bristol Penny Post, both used after the abolition of the local Penny Post.  The first is a partial unboxed "No.25" handstamp from Wrington used in 1846.  Wrington used a number of different "No.25" handstamps and some clarification of dates used is needed between the 4th and 5th ones.

Aust (or Old Passage) is by the old ferry crossing of the Severn.  The example below is a late use of the unboxed "No.60" handstamp that was used there.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Bath Penny Post - William Beckford

William Beckford made his wealth from the slave trade and from the government compensation following the abolition of slavery.  The letter below to London is from him (or most likely his secretary) in 1830, unfortunately with an unreadable Receiving House handstamp.  He lived in 19 & 20 Lansdown Crescent, Bath to which the nearest receiving house may be Sion Hill which used the boxed "No.7" handstamp.

Vertical oval single Barred Numeral cancels from Crewkerne and Ilchester

Crewkerne was Post Office number "230" and used a 4-bar vertical oval single (4VOS) cancel from 1872 to 1878.  Here is an example from 1872.

Ilchester was issued with two similar "399." 3-bar vertical oval single (3VOS) cancels from 1877 to 1881.  Here is an example from late 1879.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Crewkerne Cachets from 1982

Below is an image of a piece of Taunton head Post Office notepaper with a selection of Crekerne cachets including a handstamp dated September 1982.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Images of Bristol from 1829 and 1880

Here are a couple of images of Bristol, the first a coloured print of Corn Street, Bristol in 1829, showing the 'New Council House' (that is now known as the Old Council House and contains the Bristol Register Office).

The second is an unused postcard with a view of the Cat and Wheel pub in Castle Green from 1880.  The pub was destroyed in the Blitz.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Unboxed "No.1" Receiving House handstamp through Cross in 1841

Receiving House handstamps continued to be used after the abolition of the local Penny Posts when the Uniform Penny Post was introduced in 1840.  They were generally used as despatch marks in the local village post offices, and this continued until the more general introduction of the undated circular handstamps from 1844.

The wrapper below has an unboxed "No.1" receiving house handstamp and went through Cross to Bewdley.  One would normally look to the wrapper originating wherever the unboxed "No.1" handstamp had been in use but no unboxed "No.1" handstamp is recorded in use in the Cross Penny Post.  There was however a boxed "No.1" handstamp that was used at Axbridge.

The wrapper has a filing note of "Mr John Bulls Receipt" and Pigot's Directory of 1844 has a John Bull as a Tin-Plate worker in "Chedder".  Both Cheddar and Axbridge were in the Cross Penny Post so either are potential locations for the unboxed "No.1" receiving house handstamp.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Bristol Penny Post receiving houses in Somerset - Flax Bourton, Wraxall

The Bristol Penny Post extended into both Somerset and Gloucestershire.  Here are a couple of examples from Somerset, the first an envelope with an unboxed "No.22" in red used at Flax Bourton as a despatch mark in April 1844.  Unfortunately the postage stamp probably does not belong to the envelope.

 The wrapper below has a boxed "No.47" receiving house handstamp used at Wraxall as a despatch mark on Christmas Day in 1843.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Boxed "No.18" Receiving House handstamp from Oakhill in the Bath Penny Post, 1831

The wrapper below, from Ashwick based on the filing note, has a partially boxed "No.18" receiving house handstamp underneath the red London PAID mark, used at Oakhill about 1 mile north of Ashwick.  It went to Old Down and then to Bath on its way to London in August 1831.

 The boxed "No.18" receiving house handstamp was in use at Kingsdown.  This is the first known usage at Oakhill.  Oakhill was using an unboxed "No.18" handstamp from 1832.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Bristol billhead for H.H. & S. Budgett & Co., 1847

Here's another sideline that emerged duting Lockdown, an engraved billhead for H.H. & S. Budgett & Co. that became a leading wholesale grocer in the 1800s.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Ship Letter from London to Bristol, 1807

The wrapper below was sent from London to Bristol in April 1807 after Jane, Duchess of Gordon docked from a voyage to Madras.  As a double letter it was charged 2 x 4d ship letter fee at the sealed bag rate plus 2 x 9d for the post from London to Bristol, giving a total charge of 2/2d.

On its journey to Madras, the ship carried supplies and troops to the Cape as part of the expedition that captured the Dutch Cape Colony in 1806.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Bridgwater "123" 1844-type horizontal oval, used in May 1844

Here is an early example of the 1844-type horizontal oval cancel from Bridgwater, used on 7th May 1844.  The cancel is known used from 1st May 1844.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

"WIN / CANTON" handstamp, October 1789

The entire below, dated 1st October 1789, has a "WIN / CANTON" two line handstamp, SO 978, known in use from 1785 to 1791.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Radium Leather Dyes advertising 1934

The envelope and enclosed invoice are for Radium Leather Dyes, was sent from Glastonbury to Godney near Wells in December 1934.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Letter from Bridgewater to Chard regarding Hair Powder and Game Certificate accounts, 1796

The letter below relates to the paying of Hair Powder and Game taxes, written in 1796.  Duty on Hair Powder was introduced in 1795 and was repealed in 1869.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Furnival's Inn, Holborn to the Salmon Inn, Bridgewater 1786

The item below is from Furnival's Inn, Holborn to be left at the Salmon Inn, Bridgewater in November 1786.  Furnival's Inn was one of the Inns of Chancery up until 1817 when it was rebuilt after the lease was not paid.

The contents are a legal letter.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Unboxed "No.24" from Radstock under Bath, 1844

The Penny Post receiving house handstamps continued in use after the introduction of the Uniform Penny Post in 1840.  The wrapper below originated in Radstock and received the unboxed "No.24" handstamp.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Missent to Bristol Station, 1854

The entire below from Germany in October 1854 was addressed to Bradford, Wilts but firstly got missent to Bradford, Yorks and secondly then missent to Bristol Station (not the route to Bradford, Wilts).

It has the later and rarer version of the "MISSENT-TO / BRISTOL-STATION" cachet (on top of the blue-green Bradford Yorks mark).

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Money Letter from Frome to Whatley in 1893/4

The OHMS Money Letter below was sent registered to the Sub-Postmaster of Whatley from Frome, its main post office, and would most probably have contained money to run the post office.

The letter bears despatch marks from Frome M.O & S.B (Money Order & Savings Bank) dated 16th December 1893 and receipt marks at Whatley on 1st January 1894.  What was happening to the letter in the meantime (just over two weeks) ?

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Invoice/Receipt for Printing for the Cullompton Turnpike Trust, 1837

The entire below is a receipted invoice for Printing associated with the Cullompton Turnpike Trust, sent on 12th August 1837.  The invoice is for the printing of two notices, one for paying two years interest and the second for lifting Tolls (probably increasing them).  The Invoice came from  the "Taunton Courier and General Printing-Office".

Here is an image of the contents:

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Incorrectly Dated Meter Mark, Taunton Cider 1994

Users of Meter Marks had to remember to wind on the date so that meter mail was correctly dated.  The Taunton Cider Company did not do this on the entire below from August 1994, so the envelope received a framed "INCORRECTLY DATED BY SENDER / ACTUALLY POSTED ON / 8 AUG 1994" cachet, so the recipient did not think the Post Office had been tardy in delivering the item.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Undated "BA" in a Triangle cancel, Printed Matter in 1924

Printed Matter was often not cancelled with a dated cancel as delivery did not have to happen within a specific timescale.  The envelope below has a Bath "BA" in a triangle cancel and is not dated. However the contents do date the envelope to 1924.

The contents relate to a tour of the Shire Horse "Theale St. Clair" which had been engaged by the Bath Heavy Horse Society for the Season 1924, for the use of its Members.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Telegram from High Bickington, Devon to Limpley Stoke, Bath in September 1872

The telegram below was sent from High Bickington, near South Molton, Devon, to Limpley Stoke near Bath in September 1872.  It was delivered from the Freshford Post Office about 3/4 mile away and bears a "FRESHFORD" single ring handstamp.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

OHMS envelope from Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgwater, 1975

The Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgwater was constructed early in WWII.  The windowed OHMS envelope below was posted in July 1975.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Jubilee of the Uniform Penny Post, 1890

In 1890 the 50-year jubilee of the establishment of the Uniform Penny Post in 1840 was celebrated. Below is an example of the Post Office Jubilee envelope and its contents, sent within Bath in July 1890 and cancelled by a "BATH / 53" 3-bar Vertical Oval Duplex cancel (3VOD).

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Bath 4-Bar Vertical Oval Duplex (4VOD) cancels

There are five impressions registered in the Stamp Impression Book of Bath "53" 4VOD cancels with a flat topped "3", but other handstamps not in the SIB were also used - at least 24 different ones can be distinguished.

Here are examples of three cancels, all on envelopes bearing a pair of ½d bantam stamps.  Regulations said that each stamp should be separately cancelled but this has been done on only one of the covers.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Burnham "581" 3VOS in 1881 - and Not a Radstock "358" 4VOS c.1877

Below are a couple of less common barred Numeral cancels, the first a Burnham "581" 3-bar vertical oval single cancel used on a registered envelope in 1881 - there is a second strike on the reverse.

The second is a "358" 4-bar vertical oval single cancel on an undated piece.  This is not from Radstock as Radstock did not get allocated Post Office number 358 until later.  "358" was previously allocated to Eardisley in Herefordshire.  The cancel is c. 1877 based on another example known.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Kingston [St. Mary] receipt in 1950, with "S&S / T" perfin from Taunton

The receipt below was sent from Taunton to Cheddon Fitzpaine and then redirected to Teignmouth, Devon.  The receipt bears a KGVI 2d with a "S&S / T" perfin from G.Small & Sons Ltd, Taunton.

Kingston became Kingston St Mary in 1952.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Taunton Dated Penny Post handstamp in Blue (& a cover from Taunton in USA)

Here is an example of the three line "TAUNTON / date / PY POST" handstamp in blue from January 1849.  The Penny Post handstamp is known in blue in 1848 & 1849.

 To go with this, here is another Taunton mark in blue, this time from Taunton, Massachusetts in 1872.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Taunton "776" 1844-type Numeric Obliterator

Here are two examples of the use of the first 1844-type "776" numeric obliterator used at Taunton, the first from May 1844 just after the introduction, and the second from September 1845.  By 1845 the cancel had lost its fourth bar at the bottom.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Taunton Red Maltese Cross February 1841 and letter on Tithes

The entire below is dated 6th February 1841 and is in the last month that the red Maltese Cross cancel was in use.  From March the cancel was in black ink.  The entire also has a "TAUNTON" double-arc dated handstamp without a code - by March a code had been introduced in the top arc.

The contents relate to the Tithe on Hops.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Taunton 25mm diameter Circular Handstamps 1822-1833

Between 1822 and 1833 four different circular handstamps with a diameter of 25mm were in use at Taunton.  To start with, from 1822 and 1824, there were two different "TAUNTON / 161" mileage marks with different spacing of both "TAUNTON" and "161".  From 1828 these were replaced with two different circular marks without mileage, one with dotted arcs below and one with nothing below.  

Unlike in some offices, these two marks were not amended versions of the previous two handstamps that had mileage but were new, with different spacings of "TAUNTON".

The sheet below shows examples of the four handstamps.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

London Inspector's Crown on Taunton Letter in 1831

The entire below was sent to London in September 1831 with a 10d postal charge but was re-assessed in London and uprated to 1/8d at double rate because it contained an enclosure ("Inclosd is my Fathers acceptance for ...").  As part of being uprated the entire received a red Crown Inspector's handstamp.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Letters from Taunton in 1760 and in 1769

Taunton had two similar handstamps in use, one measuring 42x7 mm (SO 751) in use from 1759 to 1769, followed by another measuring 41x6 mm (SO 754) in use from 1769 to 1777.  This second handstamp can be readily distinguished from the first by having a flatter bottom to the "U" in "TAUNTON".

Here is an example of the first handstamp (SO 751), used in October 1760 on an entire from Taunton to Kingweston near Somerton.  The contents relate to supplies to be sent to an Estate in Jamaica, containng a list of goods.

The entire below has an early example of the second handstamp (SO 754) used in July 1769.  The entire was sent from Taunton to Dorchester with the instruction "Turn at Sarum" (Salisbury).  This avoided going into London and thus a second 4d charge (before 1797 letters going through London where charged separately for the journey to London and the journey from London; from 1797 letters were charged based on the total distance).