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).

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Are these Taunton handstamps from 1790 & 1791 the same ?

The British County Catalogue (BCC, published 1990) has two Taunton straight-line handstamps of similar sizes with overlapping date ranges.  SO 766 is in the BCC as 41x5 mm with usage of 1789-1792 while SO 769 is in as 40x4 mm with usage of  1790-1793.

Below are two examples of the handstamp(s), one from 1790 and the other from 1791.


The lower strike (1791) perhaps looks to the naked eye as not as tall or as wide, but it is not as clear or well struck and is missing the serifs on the right-hand side.  When the scans are overlaid on the computer the letters match very well.

Using the computer to measure the clearer (top) scan gives a measurement 40.5 x 4.4 mm, almost exactly the middle of the two measures in the BCC.

I think these are probably the same handstamp (so SO 766 = SO 769).

Here are full scans of the two entires that the handstamps have been taken from.

Entire from Taunton to London with a straight-line "TAUNTON" and London receiving mark for 6th March 1790.

Entire from Taunton to London with a straight-line "TAUNTON" and London receiving mark for 23rd April 1791.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

A Receipt [Recipe] for a Winter Salad

As further encouragement that one should always look at the contents of a letter, the item below dated 9th February 1840 from Taunton to Beaconsfield has some interesting contents.

The contents are a "Receipt" or recipe for a Winter Salad in verse:

Conveniently the recipe in verse is also expressed in plain text:

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Taunton Parcel Post Labels, 1885-1912

The sheet below displays a number of Taunton Parcel Post Labels (PPLs) of different formats, used from 1885 to 1912 with differences in format (some minor).

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Coaching Inn receipt from the Crown Inn, Blandford c.1790

Below is a receipt from the Crown Inn, Blandford from between c.1786 and c.1795.  The receipt indicates that "The Mail Coach Post Stop Here" and "Coach & Diligence every Day".

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Setting the Cider Price, 1930

The envelope below has a fairly poor "NORTH PETHERTON / BRIDGWATER" double circle double-arc cancel dated October 1930. 

What makes this item interesting are the contents - a letter from "a Meeting of Brewers and Cider Makers interested in the sale of draught cider throughout the South and West of Somerset" which resolved that the minimum price of 1/6d per gallon should be charged - something that would be illegal today I believe !

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Yeovil "J.T.D" perfin, 1903 and "R T/G" perfin 1961

The envelope shown below has a KEVII 1d stamp with a "J.T.D" perfin, sent from Yeovil to Compton Pauncefoot.  The perfin was used by John Trevor Davies, a solicitor in Yeovil.  Perfins were used to prevent theft as the Post Office would not cash a stamp with perfins in (unlike normal stamps which could be exchanged for cash).

Somewhat later, here is another Yeovil perfin, this time a "R T / G" perfin sent within Yeovil in 1961.  The perfin was used by the Road Transport & General insurance company.