THE MULREADY: 1d and 2d Letter Sheets and Envelopes
Maltese Cross struck Contrary to Regulations
1d letter sheet, A9, Forme 1 (First Series): some slight wrinkling but an overall fine example from London to Aberdeen.
The black cross has been struck well to the right of Britannian and Contrary to Post Office Regulations.
Unusual to see a MX applied in London contrary to regulations.
On the reverse is a Lombard Street date stamp for December 16th 1842; an Edinburgh cds for December 18th 1842
and an exceptional upright strike of an Aberdeen cds also for December 18th 1842.
The Edinburgh and Aberdeen date stamps are for a SUNDAY and
it is very unusual to have the same Sunday date for two different locations.
In fact we cannot recall previously seeing this on a Mulready.
On the front is a closed filing hole. Gibbons prices a 1d letter sheet at £550.
An attractive item with a very scarce set of features and it would make a fine display page.
NB: the condition of the item is far finer than the scan suggests with NONE of the
overall browning and an apparent vertical white area is not present.
Oxford Cross October 1840
152156. 1d Mulready Letter Sheet, Stereo A25, no side flaps, from OXFORD to London.
The Oxford MX only just touches the Lion and is clear of Britannia which was Contrary to Post Office Regulations.
Rockoff and Jackson in their book on Maltese Cross cancellations, Volume 2, records only two 1d Mureadies
with the Oxford cross: one for June 16th 1840 and the second for April 29th 1841.
From the various illustrations, the example offered here is the Type1 (early cross) and is a very fine/fine strike.
STONE MX, Staffs to Eccleshall
152466. 2d Mulready Letter Sheet a105: sent from STONE, Staffs to Eccleshall, 2nd September 1842.
Some light creasing and a black MX with a completely underinked centre
leaving an unusual printing flaw on Britannia’s shield clearly visible.
Rockoff and Jackson, Volume 2 page 258, record only five dated Stone covers:
none are on a 2d Mulready.
The example offered here is later than those recorded.
Priced by Gibbons at £2,400.
A rare item.
NB: the browning effects are not as pronounced as the scan suggests.
The population of Stone in 1841 was only 8,849.
Rare Penny Post Cancellation
152099. 1d Mulready front mounted on card for display: addressed to Leeds with a Leeds date stamp for September 16th 1841.
Very fine black cross and a HOLLINGSGREEN PENNY POST in black.
This is a rare Penny Post cancellation which was unknown except in GPO records before January 10th 1840.
The County Catalogue lists this strike as LA 523, only recorded used in 1844 and then in RED.
Hollingsgreen is a very small village near WARRINGTON: it is likely the MX was applied in Warrington.
This cross is unlisted by Rockoff and Jackson.
A rare combination of cancels which display well.
NB: the overall bowning is a trick of the scanner.
Rare usage with 1d red: Salisbury Crosses
1204. 1d Mulready letter sheet, stereo obscured by wax seal, uprated by an almost 4-margined 1d red imperf.
From Salisbury to Pontefract, three strikes of the black Salisbury cross:
two on the 1d red Contrary to Regulations.
Salisbury date stamp for November 11th 1842 and a receiving Pontefract cds for SUNDAY November 13th 1842.
Rockoff and Jackson in ‘The Maltese Cross Cancellations of GB and Ireland’,
record only one other Salisbury cross on a Mulready and that not uprated with a 1d red.
We cannot recall seeing another such Mulready with date stamps of the place of origin and destination on the front.
Some creasing but an attractive and rare example; priced by Gibbons at £12,500.
1840 usage of the 2d Letter Sheet
15139: 2d Mulready Letter Sheet, a104, Newcastle-under-Lyne to Bradfield Rectory, Reading,
with date stamp on reverse for MAY 28th 1840.
Superb dark red cross and a pen notation: ‘Stamp belongs to the Bradfield Rectory Collection’.
Some creasing and light
wrinkling but overall
in fine condition for such a considerable rarity.
Jackson in his book on May 1840 usages, lists only 50 examples of the
2d Mulready used in May 1840 and this total figure includes both Letter Sheets and Envelopes.
His detailed list does NOT include an example for May
He records 86 examples of First Day 1d black usages on May 6th 1840
emphasises the rarity of this 2d Mulready.
Some internal strengthening of the folds but Gibbons prices
this May 1840 usage from £17,000.
An extremely rare item.
NB: Gibbons were offering an example, used from London to Kent,
on May 26th 1840 and priced at £17,000, which is the example listed by Jackson for
Unrecorded usage of a MAY 9th 1840 1d Wrapper
151319. 1d Mulready wrapper, stereo obscured, London to Carlisle
with fine London cds on reverse for MAY 9th 1840.
Cancelled by a very light red MX with some signs of 'tiredness'
but a RARE early date of usage which is unrecorded by Jackson.
The May 9th 1840 cds is of the London Chief Office - Evening Duty.
Gibbons prices this from £2,200.
The browning on the front and reverse side is a trick of the scanner.
A collectable example of a very early usage.
Number 2 in Cross on a Front
15136: 1d Mulready front, London to Bridgenorth then possibly redirected to Shiffnal,
Bridgenorth September 29th 1843 date stamp and m/s ‘1’ in black.
In the 1996 ‘Daisy’ Sale, Lot 37 was a complete 1d Mulready, similarly cancelled with the
and the Number 2 in cross applied in almost the same position – to the right of Britannia Contrary to Regulations
and sent on September 28th 1843. The handwriting is the same.
The front offered here was very probably sent on this same date as it was received in Bridgenorth the following day.
A remarkable item – Number 2 in Cross priced by Gibbons on a complete Mulready from £2,400.
A175 Forme 4: Contrary to Regulations
15137: 1d Mulready Envelope, A175 Forme 4, fine/very fine with a small rub top right and sent from London to Pembroke,
February 27th 1841. The superb black cross applied Contrary to Regulations to the right of Britannia –
black ink for the MX came in officially on February 10th 1841 so this is a very early usage of black ink.
We have not seen an earlier example of the black ink used in this non-regulatory manner.
Price: £335.00 SOLD
1d Envelope: Unique Combination of Cancellations
New Brighton seafront with lighthouse and Fort Perch Rock c.1840
151800. 1d Envelope, A155, Forme 3, sent from NEW BRIGHTON to London.
In New Brighton it was cancelled, Contrary to Regulations, by the New Brighton undated circle, County Cat. LL475.
On arrival in Liverpool, the undated circle (UDC) was overstruck by the Liverpool cross in ORANGE,
and on the reverse is a LIverpool date stamp, also in the same shade of orange, for July 26th 1840: a SUNDAY.
The envelope has a few small peripheral faults and there is a vertical crease on the rear which is only light on the front.
In the latest Edition, 2011. of QV Volume 1, there is NO LISTING of
a combination of undated circle and Maltese cross cancelling Britannia.
From our researches we can find NO OTHER EXAMPLE of a UDC and Maltese cross cancelling a Mulready.
A red and blue Maltese cross, of which we have seen a number over the years,
is priced by Gibbons at £28,000 on a 1d Mulready in the latest, 2011, Edition of QV Volume 1.
The Liverpool orange cross is priced by Gibbons at £2,000.
We have not seen this coloured cross used on a SUNDAY.
The New Brighton UDC is recorded in use from 1842 so this example predates.
An unrecorded Mulready rarity which is likely to be unique.
Price: £1,675.00 SOLD
NB: In 1830, a Liverpool merchant, James Atherton, purchased 170 acres of land at Rock Point,
which enjoyed views out to sea and across the Mersey and had a good beach.
His aim was to develop a desirable residential and watering place for the gentry, in a similar way to Brighton,
one of the most elegant seaside resorts of that Regency period.
Hence he envisaged a 'New Brighton'.
1d Envelope A182.
151798. 1d Mulready Envelope, A182 Forme 4:
very clean and generally in fine condition but with a long diagonal crease at the left
which is NOT present on the reverse and does not show in the scan.
Priced by Gibbons at £350 in mint condition.
Price: £75.00 SOLD
1d Letter Sheet MAY 28th 1840
151799. 1d Letter Sheet, fine/very fine, stereo obscured by complete wax seal, to PLYMOUTH.
On reverse are Brompton and Kingston date stamps for MAY 28th 1840.
At the right side is a vertical PRE-PRINTING crease.
Gibbons in the latest Edition, 2011, of QV Volume 1, prices May 1840 dates from £1,200.
Possibly a unique usage of a pre-printing crease example in May 1840.
Price: £375.00 SOLD
NB: the item is much finer condition than the scan suggests: there are NO brown areas.
Scroll down for a 2d Blue Letter Sheet also used on May 28th 1840.
WELSHPOOL Solid Centre Cross MAY 11th 1840
151384. 1d Mulready ENVELOPE, A164, Forme 4, fine/very fine and in a far finer condition than the scan suggests:
dated on the front, MAY 11th 1840 and used locally within WELSHPOOL. Carefully cancelled by a superb solid centre cross -
a variety well known for this location, listed and priced by Gibbons for the 1d black and 1d red but NOT for any Mulready envelope or letter sheet.
On the reverse inside the top flap is a hand written message refering to:
'this strange contraption courtesy of Mr William Mulready. Perhaps he should have stuck to painting sweet cherubic children'.
The Mulready envelopes and letter sheets had only been issued to the general public a few days before on May 6th 1840.
The end of the message is dated Welshpool May 11th 1840. As the item was used locally, dated on the front and addressed to an important local family -
more info on the internet re Glansevern Gardens etc - the local Postmaster/Mistress did not bother to apply a date stamp after cancelling it with the MX.
This is the EARLIEST KNOWN USAGE of this solid centre MX and the ONLY known example with a red cross.
It is offered with a 2007 Certificate.
By comparing this same cross in black on the 1d black and 1d red with other distinctive cross prices including those on a Mulready,
a Gibbon's estimated price would be at least £20,000 for this rarity.
A superb and extremely rare item and one giving a fascinating insight
into the general publics' reaction to the newly issued Mulready.
A17 Forme 2
1d Letter sheet, A17 Forme 2:
fine example used from London, January 15th 1842, to HAMPTON COURT.
Superb black London Cross.
NB: The Mulready is much brighter than the scan suggests.
A242 Forme 5
151233. 1d Mulready wrapper, A242, Forme 5, SG SpecME1kn with advert inside for the
Family, Annuity, Life Assurance and Reversionary Interest Society, printed in BLUE, SG MA126a.
Sent from Rickmansworth to London with written message inside dated 25th May 1841,
Rickmansworth same date stamp on reverse and a London receiver for the following day; cancelled
by a very fine/fine black cross of Rickmansworth unrecorded by Rockoff. Surface fault and faults
on the reverse flap as per the scan but an extremely fresh and bright example.
This item is from the scarcer Forme 5 and is especially scarce with a printed Advert.
An estimated Gibbons price allowing for these factors is in excess of £1,300.
An opportunity to obtain an overall fine example with this very scarce/rare combination of features.
2d Front: Contrary to Regulations
151234. 2d Mulready FRONT, addressed to Liverpool, with a very fine/fine black cross
NOT cancelling Britannia and therefore contrary to Post Office Regulations.
Very unusual to find the cross applied so far away from Britannia.
Part letter written on the reverse with some peripheral faults as per the scan.
A full 2d Mulready priced by Gibbons at a minimum of £2,400.
Attractive item and very scarce/rare even as a front.
Price: £150.00 SOLD
A141 Forme 1
15135: 1d Mulready Envelope, A141 Forme 1,
very fine/fine, used within IRELAND, Dublin to Ballymena, Co Antrim July 23rd 1840.
Cancelled by a superb orange first type Dublin cross.Very scarce early Irish usage.
A232 Forme 6
15138: 1d Mulready Letter Sheet, A232 Forme 6, from the rare second series.
Sent to Fordingbridge, Hants, handwritten message inside.
Britannia first struck by a double arc date stamp which appears to be Portsmouth,
then overstruck by a double black cross, probably at Portsmouth,
see Rockoff Volume 2, in
order to cover up the d/arc date stamp.
Regulations required that Britannia be cancelled only by a MX.
Indistinct date stamp but dated in manuscript 12/4/41 bottom left.
Some creasing and surface marks but Forme 6 priced by Gibbons at £750.
Very unusual usage.
15140: 2d Mulready Letter Sheet, a97, Gloucester to Salisbury, August 11th 1840 with
a Salisbury receiver for August 13th 1840:
perhaps the Post Office was closed for the ‘Glorious 12th activities?
Some creasing and a fault on one of the inside flaps but it is cancelled
by a very fine Gloucester cross which shows a double-line effect.
This effect is noted by Rockoff and Jackson, Volume 1, page 117.
They illustrate an example of it for August 7th 1840,
just a few days earlier than the example offered here, and note another example for November 2nd 1840.
A Unique Quartet of Items used on May 22nd 1840.
15146: A unique quartet of items all used on the same date - MAY 22nd 1840.
1. 1d Mulready Envelope, A153, from Great Yarmouth to Norwich, overall fine with clear date stamp on the reverse.
2. 2d Mulready wrapper, from Wellingborough to the Rev Harold Browne, Emmanuel College,
Cambridge together with his biopic. Superb deep orange cross, very fine address panel, faults on the reverse but
with a clear Wellingborough date stamp. Jackson records a total of ONLY FIFTY May 1840 usages of the 2d Mulready
which includes both letter sheet and envelopes. The rarity of these is emphasised by him recording 86 1d black covers
used on the First Day of Issue, May 6th 1840!
3. 1d Black, Plate 2, ‘MD’, very fine 4-margined example tied to clean entire from London to Marlborough by a
fine red/orange cross. London date stamp on reverse top flap, unrecorded by Jackson Code ‘O’ for evening duty.
4. 2d Blue, Plate 1, ‘JA’, not full margined but tied to a wrapper from London to Truro by a very fine and superb red/orange cross.
London date stamp, Code ’R’, (evening duty), on reverse. Jackson records ONLY 70 examples of the 2d Blue used in
May 1840 which includes pieces as well as full covers but 86 1d black First Day of Issue examples.
Neither this 2d Mulready nor the 2d Blue wrapper are recorded in Jackson’s
book of May 1840 usages.
The prices from Gibbons QV Volume
1, 2011, (Latest Edition) are:
1d Mulready - £1,200.
2d Mulready wrapper - £17,000.
1d Black - £2,800.
2d Blue - £17,500.
A truly remarkable and unique grouping with a total Gibbons price of £38,500 (2011).
Price: £6,885. SOLD
MAY 9th 1840: Chichester Cross
1d Mulready Envelope, A149, Forme 2, envelope from Chichester to
London, MAY 9th 1840.
Chichester date stamp on the front. Some creasing/wrinkling but for such an early date it is in fine condition.
This is an UNRECORDED May 9th 1840 example by Jackson who notes only
seven previously recorded envelopes used from origins outside of London on
On the reverse a London receiving date stamp for May 11th 1840 : May 10th was a Sunday.
With RPS Certificate and catalogued in the latest QV Volume 1, 2011 at £2,600.
The first May 9th 1840 example we have been able to offer from a provincial location.
May 11th 1840: Birmingham Cross
1d Mulready Letter Sheet, A17 Forme 2, Birmingham to London, MAY 11th 1840.
The MX is as noted by Rockoff, Volume 1,
typically oily and characteristic of Birmingham in this early period of the Maltese cross usage.
This would have been caused by excessive oil in making up the red ink.
All the Post Offices, large and small, were still getting used to the ink recipe
that had been sent by the General Post Office.
Only FOUR earlier examples
than the one offered here are recorded by Rockoff .
Some faults on the reverse as per the scan but fine for such an early use.
Gibbons prices FROM £1,200 for a May 1840 usage.
It is addressed unusually to Old Red Cross, a pub in Smithfield and to the Publican Wm Stogdell.
Details are available on the internet of this well known pub.
MAY 16th 1840:
1d Mulready Letter Sheet, Stafford to Liverpool, MAY 16th 1840, Stafford date stamp on the front.
Stereo obscured by sealing wax but on the reverse is a Liverpool receiver for MAY 16th
of a type usually applied on all mail going overseas from Liverpool.
We have not seen this date stamp used before on a Mulready.
Rockoff and Jackson do not record the STAFFORD CROSS.
Priced by Gibbons from £1,200 for a May 1840 usage.
SUNDAY May 24th 1840: Sidney Sussex College Cambridge
290. 1840 1d
Mulready Letter Sheet A25
used on MAY 24 1840, the third SUNDAY after its official issue.
Some creasing and faults on reverse but a rare and attractive example
which displays the
Gibbons price a May1840 date from £1,200
but no price is quoted for a SUNDAY May 1840 usage.
It is certainly as rare or rarer than a used 2d Mulready: Gibbons price £2,400.
15090. 1d Mulready Letter Sheet, A25, Forme 2, commercial hand written letter from Tavistock to Penzance.
Reference is made to the last letter he sent, ‘the runner could not be depended on’,
hence presumably he was using this very new means of communication.
Tavistock cds in red on the reverse for June 14th 1840 – a rare SUNDAY usage
and the 6th Sunday after the Mulready was issued.
The letter sheet has been printed in an unusually deep black ink
allowing the finest of detail in the design to be clearly seen.
Attractive example and very scarce sent to a Cornish destination.
15091. 1d Mulready Letter Sheet, A241 from the scarce Forme 5 catalogued at £750.
Small fault above the address but the printing is in a deep black shade and cancelled by a superb orange-red cross of Woodbridge
with a cds for July 28th 1840 on the top flap which displays well when raised.
A hand written message inside and instead of using the usual wax to seal the letter sheet,
an embossed paper seal with impressed initials was used. The first Mulready we can recall sealed in this way.
A very fine and attractive item.
15092. 1d Mulready Envelope, A138, Forme 1 to York from Whitby, August 20th 1840.
The only Mulready from Whitby we have seen but in Rockoff Volume 2 page 341, he notes another 1d Mulready from Whitby used on 28th February 1841.
On the reverse is a pencil notation indicating that this was received as a present on December 25th 1904!
The apparent diagonal crease in the centre is a pre printing fold in the paper and not as pronounced as appears in the scan.
Unusual folding and application of date stamps.
1d Mulready Letter Sheet, A18, Forme 2, Wolverhampton to
London, December 19th 1840, superb orange/red cross.
The letter sheet has been folded so that only the address
is visible with the side flaps now on the back of the letter.
Hence the well-struck transit date stamps are cancelling parts of the sheet that are usually inside!
We have never seen a Mulready used in this way.
Some creasing but inside is a printed ADVERT in black
for the Atlas Insurance Company with a printed date of 21st December 1839.
This confirms it as SG MA103a, the very FIRST TYPE of this
Company’s eleven types of Advert listed by SG and priced at £850.
The combination of features certainly makes this a unique Mulready.
15095. 2d Mulready Envelope, a200, from Brigg, Lincolnshire to London, April 24th 1844.
Overall toning but the scans as usual do not do the item full justice.
Cancelled by a partially debris filled/dirty Brigg MX struck, Contrary to Regulations, as far to the right of
Britannia as we have ever seen. The population of Brigg in the 1841 census was 1,822 and it begs the question how
many people in this very small rural community could write at that time?
One wonders if any other, or perhaps only a few, 1d or 2d Mulreadies had been sent from
Brigg because the MX has been applied close to where an adhesive stamp would be affixed on a normal envelope or letter.
This 2d Mulready envelope could well be a unique usage from Brigg and perhaps the sub post
office master or mistress did not realise that PO regulations stated that the cancellation must be applied across Britannia
The MX cancellers were replaced in provincial locations on May 1st 1844 by numeral cancellations and in Brigg by a ‘129’ numeral which is itself very rare.
This MX, used on April 24th 1844, is the LATEST usage of an MX on a 2d Mulready we have seen.
Catalogued in the 2014 Edition of GB Concise at £2,200, this is a rare item with likely a unique combination of features.
1840 1d Mulready wrapper: very fine example, stereo A247, Forme 5, from
the rare second series. Gosport,
February 10th 1841,
to London, with red cross and sent on the first day that the black cross was officially introduced – perhaps the sub postmaster/mistress
had not read the GPO’s instructions for the changing of ink colour? A full yellow wafer seal on reverse. Rare combination of features.
1010. 1840 1d Mulready wrapper A30, exceptional mint example in Post Office fresh condition and one
of the finest we have seen or handled. Rare item in this condition.
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