The Income Tax Riots: London March 1848



Trafalgar Square: March 1848


The first two pages of a letter from 8 Barbican, London wtitten on March 9th 1848.  In the letter is a description of the riots caused by the proposal to introduce Income Tax. 

The following is an account taken from the internet:

'The disturbance took took place at Trafalgar Square – then still under construction, with newly laid roads and hoardings around Nelson’s Column. A planned protest against the then relatively novel idea of income tax had been called by Charles Cochrane for Monday 6 March 1848. Under pressure from the police, however, he reluctantly withdrew and made efforts to cancel the open air meeting. London‘s workers were having none of it, and a crowd estimated at 10,000 strong gathered anyway; the journalist and relative newcomer to Chartism GWM Reynolds took the chair. Though observers later commented that barely a man in the crowd would have been liable to pay income tax, the meeting duly condemned it, congratulated the French people on their efforts to overthrow their government, and made clear their support for the People Charter.  By 4pm that afternoon, the police were in control of the square. But as they withdrew two hours later, the crowd flocked back in, pulling down the wooden hoardings around Nelson’s Column and arming themselves with granite blocks from the new roads. The fighting continued until late into the evening, with parts of the crowd heading off to smash the windows of the gentlemen’s clubs in Pall Mall , breaking into bread shops to seize loaves and – shortly after midnight – moving into Grosvenor Square.  It was 1am before peace was restored, and by 9am the following morning, March 7th 1848, the crowd was back, erecting a barricade in Charing Cross next to the statue of Charles I.  All that day and into Wednesday 8 March the fighting continued. On the Monday, there had been just 1,189 police on duty or reserve in London; two days later, there were 2,460.  Despite the continuing excitement, the police regained control during the course of the Wednesday and the rioting began to subside. This, however, did little to prevent 700 rioters heading for the City by way of Temple Bar and Fleet Street. After a Chartist meeting on Stepney Green that evening, the crowd once again broke windows in the City and along Regent Street . This, however, was to be the end of the tumult for now'.

The letter offered here, dated March 9th (Thursday) 1848, is an exremely rare survivor written during the time of the Income Tax riots and the only one we have seen or indeed can trace. When we obtained it, there was a note saying that the letter was from a H Bliss to his uncle W Bliss of Chipping Norton but the two pages of the letter are all that remains. 

The descriptions in the letter very much reflect those in the article but are in parts more detailed.

An interesting comment by the writer: 'They are also commencing to follow our example in GLASGOW and GERMANY'.

The drawing of the rioting crowd is taken from the internet and may well have appeared in The London Illustrated News at that time.

At the end of the second page is a question: 'What do you think of the French Republic'.

The Paris riots were underway at that time and are part of the 2019 ITV Series 'Victoria'.

A very rare/unique item which could make a truly memorable and interesting Display.

Price:  £275.00


Envelope from Lord Napier to his wife ex St Petersburg


152199. This item is from a Display and its description was as follows:

There are no postal markings on the reverse: all the displayable action is on the front.

Envelope is in very fine condition and the brown mark coming, from the

nearly complete wax seal, is not as pronounced as in the scan.

The brown marks at the left are NOT present.

Very attractive and scarce item that obviously displays well.

Price: £58.50

NB: Perhaps Lord Napier signing his name on the front of the envelope hoped it would go post free

when posted in London but it was surcharged 2d.

The Free Franking Priviledge had ended some 12 years earlier!


Rare Envelope from 6th Earl of CARDIGAN


152155.  A clean envelope from London to Macclesfield May 26th 1836 with a Free frank for the following day. 

Bottom left is the signature: CARDIGAN and on the reverse a complete wax seal with an impressed 'Crown above B'. 

This is the seal of  ROBERT BRUDENELL, 6th Earl of Cardigan, (25 April 1760 – 14 August 1837). 

He had two sons and eight daughters: the elder son became the 7th Earl of Cardigan on his death and is famous for his role in

'The Charge of the Light Brigade' during the Crimean War.

A rare link to his son and a rarity in itself. 

An Exhibition item. 

Price: £125.00 

NB: there is a lot of information about the 6th Earl, and the family, on the internet. 

He was a keen cricketer, an early member of the MCC and played in their team.


Christmas Day 1839: Uniform 4d Period


152183.  Printed legal letter, dated December 25th 1839 and also on the inside flap, sent to Daventry from LONDON. 

M/s '4' on the front and on reverse top flap is a London December 25th 1839 date stamp.

The only example we have seen used on Christmas Day in the short-lived Uniform 4d Post period. 

Rare item. 

Price:  £138.00


Handstruck '2' surcharge on a January 10th 1840 Letter


152182.  Very clean legal letter to Melrose from EDINBURGH, dated January 10th 1840:

Edinburgh date stamp on the reverse top flap for January 11th 1840.

January 10th 1840 was the First Day of the intrduction of the Uniform Penny Post.

On the front is a fine strike of the Edinburgh '2' in black indicating a surchage of 2d to pay.

it is quite possible that as it was a legal letter but the postage unpaid,

it was held back by the Post Office to the next day, then surcharged, and sent on its way to Melrose

We have not seen an earlier example of a handstruck unpaid surcharge in the Uniform Penny Post Period. 

A superb and rare item that displays well.

Price: £485.00


FIRST DAY of the Uniform 1d Post

151288.  Fine small entire from Oxford to London, dated inside JANUARY 10th 1840,

with the scarce PAID at OXFORD, County Cat.Ox189. 

It is in finer condition than the scan.

On the reverse is a fine strike of the OXFORD date stamp for JANUARY 10th 1840:


Letter sent from Dr Thomas Gaisford, Dean of Christ Church Oxford and

Regius Professor of Greek; a post he held for more than 40 years.

Soon after his death in 1855 the Greek 'Gaisford Prize' was established which is still offered today.

The addressee is also a well known figure in the history of the British Museum being a Trustee and

 a Fellow of the Royal Society: biopics of both Gaisford and Cureton are provided with the item.

A superb example of this FIRST DAY of the UPPost: a most important date in the development of our Postal System. 

An item of Exhibition quality and importance and especially so with this date also inside.

Price:  £690.00  



151554. A fine entire, Manchester to Annan, Scotland: family letter from a daughter.

Red m/s '1' and a superb manchester date stamp for MAY 17th 1840:

the SECOND SUNDAY after the issue of the 1d black and a rare stampless example from this date. 

A 1d black on cover used on this same date priced by Gibbons at £15,000. 

Price:  £225.00


Uniform 4d Post: letter sent abroad

152060.  Long family letter to a mother from London to Bonn dated January 6th 1840.

Very fine London Paid in red for this same date and a Foreign Branch same date cancellation on the reverse:

this displays well when the rear flap is raised and there are red m/s 8 and 1/8 on the front. 

Very scarce letter sent overseas during the short lived Uniform 4d Post period and

the LATEST we have seen sent abroad before the introduction of the Uniform 1d Post on January 10th 1840. 

Exhibition quality item. 

Price:  £165.00


Uniform 4d Post: unusual rate

152061.  Entire family letter from London to York dated inside December 12th 1839 with

on the reverse a London Lombard Street date stamp for this same date. 

One expected to see a m/s 4 but there is no such marking on the letter. 

Instead there is a handwritten 5 1/2d postage charge in black on the front! 

Rowland Hill wanted the reduced postage rates to encourage people across the country

to write more frequently as well as encourage more people to read and write.

Of further interest therefore is the note at the end of the letter:

'as the postage is now only 4d I hope I shall hear more of you'. 

A rare and superb item which would display well. 

Price:  £145.00  SOLD


Uniform 4d Post: overseas letter

152062.  Lengthy letter from London to OPORTO, December 21st 1839. 

M/s 2/6in red on the front as well as GP/Paid, London Catalogue L688 and a faint strike of Bishopgate Within in red. 

On the reverse is a fine strike of L483 again in red. 

A scarce example of an overseas letter sent during the short lived Uniform 4d Post period.  

Price: £120.00


Uniform 4d Post: letter received from Mexico

152063.  Lengthy commercial letter from VERA CRUZ and received in London on December 24th 1839. 

Very scarce letter received from a Mexican place of origin during the short lived Uniform 4d Post period.  

Price:  £68.50


Uniform 4d Post: a rare FIRST SUNDAY usage

152041.  Uniform Penny Post Period: a Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Office printed request for

a statement of health on the Revd James Porteous, Parish Minister of RICCARTON, Ayrshire. 

Also printed inside are details of the 18th Annual AGM, 1832, listing of the Court of Directors and the value of insurance policies. 

The letter is hand dated inside December 4th 1839, AYR - the day before the introduction of the Uniform 4d Post.

However the letter was posted to Edinburgh on DECEMBER 8th 1839:

the FIRST SUNDAY of this short lived uniform 4d post period, a m/s '4' in black on the front.

There are only five Sunday date usages possible in this perod which ended on January 9th 1840.

On the top flap is a fair but legible boxed date of AYR, December 8th 1839, and an Edinburgh cds for the next day. 

The letter was possibly held back until after the 5th December to take advantage of the reduced postage charge.

This the first example we have been able to offer of this rare first Sunday usage and can not recall seeing another one. 

A Scottish item with an extremely rare combination of dates:

the day before the U 4d Post period was introduced and a First Sunday usage in its period.

A first Sunday usage is considerably rarer than a first day December 5th 1839 usage.

An Exhibition item.

Price:  £490.00


Uniform  4d Post: very rare First Sunday 8d rate usage on a letter re sheep stealing

152042.  Uniform 4d Post Period: a detailed and long letter to the Procurator Fiscal in Inverary from DUMBARTON re SHEEP STEALING.

The letter is dated inside December 8th 1839 and on the reverse top flap is a fine boxed date stamp of Dumbarton also for DECEMBER 8th 1839:

the FIRST SUNDAY in the short lived Uniform 4d Post Period. 

There are only five Sunday date usages possible in this perod which ended on January 9th 1840. 

This already rare item is made extremely rare as on the front is a m/s '8' indicating a double rate charge.

The sender had written OHMS and as the letter is under 1/2oz but charged 8d,

the OHMS was not accepted as going post free and it was charged a double rate.

This is the ONLY example of this rate used on the first Sunday of the uniform 4d post we have seen

and may well be unique especially as a surcharge on a single rate letter on this date. 

We have not seen a letter surcharged in this way in the Uniform 4d Post period.

A first Sunday usage is considerably rarer than a first day December 5th 1839 usage.

A remarkable item of Exhibition quality and importance. 

Price:  £625.00 

NB: this item and Item 152041 would make a remarkarkable and unique pairing and with both used withiin Scotland.


Hanover Street Scots Local: rare usage on stampless overseas letter


HANOVER STREET: Scots Local cancellation Type V11, a fine strike on an October 6th 1856 stampless commercial entire from Edinburgh to CALCUTTA.

Inside the letter is a1d Receipt SG F6; within the bill is a postal and stamp charge of 1/1d and on the reverse a boxed Calcutta Steam Letter strike.

The single rate to India was 6d for 1/2oz via Southampton in 1856.

In the Robson Lowe Meredith Sale of 'Scots Local Cancellations', there was NO example of any Scots Local cancellation used on a stampless letter or cover.

A rare usage and to a scarce destination with such a cancellation. 

Price:  £112.00


Duke Street Leith Scots Local: two stampless entires to same addressee in France


Duke Street Leith: Scots Local cancellation Type V11, very fine strikes on two fine stampless commercial entires to the same addressee in France.

The first sent on April 19th 1858, the last year of usage recorded by Alcock, and the second on June 21st 1859 with an Edinburgh duplex next to it.  

The first has a handstamped '8' and the second a m/s '8' ,both in black, as they were sent unpaid and charged the double rate.

In the Robson Lowe Meredith Sale of 'Scots Local Cancellations', there was NO example of any Scots Local cancellation used on a stampless letter or cover.

A rare and attractive pair of Exhibition quality.

Price: £155.00


Free Front addressed to Sir Thomas Hardy of Trafalgar Fame

152035.  Free Front, September 5th 1836 from BRIXHAM and addressed to Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas HARDY

at the Royal Hospital Greenwich: pictures and more details of the hospital are on the internet.  

In 1836, he was the Governor of this Greenwich Hospital which closed in 1869. 

There is a Memorial to him in the Chapel at Greenwich's Old Royal Naval College.

Remarkable to realise that although not a complete letter,

Sir Thomas Hardy would have held this item. 

The first example of mail we have seen addressed to this historically famous figure.  

Below is a small part of his biopic taken from the internet.

Price:  £85.00  SOLD

NB: the boxed T.P Rate 2, is the London County Catalogue L690. 

This handstamp was applied to letters transferred from the General to the Twopenny Post. 

L690 is recorded in use from 1830 to 1836 so this example is a very late usage. 

Although the letter originally received a Free Franking strike,

probably because of the addressee, it was charged 2d on deivery.


Wrapper from Guernsey 1781


152016.  Clean wrapper from Guernsey to London, December 20th 1781:

partial handstruck Southampton Ship Letter, County Cat. 1705, 'Southampton/Ship LRE'.

This is the first type of this ship letter strike and is recorded in use from 1771-1789. 

In 'Ship Letters' by Robertson, he notes that few of this first type have survived. 

On the reverse is a London Bishop mark for January 11th and a complete PAPER SEAL.

On the inside flap are details of the Guernsey sender and date as per the scan. 

Very scarce/rare early item of mail from the Channel Islands. 

Price: £120.00   SOLD


Entire sent abroad during Uniform 4d Post Period

152019.  Very fine entire, written in French, from London to Connerre in France.

Charing Cross and London Foreign Office date stamps for December 13th 1839:

a letter sent during the short lived Uniform 4d Post period and rare as such. 

On the front is a Calais date stamp for SUNDAY December 15th 1839:

the second Sunday of the Uniform 4d Period. 

Very attractive markings with little overlap and which display well. 

A rare and Exhibition quality item. 

Price:  £140.00  SOLD


Envelope from Llangefni to Germany 1845: two strikes of the Penny Post

152006.  Envelope, top flap stuck down for display purposes, sent from Llangefni on the Isle of Anglesey, to Wurtemberg, Germany.

Rarely found on both the front and the rear top flap, are very fine/superb strikes of the very scarce Llangefni Penny Post, C Cat. W1417.

There is a Bangor date stamp for September 6th 1845 and a London tombstone in red for September 8th 1845. 

Various other transit markings including handstruck ones in Germany. 

The letter appears to have been redirected in Wurtemberg. 

A fair description would be to say the item is 'full of character' and one which could be very fine display page.

A very scarce early item from Anglesey with a rare double strike of a Penny Post.

Price:  £110.00

NB: the population of Llangefni in 1845 was approx 1,700: one wonders how many of these could write at that time?

The central black area is from the hawid on which it is resting and the gap from the removed seal.


Maidstone Uniform 1d Post: first week of usage

152002.  A fine entire personal legal letter from MAIDSTONE to FURNIVALS INN London. 

Fine/very fine strike of the Maidstone handstruck Uniform 1d Post, illustrated in 'Uniform Penny Post', page 12, by Walker, 2013. 

Letter dated January 16th 1840 and on the front a fine Maidstone date stamp for this same date:

only 6 days after the introduction of the Uniform 1d Post and the earliest we have seen for the Maidstone 'P.1'. 

A fine and very scarce early usage and an interesting address.  

Price: £52.00   SOLD

NB: details and images of Furnivals Inn are available on the internet.


Letter to HMS 'TALAVERA in MALTA 1839



A stampless and very long family letter from Hatfield written on two separate days, 27th and 28th March 1839, to a sailor,

possibly a gunner, on board the Royal Navy’s ‘TALAVERA’, and sent to Malta where the ship was berthed.  

On circa 26 Apr 1839 she departed for Corfu with HMS's Rodney, Bellerophon and Castor to exercise their crews, following which the Talavera was to cruise in the Archipelago.  

M/s 2/6 and a London tombstone paid mark for March 30 1839 with a Foreign Office cds for this same date on the reverse top flap together with an indistinct Hatfield cds.

Within the letter on the second page is the following interesting social comment:

‘We are glad that you were to see Queen Adelaide.  Throughout the reign of William IV she maintained a Queen like and feminine propriety and uprightness,

a dignified conduct which have won her the deepest respect and Royal attachment for all persons of right principle’.

A lengthy letter which seems to indicate that the writer had only recently moved to Hatfield.

The writer mentions Hatfield House and its history including the fact that Queen Elizabeth was confirmed there and a reference to Bloody Mary.

They describe where they are living as follows: 

Hatfield is a small town of about some 1200 people, the county population much scattered, agricultural about 2300 making in all about 3500’.

On the last page is the following:

‘This place is about 19 miles from London, on one of the great northern roads, due north of London.

A coach starts every afternoon ½ p. 3 for this (London) and returns every morning, and York coaches pass through at all hours.

So you will have little difficulty in making your way hither from the great metropolis.

If you come via Portsmouth and London you may observe Godalming and its is very pretty’. 

  In September 27th 1840 she was destroyed by fire when in DEVONPORT dockyard: there is a painting of the fire on the internet.

A very rare, and fascinating, letter to the ‘TALAVERA’ and only a little over a year before she was destroyed.  

Price:  £290.00

HMS Talavera was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 October 1818 at Woolwich Dockyard.

She was named for the British/Spanish victory at the 'Battle of Talavera.‘ 

The internet has a lot of information about this ship, its locations etc. which would further enhance the description making it a memorable display item.

NB: The browning on the front of the letter is far less pronounced than the scan and is more like that of the scan of the reverse side.


INMAN LINE: New York to London 1858


Commercial stampless letter from New York, to Manchester, England dated inside June 16th 1858. 


It was carried on the ‘Kangaroo’ of the INMAN LINE; she left New York on June 17th 1858 and arrived in Liverpool on July 1st.


This was her 11th voyage and she stayed on this route until December 1864. 


On the reverse top flap is a superb boxed Liverpool Ship date stamp for July 1st 1858,


displays well when the rear flap is raised, and a Manchester receiver for this same date. 


On the front is a superb example of the scarce and distinctive London handstruck ‘6d’ in black – McKay figure 861.  


The photograph of the ship is taken from the internet. 


Superb item.  Price: £75.00


A history of the ‘Kangaroo’ is as follows:

 The 'Kangaroo' was built by Laurence, Hill & Co., Port Glasgow in 1853 for the newly formed Australasian Pacific Mail Steam Packet Co.

This was an unsuccessful joint venture made by directors of the Royal Mail S.P.Co and Pacific Steam Nav.Co.

Launched on 20th August 1853, she never sailed on the Australia service, but was chartered to the Admiralty for transport work.

She was an 1,874 gross ton ship, length 257.4ft x beam 36.2ft, clipper stem, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a speed of 10 knots.

In 1854 she was purchased by the Inman Line and in that year chartered by the British Govt and fitted out as a HOSPITAL SHIP for the CRIMEAN WAR.

She commenced sailings between Liverpool and Philadelphia on 30/7/1856.

Her first Liverpool - New York sailing started on 25/2/1857 and her last Liverpool - Queenstown - New York voyage was on 7/12/1864.


Entire, wax seal intact, Second SUNDAY of U4d Post

151984.  Entire dated inside, December 15th 1839, sent from Lees to Hexham. 

On the front is a m/s '4' and on the reverse a very fine boxed COLDSTREAM date stamp for

December 15th 1839 - a SECOND SUNDAY usage during the short lived Uniform 4d Post period:

there were only five Sundays during its period of use. 

Remarkably, the wax seal is still attached and sealing the letter which the recipient has opened

very unusually by tearing it at the right without damaging or disturbing the seal. 

A rare and interesting item in fine condition. 

Price:  £220.00


Glasgow Handstruck '4': New Years Eve 1839

151894.  Fine entire re shipping matters from Glasgow to Huth and Co London, dated December 31st 1839. 

The paper is watermarked 'J & J TOWN TURKEY MILL 1834'.

Very fine GLASGOW handstruck '4' neatly placed top right and clear of the address. 

On the reverse, a Glasgow boxed date stamp in a dark shade or red for New Years Eve 1839

and a London receiver for January 2nd 1840. 

A very rare usage of this handstruck '4' on this date. 

The FLETCHER Collection in the British LIbrary has 14 examples of the Glasgow '4'

but NONE are for December 31st 1839. 

An attractive and very rare item. 

Price: £335.00  SOLD

NB: out of 76 examples of handstruck '4's in the Fletcher Collection,

only Edinburgh, Carlisle, Norwich, Hawick and Leith are used on December 31st 1839.


Bristol Additional Half (LKD) and Bristol Ship Letter

151811.  A clean lengthy family letter from New York, November 16th 1839 addressed to PORT DUNDAS, Glasgow. 

The writer comments on the postages being so high and quotes one shilling and eleven pence for a letter.

As a thrifty Scot he uses every single space on the paper available but does not cross write the letter.

On the front is a very fine BRISTOL SHIP LETTER, County Catalogue CC336, recorded in usage from 1839.

There is also a superb strike of the rare Bristol Additional Half. 

In the recent publication, April 2017, of the Additional Mail Tax by Baker et al,

the Bristol Additional Half is priced at up to £250 on cover.

The previous latest known recorded usage was October 12th 1839.

The example offered here would have been sent to Glasgow on November 30th or

possibly December 1st 1839 but the latter was a Sunday.

On the reverse top flap is a very fine boxed Glasgow receiving date stamp for December 2nd 1839. 

The Additional Halfpenny tax ceased on December 4th 1839 so this Bristol example is very close to the final date of usage.

Additional 1/2's are scarce on letters received from overseas and this Bristol 1/2 example, combined

with the Bristol Ship Letter on a letter from America, and so close to end of the additional halfpenny tax,

makes it very likely a unique item. 

A wonderful rarity which would make a memorable display item. 

Price:  £475.00  SOLD

NB: the browning on the edges of the letter is either not present or very much fainter than in the scans.

The incomplete '1' in the Bristol strike is a usual feature as commented by Baker et al

in their publication, April 2017, of the Additional Mail Tax.


Uniform 4d Post: 8d rate from BELFAST

151810.  A neat sized wrapper from BELFAST to London: superb Belfast date stamp on reverse

for DECEMBER 10th 1839 and a London receiver for December 13th 1839.

On the front is a m/s '8' in black: 8d postage for a letter weighing between 1/2oz and 1oz

during the Uniform 4d Post Period ( December 5th 1839 - January 9th 1840). 

The 8d rate is seldom found in this period but this is rare/very rare item from Ireland

and a very early Irish example in this time of postal reform. 

Price:  £235.00


Uniform 4d Post: Period: rare SUNDAY usage in Scotland


151840.  A clean entire from MONTROSE to Edinburgh. 

Posted on SUNDAY December 15th 1839 - the SECOND Sunday during the short lived

Uniform 4d Post period of which there were only five Sundays.

On the front is a fine Montrose date stamp for December 15th 1839 and an Edinburgh Paid date stamp for the following day. 

Also on the front is a m/s 'P 4' in RED. 

This is the ONLY paid letter in this short period of postal reform that we have seen sent on one of the five Sundays. 

On the reverse is a partial magenta wax seal across the letter flap which has the words POST OFFICE at the top.

The same seal appears to have been applied on the front of the letter but most of it has been lost.

It would seem that the letter was found open and the post office sealed it officialy in this way. 

An attractive and very are item of display quality. 

Price: £225.00  SOLD


Uniform 4d Post Period: rare SUNDAY usage to France

151791.  Very fine entire letter written in French: posted on SUNDAY December 15th 1839 from London to France,

Sunday date stamp, London Catalogue L30, with scalloped edges.

VERE STREET , 'V' in circle, L34a, overstruck by the Foreign Office double arc date stamp for December 16th 1839.

December 15th 1839 was the SECOND SUNDAY of the Uniform 4d Post Period which began on December 5th 1839. 

There were only FIVE Sundays in the short lived Uniform 4d Post period, which ended on January 9th 1840.

This is the ONLY example we have seen of a letter posted on a Sunday during this period going ABROAD. 

Superb and very rare item. 

Price:  £280.00  SOLD


Uniform 4d Post Period: rare Free Front Sunday Usage


151792.  Very fine front, mounted on card, from Haddington, SUNDAY December 15th 1839,

to Lady (Elizabeth) Grosvenor, Eaton Hall, Chester: signed TWEEDDALE, George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale.

On the front is a Haddington P.P.Pay One Penny, Auckland EL 78a, for December 15th 1839, struck in Blue.

Auckland only records this cancellation struck in black and red.

As it was not struck in red to denote 'paid' one wonders if the recipient was surcharged.

December 15th 1839 was the SECOND SUNDAY of the Uniform 4d Post Period which began on December 5th 1839. 

There were only FIVE Sundays in the short lived Uniform 4d Post period, which ended on January 9th 1840.  

The painting, image available on the internet, is of Lady Elizabeth just before she married, in 1819,

Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster: he became Earl Grosvenor in 1831 and they had 10 children.

A very rare and fine item.

Price:  £95.00

NB: see item 151793.


Uniform 4d Post Period: rare Free Front Sunday Usage

151793.  A very fine Free Front addressed to Lady E(lizabeth) Grosvenor, Eaton (Hall), Chester,

signed bottom left 'De L'Isle': Baron De L'Isle and Dudley. 

On the front is a scalloped cds, London Catalogue L34a, for SUNDAY December 22nd 1839.

On the front also is a fair Free Frank date stamp for December 23rd 1839.  

December 22nd 1839 was the THIRD SUNDAY of the Uniform 4d Post Period which began on December 5th 1839. 

There were only FIVE Sundays in the short lived Uniform 4d Post period, which ended on January 9th 1840. 

The painting, image available on the internet, is of Lady Elizabeth just before she married, in 1819,

Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster: he became Earl Grosvenor in 1831 and they had 10 children. 

Very fine and rare item. 

Price:  £70.00

NB: see item 151792.


SUNDAY MAY 17th 1840


151813.  An interesting family entire from Cupar Angus to Morpeth with a boxed date stamp of Cupar Angus

for MAY 17th 1840 - the second SUNDAY after the 1d black was issued. 

Red m/s '1' and an Edinburgh PAID date stamp for the following day; there are no postal markings on the reverse.

The letter refers to home entertainment and in part to a Book of Scottish Tunes 'Whistle Binkie':

Whistle Binkie was a Scottish poetry and song anthology first appearing in 1832; there are more details on the internet. 

A very scarce/rare May 1840 Sunday date especially so in Scotland. 

Price:  £200.00 

NB: a 1d black on a May 17th 1840 cover is priced by Gibbons at £15,000.


SUNDAY MAY 24th 1840

151812.  Entire from ASHBOURNE to London with on the reverse top flap

an Ashbourne date stamp for SUNDAY MAY 24th 1840. 

This the third Sunday in May 1840 after the 1d black was issued. 

Red 'P1' in red and a London Paid Tombstone for May 25th 1840. 

The letter was roughly opened but the fault is not as pronounced as in the scanned image. 

A scarce Sunday May 1840 date. 

Price:  £68.50 

NB: a 1d black used on May 24th 1840 is priced by Gibbons at £14,000.


Hastings Uniform 1d Post in combination with a 1d red


151781.  A fine stampless wrapper from Hastings to London, March 11th 1846, with

a fine central HASTINGS 'PAID 1d' strike of the Uniform Penny Post, County Cat. SX630. 

On receipt in London the wrapper was turned around, a 1d red added, 4-margined, with a pre-affixed crease,

and addressed to Maidstone with a poor strike of a Maidstone dated receiver for March 13th 1846.

Walker in 'Uniform Penny Post', published in 2013, prices the Hasting U1d Post strike at £60-£80. 

A rare combination of a Uniform Penny Post cancellation and 1d red usage on the same wrapper. 

                          Price:  £85.00    SOLD                                  


EKD for Postage Due in the Uniform Penny Post Period


151740.   Neat wrapper from STOKESLEY, North Yorkshire to Marlborough: dated on an inside flap:

'Janry 10/40' and with a Stokesley date stamp on the top flap for January 11th 1840

which displays well when the flap is raised. 

The London transit cds is for January 13th 1840 - January 12th 1840 was a Sunday. 

On the front is a very large m/s '2d' in black. 

January 10th 1840 was the First Day of the Uniform Penny Post. 

This letter was posted in Stokesley without the 1d payment and hence the '2d' surcharge.

As the wrapper is dated inside January 10th 1840, it is quite possible that as the postage was unpaid,

it was held back to the next day, then surcharged and sent on its way to Marlborough. 

We have not seen an earlier example of an unpaid, surcharged item in the Uniform Penny Post Period. 

A superb and rare item that displays well..  

Price:  £520.00  SOLD

NB: the browning around the '2d' is fainter than in the scan as are the brown marks on the reverse.

The Population of Stokesley in1840 was around 2,500 and it was described as

a small but neat and well-built market town with many of the inhabitants being linen weavers, but

also with a large flax mill and expecting the extension of the Darlington to Stockton & Middlesbrough railway.


The LAST SUNDAY of the Uniform 4d Post

151722.  Clean wrapper from Hastings to London:

sent from Hastings on SUNDAY January 5th 1840, cds on the top flap which displays well when raised.

The addresser marked it 'Post Paid' on the front but the Postmaster/Mistress or

an Inspector in London struck this out, marked it 'Too late to be Paid', initialled it and the item charged 4d.

His comment was probably made because the item was posted on a Sunday. 

January 5th 1840 was the LAST SUNDAY of the five week period of the Uniform 4d Post and itself is a rare usage.

With the other unusual features, this is very likey to be a unique usage during this period of postal reform.

Superb display-quality item. 

Price:  £335.00

NB: there were only five Sundays during the short lived Uniform 4d Post.


Rare entire letter sent within Guernsey in 1848 re the Penal System




A rare glimpse of the penal system in the Channel Islands in 1848.

Price:  £125.00

NB: this item is from an award winning display.


1841 2d Blue Envelope: Liverpool 1882

151653.  1841 2d Blue uncreased embossed envelope with security silk threads:

used locally within Liverpool FORTY ONE YEARS after it was originally issued 

and cancelled by a superb squared circle for MAY 24th 1882. 

Some light overall toning of the envelope but much fainter than in the scanned images.  

The envelope was carefully opened by a slit at the reverse as seen in the scan. 

A superb and very rare item. 

Price: £575.00


Doncaster handstruck 2: late usage

151626.  Clean envelope from Doncaster to Knaresbro', September 2nd 1863

with Knaresboro cds on reverse for the following day. 

Horizontal crease towards the top but sent unpaid and

with a superb Doncaster handstruck '2' in black. 

Unrecorded in the Yorkshire Section on the County Catalogue and also

unrecorded by Mackay in 'Surcharged Mail of the British Isles'. 

We know of only one other example of this rare strike. 

Price:  £225.00


Unique usage: the Day Before the U4d Post; Last Day of the Additional 1/2d tax and First Day of the U4d Post




151601.  Entire, Edinburgh to Coldstream, addressed to a General Sir Martin Hunter, a former Governor of Stirling Castle and various biopics are available on line.

Letter dated inside December 4th 1839 and with a superb Edinburgh cds on the reverse top flap for December 4th 1839 - the DAY BEFORE the introduction of the Uniform 4d Post.

On the front is: a scarce Coldtream Penny Post, (Auckland BK 68b), recorded previously to November 1st 1839;

a m/s '7' and a fair but legible strike of the Edinburgh Additional Half,

Sedgwick Fig 21 - the LAST DAY of this tax.

Only one other location is known with an Additional Half used on this last day and that is Glasgow. 

On receipt, the letter was turned inside out, a reply written and dated inside December 5th 1839, and posted back to Edinburgh.

On the reverse is a fine boxed date stamp of Coldstream for December 5th 1839 and a m/s '4' on the front:

the FIRST DAY of the UNIFORM 4d POST; there is an Edinburgh receiver for December 6th 1839 on the reverse.

The cost of the letter almost halved in usage from December 4th to December 5th and

presumably the original sender was unaware of the imminent postal rare change. 

A remarkable letter which has a usage on:

the DAY BEFORE the Uniform 4d Post; the LAST DAY of the Additional 1/2d tax and the FIRST DAY of the Uniform 4d Post. 

An exceptional item of Scottish Postal History illustrating the important rate changes all on one item. 

A superb, unique and important, Exhibition item.   


NB: The Booth Catalogue of First Day Covers, 2017 Edition, prices

the December 4th 1839 date at £600 and the December 5th 1839 date at £850.


A Rare Yorkshire First Day example of the Uniform Fourpenny Post  

151259. A very clean and interesting typed letter, hand dated December 5th 1839,

from Thorne to Pontefract in connection with subscribers to the Bawtry and Selby Road. 

Thorne was a sub office of Doncaster with a population in 1839 of approx 3000 and Doncaster approx 10,000.

On the reverse is a Doncaster cds for December 5th 1839:

 the FIRST DAY of the short-lived Uniform Fourpenny Post period. 

A rare provincial/Yorkshire example of this very important date. 



FIRST DAY of U4d Post

151676.  1839 Fine entire from LIVERPOOL, December 5th 1839, to WREXHAM.

Used on the FIRST DAY of the UNIFORM 4d POST, m/s 4 in black.

Displays the Liverpool date well when back flap is raised. 

Letter dated inside December 4th and so probably held back until the

following day for the cheaper postage rate. 

Very scarce so fine.

Price: £585.00


EDINBURGH Handstruck 4: Second day of usage.

S1  Entire Edinburgh to Alnwick, dated inside December 5 1839

with very fine/fine handstruck 4 of Edinburgh and Edinburgh cds for December 6 1839,

the SECOND DAY of the Uniform Fourpenny Post.  

Very scarce item.   

Price:  £265.00 


IRISH and ENGLISH U4d Post period: Christmas Day.

 216.      1839 Uniform 4d Post: wrapper, Belfast to Chatham, December 21st 1839.

Redirected from Chatham to London on Christmas day. 

Irish and English manuscript 4’s, Dublin Sunday December 22 1839 date stamp

and a superb Chatham CHRISTMAS DAY stamp on reverse. 

A remarkable item and likely to be a unique combination of Irish and English usage

during the 5 week period of the Uniform 4d Post.

Price: £485.00  SOLD


Very Rare WAKEFIELD Handstruck 4.

1200.  Wakefield, Yorkshire Hand Struck ‘4’:

exceptional strike on clean entire, December 24 1839 with Certificate.  

The Fletcher Collection in the British Library has one example

of Wakefield’s Uniform 4d Post hand strike for the following day.  

A rarity and the finest strike of the few surviving examples.  



STOCKTON Handstruck 4 - very rare.

151394.  STOCKTON HANDSTRUCK 4: clean wrapper to Leeds, Stockton cds on reverse for January 4th 1840. 

lthough not fully struck, the characteristic loop to the left hand side of the '4' can be seen.

Used in combination with a good strike of the very scarce 'NORTON PENNY POST' (under Stockton).

We are aware of only two other examples extant of this rare handstruck '4', January 3rd and January 6th 1840. 

A very rare item. 


NB: the wrapper in a cleaner condition than the scan suggests.


STONEHAVEN Handstruck 4.


15134:  1840, Entire letter, a few words of the message partially missing at one side and small repair on the reverse where

the wax seal was removed, from STONEHAVEN to Montrose. 

Letter dated January 8th 1840.  On the front is a SUPERB handstruck ‘4’ of

Stonehaven, clear of the address, and on the reverse a very fine boxed date stamp of

Stonehaven for January 9th 1840 the LAST DAY of the Uniform 4d Post.

All last day usages in this Uniform 4d Post period are rare but exceptionally so with a handstruck ‘4’. 

The Fletcher Collection in the British Library contains 76 examples of handstruck’4’s covering England and Wales,

NONE are for January 9th 1840 and only ONE for Stonehaven, January 2nd 1840. 

Further research by Chadwick over many years increased the recorded total to 149 handstruck examples

covering England, Scotland and Wales – NO January 9th 1840 has been recorded for Stonehaven

and only two other January 9th 1840 examples, these being for Coldstream and Galashiels. 

The example offered here is clearly of Exhibition quality and importance.  


VERY RARE: LAST DAY of the Free Franking Priviledge

151488.  Front, from Bicester to Hinkley, January 9th 1840: 

the LAST DAY of the Free Franking Priviledge for MPs and Members of the House of Lords.

Cancelled by the Crowned Free Frank date stamp for January 10th 1840. 

Less than 10 examples are known of this Free Frank with this date

which should not have been used. 

Lord Jersey's signature bottom left corner.

A considerable rarity and a superb item.  

Price: £395.00  SOLD


MAY 6th 1840 from BRISTOL

151609.   Small neat wrapper from Bristol to Wells, Somerset with a m/s '1' in red indicating a penny paid.

Very fine BRISTOL MAY 6th 1840 Code C date stamp:

the Day of Issue of the 1d black but this item prepaid without using the new label. 

A very fine and attractive example of a stampless cover used on this historically important date. 

Booth prices such stampless covers at £800 and this is one of the neatest we have seen:

it is from an award-winning display of QV Postal History.

This cover would have been carried on the Cross Post route

due south of Bristol by way of Temple Cloud and Chewton Mendip.   

Price:  £520.00  SOLD

NB: Jackson records only two 1d black covers from Bristol used on May 6th 1840.


Rare letter to India during the Uniform 4d Post Period

151580.  Very fine and lengthy letter written by both a mother and father to their son

in MEERUT, INDIA, December 31st 1839 and January 1st 1840 and sent from Wolverhampton on January 2nd 1840. 

In m/s in red on the front is 'Paid' and the contributions that make up the total postage charge

of 2/8d ie 1-10d, 'B', British charge and 10d, 'F' for the Foreign charge.  

A fascinating partial transcript of the letter written by the mother can be seen in the scan. 

She got the wrong date for the introduction of the Uniform Penny Rate but makes a reference to

a meeting on the ANTI CORN LAW in Manchester - some details are available on the internet.

Part of the letter is cross written to save paper and hence weight.

This is one of only a few letters sent abroad during the U 4d Post period that we have seen

and the ONLY one to INDIA. 

A rare item in very fine condition which would make a fine display item.



1589: letter from Norwich to London

151544.   A fine 1589 letter, in French, from Louis Cantin, a Dutch refugee in NORWICH to Barto. CORSINI. 

Cantin, a cloth merchant and one of Corsini's Agents, had financial problems:

see below a copy of another letter detailing the situation. 

Cantin was arrested in IPSWICH in 1591. 

Corsini tried to sue him but he evaded the magistrates and in 1592 he offered Corsini £8. 

At that time Cantin was estimated to have a personal worth of £30. 

A rare internal English letter and in better condition than the scans. 

Price:  £330.00

NB: the letter below is a copy only and not provided with the Cantin item.


'First Day' of new rate to India.

151468.  1856 stampless envelope, pre-paid 6d (amended from originally one shilling),

sent to a Dr COLVIN SMITH, Assistant Surgeon, MADRAS ARMY, India.

Shows a very fine green Aberdeen/Paid boxed date stamp for February 2nd 1856.

Alongside is a fine red hand struck '1d', Late Fee? and paid London cds for February 4th 1856.

On the reverse a fair green undated circular OLD ABERDEEN

which fortunately shows the 'N reversed' and a blue embossed wafer seal. 

The rate to India was reduced from 1/- to 6d on February 1st 1856 and lasted until March 1st 1868. 

Letter posted on February 2nd 1856 so this is very likely to be in effect

a 'FIRST DAY' of the new rate to India via Southampton from Scotland. 

The letter arrived in Madras on March 15th.

A Scottish rarity with the the markings on the front not overlapping. 

Superb item. 


NB: envelope is cleaner than the scan.


The 'O' Code Free Frank.

151489.  Front from Hawarden to Islington, August 11th 1838:

cancelled a Crowned Free Frank for August 12th 1838. 

A very collectable example of the enigmatic Code 'O'

much prized by the well known collector of Free Franks - Lady Lichfield.

Was it used by a Secret Office of Surveillance

who opened the mail or was the Code 'O' inserted by a fraudster creating a market? 

Perhaps the jury is still out? 

Price:  £58.00


Dickinson 2d Letter Sheet with RPS Cert- rare so fine. 

151397.  John Dickinson, a papermaker, submitted proposals for prepaid Letter Sheets

and produced the first essay, with security silk threads running through the paper,

for 1d and 2d sheets inscribed V Crown R London District Post.

The 1d buff for letters up to 1oz and the rarer 2d in green for up to 2 oz.

The adoption of this scheme was recommemded by the Commissioners of Post Office inquiry in 1837.

In the latest (2011) Edition of Gibbons QV Volume 1, the 2d essay is priced at £1,400.

The top flap has been folded over and a stamp hinge on each side used to strenthen the corner fold.

However this is in very fine/fine condition and has a RPS Certificate

which comments rather harshly in our opinion that there is soiling on the top of the reverse flap. 

The green is deeper than the scan suggests. 

A very scarce item especially in such overall fine condition. 

Price:  £600.00


CHESTER Handstruck 2 in Red and Black

151372. A rare Front to The High Constable, Barnston with Chester date stamp for July 27th 1840, C Cat CH152 (1840-41)

and alongside a superb handstruck '2' of Chester in red, UPP C Cat 181(1840-41). 

Paired with an entire to the Stamp Office London from Chester, January 9th 1855. 

M/s 'OHMS' but surcharged twopence with a superb handstrike of the

Chester '2' in black - C Cat CH183 recorded used to 1856.

Official receiving date stamp inside for January 10th 1855.

Very attractive and likely to be a unique pairing, with two interesting addresses,

that would make a superb display item.

Price:  £225.00


151359.  Printed Registered Envelope from the Controller of Stamps,

Somerset House to the Stamp Office in Driffield - January 18th 1881. 

The cancellation is 'Registered Inland Revenue18 Jan 81 Stamp -

Branch' and illustrated by McKay in 'Postmarks of England and Wales' fig 3288. 

He notes that this was the First Type of Departmental Registration

used from Somerset House and received by them in 1880.

Alcock made no reference to it and we have not seen it previously.

With its January 18th 1881 date it may well be one of the earliest surviving examples.

Envelope in excellent condition, there are no postal markings on the reverse.

A rarity. 


151257.  Exceptionally clean and uncreased wrapper, York to London June 3rd 1840.

Superb York UPP strike, C Cat YK3342, and a York cds in the same ink. 

London tombstone Paid for June 4th 1840. 

Overall one of the finest we have seen from the Uniform Penny Post Period. 

An attractive and rare item in such fresh condition. 

Price:  £68.50  SOLD


London ‘4’: rare used in the Uniform Penny Post period.

151218: March 9th 1840: very fine letter to the Chelsea Hospital asking it would appear for a place.  Reference is made

to his age and military service including a time spent in the Royal Navy.   On the front is written ‘On H Majesty’s Service’ and

a TP LR Greenwich (London Two Penny Post) struck in red, acknowledges this so no postage to be paid.  However, the

London handstruck ‘4’, LC 504, in black indicates a 4d charge to pay!  This ‘4’ mark is rare used in the Uniform Penny Post

period. Hence the letter has a Paid and Unpaid surcharge.  A rare combination of features. 

Price: £250.00


151219: Clean commercial entire Edinburgh to Charlestown dated March 13th 1840.  Reference made to a debt owed by The

Earl of Elgin for ‘furnishing of coals made to the Steamer ‘Maid of Isla’ ‘. On the front is a superb strike of the rare and distinctive

Edinburgh unpaid 2d mark for March 13th 1840, Auckland ED 262.  In use for a few months only, this is an exceptional strike and

the finest we have seen of this rarity for many years.

Price:  £380.00  SOLD



15194.  Stampless entire to New York carried on Cunarder ‘Europa’ leaving Liverpool on March 14th 1857.  Letter, in a clear hand, refers

to the cotton market and exports etc: ‘ lower qualities are rather easier to buy caused partly by the feeling that the WAR with CHINA in

which we are presently engaged will induce much larger shipments of East India cotton to this country’, a useful document for further

 research.  Very fine handstruck charges of ‘38 cents’ and ‘48’ and with a Liverpool spoon, March 13th 1857, Type B6 – the first such

usage on a stampless item we have seen.  In the recent, 2015, update of Arundel’s ‘English and Welsh Spoon Cancellations’,

NO 1857 example has been recorded with only 13 examples noted during its period of usage. 

A scarce spoon and this example with an unrecorded sideways 5’ time code.  

Rare item. 

Price:  £135.00


FIRST Transatlantic VOYAGE

15164.  1850 clean wrapper from London to New York: Lombard Street date stamp, October 25th 1850

with unpaid black ‘24’ and 19 cents with ‘P Africa’ in m/s on the front. 

‘Africa’ was a Cunard ship which left Liverpool on October 26th 1850:

this was its FIRST VOYAGE. 

On the reverse is a note indicating the correspondence was answered on the 19th November. 

‘Africa’ returned to Liverpool on November 20th from New York so it is possible

that the reply letter was carried on its First Return Voyage. 

A rare item. 

Price:  £320.00

15165.  1848 wrapper from Liverpool to Petersburg, Virginia: all the transit markings are on the front of the wrapper and largely clear of each other. 

‘P Hibernia’ in m/s is on the front and this Cunarder left Liverpool on May 13th 1848 and arrived in New York on May 27th 1848. 

The postage at Liverpool paid with a superb red handstruck 1/- and the Paid at Liverpool lozenge strike, County Catalogue, LL 634.

Also is a superbly struck red New York Ship 12cts cds.  This was the LAST TRIP of the ‘Hibernia’ before the introduction of the

Retaliatory Rate imposed on mail to the USA from GB. 


15159.  Maidenhead to Carolina, USA:  a small neat stampless envelope with a Maidenhead temporary date stamp for

March 2nd 1848 which is unrecorded in the County Catalogue. All the transit markings are on the front and none overlap. 

Received in Liverpool on March 3rd and  in Boston later the same month. This letter would have been held in Liverpool until the

next Cunard sailing to the USA which was ‘Caledonia’ on March 12th arriving in Boston/NY on march 27th 1848. 

An attractive and rare item.


Rare DUBLIN 1735

15108:  Letter from DUBLIN, February 10th 1735, to Bristol which would have been by the Dublin to Holyhead

Packet and then via London to Bristol.  The small straight line ‘Dublin’ (26 x4 mm) is on the reverse top flap and a London Bishopmark

for February 18th, both struck in black. The original m/s ‘6’ inscribed at Dublin, covered the normal Dublin to London ‘All-in’ rate of 6d. 

On arrival in London, this was crossed out and replaced by ‘In all 10’. This 10d charge covered the previous 6d plus a further 4d for the

122 miles from London to Bristol, the English rate for distances over 80 miles.  

 A rare early Irish item supplied with a full write up used in a display with a map showing the route the letter would have taken.   

Price:  £225.00

15109:  1834, Entire from LIMERICK addressed to a Captain in Calcutta, April 12th 1834. Inside is a long letter to the parents and a

further letter, on the end page, to an Aunt and other relatives ending ‘God Bless you all here and there’.  On the front a fine boxed

‘Paid at Limerick’ and a London Ship letter in red and on the reverse, a Limerick cds for April 12th 1834, and Indian GPO and

postal rate markings.  Fine item. 

Price:  £95.00


15110: 1840 and 1851: wrapper, May 25th 1840 to Gloucestershire and entire to Dorset, June 18th 1851, both in fine condition. 

Attractive pairing showing two different types of the West Bromwich  ‘Paid One Penny’.

Superb strikes of these, each clear of the address.



15111: 1840, Entire, Edinburgh to Perth, dated inside January 6th 1840 and with Edinburgh cds for this same date on reverse. 

Sent towards the end of the Uniform 4d Post period with m’s ‘8’ for letters between ½ and 1 oz. Neatly placed top left is a

SUPERB strike of the rare Edinburgh ‘Above ½ oz’, Aukland ED189, rarity J. This strike is also rated Rare by McKay but is VERY RARE,

as noted by Wilcocks, used within the Uniform 4d Post period.  A superb example of this rarity and the first we have been able to offer

used before January 10th 1840.


1002. 1840 Fine printed entire from the Jury Cause Office, Edinburgh,

used locally with a very fine/superb strike of the

rare Edinburgh unpaid 2d strike, March 19th 1840, Aukland ED262.

Especially rare in such fine condition and one of the only two we have been able to offer for many years.  

 Please see the other example Item 151219 earlier in this same Section. 

Price:  £320.00  SOLD


1030. 1846 Par.Pro. (Parliamentary Proceedings), front to Evesham,

crown paid date stamp May 21 1846 and m/s 1 in red. 

Scarce even as a front.  

Price: £80.00 


252.    1877 unusual stampless envelope: to Tavistock, peripheral faults and part flap missing,

               but with a fancy hand written address, a part Plymouth duplex for June 24 1877

and a superb handstruck twopenny ‘d2’ in black. 

This type is unique to Plymouth being the only place that has the d before not after the 2.

Johnson in his booklet ‘Unpaid and Underpaid Mail 1840 to 1921’

                     illustrates this cancellation, fig B46, and notes its importance to collectors. 

                The cancellations do not overlap and are placed to avoid covering the address.

Would we get the same consideration today? 


Price: £49.50 


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